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Thread: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Poems

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    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - Walter von der Vogelweid

    Vogelweid the Minnesinger,
    When he left this world of ours,
    Laid his body in the cloister,
    Under Wurtzburg's minster towers.

    And he gave the monks his treasures,
    Gave them all with this behest:
    They should feed the birds at noontide
    Daily on his place of rest;

    Saying, "From these wandering minstrels
    I have learned the art of song;
    Let me now repay the lessons
    They have taught so well and long."

    Thus the bard of love departed;
    And, fulfilling his desire,
    On his tomb the birds were feasted
    By the children of the choir.

    Day by day, o'er tower and turret,
    In foul weather and in fair,
    Day by day, in vaster numbers,
    Flocked the poets of the air.

    On the tree whose heavy branches
    Overshadowed all the place,
    On the pavement, on the tombstone,
    On the poet's sculptured face,

    On the cross-bars of each window,
    On the lintel of each door,
    They renewed the War of Wartburg,
    Which the bard had fought before.

    There they sang their merry carols,
    Sang their lauds on every side;
    And the name their voices uttered
    Was the name of Vogelweid.

    Till at length the portly abbot
    Murmured, "Why this waste of food?
    Be it changed to loaves henceforward
    For our tasting brotherhood."

    Then in vain o'er tower and turret,
    From the walls and woodland nests,
    When the minster bells rang noontide,
    Gathered the unwelcome guests.

    Then in vain, with cries discordant,
    Clamorous round the Gothic spire,
    Screamed the feathered Minnesingers
    For the children of the choir.

    Time has long effaced the inscriptions
    On the cloister's funeral stones,
    And tradition only tells us
    Where repose the poet's bones.

    But around the vast cathedral,
    By sweet echoes multiplied,
    Still the birds repeat the legend,
    And the name of Vogelweid.

    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - The Day is Done

    The day is done, and the darkness
    Falls from the wings of Night,
    As a feather is wafted downward
    From an eagle in his flight.

    I see the lights of the village
    Gleam through the rain and the mist,
    And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me
    That my soul cannot resist:

    A feeling of sadness and longing,
    That is not akin to pain,
    And resembles sorrow only
    As the mist resembles the rain.

    Come, read to me some poem,
    Some simple and heartfelt lay,
    That shall soothe this restless feeling,
    And banish the thoughts of day.

    Not from the grand old masters,
    Not from the bards sublime,
    Whose distant footsteps echo
    Through the corridors of Time.

    For, like strains of martial music,
    Their mighty thoughts suggest
    Life's endless toil and endeavor;
    And to-night I long for rest.

    Read from some humbler poet,
    Whose songs gushed from his heart,
    As showers from the clouds of summer,
    Or tears from the eyelids start;

    Who, through long days of labor,
    And nights devoid of ease,
    Still heard in his soul the music
    Of wonderful melodies.

    Such songs have power to quiet
    The restless pulse of care,
    And come like the benediction
    That follows after prayer.

    Then read from the treasured volume
    The poem of thy choice,
    And lend to the rhyme of the poet
    The beauty of thy voice.

    And the night shall be filled with music
    And the cares, that infest the day,
    Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
    And as silently steal away.

    Last edited by Moody; Wednesday, January 31st, 2007 at 03:47 PM. Reason: merged consecutive posts
    And all my youth passed by sad-hearted,
    the joy of Spring was never mine;
    Autumn blows through me dread of parting,
    and my heart dreams and longs to die.

    - Nikolaus Lenau (1802-1850)

    Real misanthropes are not found in solitude, but in the world; since it is experience of life, and not philosophy, which produces real hatred of mankind.

    - Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837)

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