portrait of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Frontispiece of The Poems of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1893

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Quotes of the Day for 27 February 2002 – Longfellow

The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born at Portland, Maine on this day in 1807. In his honor, and for the first time ever, today's quotes are all poetry. I believe these five quatrains were all excised from different poems, please don't try to read this as one long poem.

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You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.


The quotes:

Let us then, be up and doing.
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.


Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.


Silently one by one,
in the infinite meadows of heaven,
Blossomed the lovely stars,
the forget-me-nots of the angels.


The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.


We see but dimly through the mists and vapors;
Amid these earthly damps
What seem to us but sad, funeral tapers
May be heaven's distant lamps.
     - All selections from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1807 - 1882


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