Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

1807-1882

 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is buried in the Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA. (Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Russell Lowell and Robert Creeley are also buried here.)
 

Tomb of Longfellow

Following the death of his first wife, Mary Storer Potter in Rotterdam, Longfellow returned to Cambridge and became a lodger at Craigie House where he was to live for the rest of his life. The house was later given to him and his second wife (Francis Appleton) as a wedding present.

In 1861 Francis tragically died after accidentally setting fire to her dress whilst melting wax to seal envelopes containing cuttings of her childrens' hair. In an attempt to douse the flames Longfellow received serious burns to his face.  This made it difficult for him to shave and explains why he subsequently wore a beard.  

Bust of Longfellow
Photograph by Kieran Smith

Longfellow's gift for writing accessible poetry with deceptively simple rhymes made him the most popular poet of his generation second only to Tennyson

With the publication of The Song of Hiawatha (1858) Longfellow also became one of the first American writers to embrace native american themes.

He died on March 24th 1882, after a short illness, just a few days after he had written his last poem  The Bells of San Blas. At his funeral, a passage from The Death of Chibiabos was read out.

Two years after his death he became the first American poet to have a bust placed in 'Poets' Corner', Westminster Abbey, London.

His other works include: Evangeline (1849), The Courtship of Miles Standish (1858), Tales of a Wayside Inn (1863) and Christus (1872).

Song sinks into silence,
  The story is told,
The windows are darkened,
  The hearthstone is cold.

Darker and darker
  The black shadows fall;
Sleep and oblivion
  Reign over all!

From Curfew

Read more of Longfellow's poetry
 

 


 

 

 
 
 
 

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