Today We Make the Poet's Words Our Own

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 
To-day we make the poet's words our own,
And utter them in plaintive undertone;
Nor to the living only be they said,
But to the other living called the dead,
Whose dear, paternal images appear
Not wrapped in gloom, but robed in sunshine here;
Whose simple lives, complete and without flaw,
Were part and parcel of great Nature's law;
Who said not to their Lord, as if afraid,
"Here is thy talent in a napkin laid,"
But labored in their sphere, as men who live
In the delight that work alone can give.
Peace be to them; eternal peace and rest,
And the fulfilment of the great behest:
"Ye have been faithful over a few things,
Over ten cities shall ye reign as kings."
 
From Morituri Salutamus: Poem for the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Class of 1825 in Bowdoin College; 1875.

Poems by This Author

Evangeline [excerpt] by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Lovely the moonlight was as it glanced and gleamed on the water
A Psalm of Life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Christmas Bells by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Haunted Houses by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
All houses wherein men have lived and died
Hymn to the Night by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I heard the trailing garments of the Night
Introduction to Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
My Lost Youth by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Often I think of the beautiful town
Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Snow-Flakes by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Out of the bosom of the Air
Song of the Owl by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Henry Rowe Schoolcraft
The owl
The Children's Hour by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Between the dark and the daylight,
The Cross of Snow by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
In the long, sleepless watches of the night
The Day Is Done by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The day is done, and the darkness
The Harvest Moon by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
It is the Harvest Moon! On gilded vanes
The Song of Hiawatha [excerpt] by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
All day long roved Hiawatha
The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The tide rises, the tide falls
Woods in Winter by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
When winter winds are piercing chill


Further Reading

Poems For Graduation
As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII [All the world's a stage]
by William Shakespeare
Beyond the Years
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Dreams
by Langston Hughes
First Gestures
by Julia Spicher Kasdorf
Friends, I Will Not Cease
by Vachel Lindsay
If—
by Rudyard Kipling
Invictus
by William Ernest Henley
Knows how to forget! (433)
by Emily Dickinson
My Heart Leaps Up
by William Wordsworth
The Character of a Happy Life
by Sir Henry Wotton
The Choir Invisible
by George Eliot
The Graduate Leaving College
by George Moses Horton
The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost
The Writer
by Richard Wilbur
Up-Hill
by Christina Rossetti