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A Day With Longfellow by Anonymous and Longfellow

DAYS WITH THE GREAT .POETS.

LONGFELLOW

[Illustration: _Painting by A. E. Jackson._ THE CHILDREN'S HOUR.]

Between the dark and the daylight, When the night is beginning to lower, Comes a pause in the day's occupations, That is known as the Children's Hour.

* * * * *

They climb up into my turret, O'er the arms and back of my chair; If I try to escape they surround me, They seem to be everywhere.

A DAY WITH LONGFELLOW

[Illustration: portrait of Longfellow]

HODDER & STOUGHTON LTD., PUBLISHERS LONDON

_Uniform with this Volume_

_DAYS WITH THE POETS_

BROWNING BURNS KEATS LONGFELLOW SHAKESPEARE TENNYSON

_DAYS WITH THE COMPOSERS_

BEETHOVEN CHOPIN GOUNOD MENDELSSOHN TSCHAIKOVSKY WAGNER

_Made and Printed in Great Britain for Hodder & Stoughton, Limited, by C. Tinling & Co., Ltd., Liverpool, London and Prescot._

A DAY WITH LONGFELLOW

The expression of serious and tender thoughtfulness, which always characterized the quiet face of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, had deepened during his later years, into something akin to melancholy. The tragic loss of his beloved wife,--burned to death while she was sealing up in paper little locks of her children's hair,--had left its permanent and irrevocable mark upon his life. Still, he did not seclude himself with his sorrow: the professor of Modern Languages at Harvard could hardly do that. He remained the selfsame kindly, gentle, industrious man, welcoming with ready courtesy the innumerable visitors to the Craigie House.

This is a large old-fashioned house in Cambridge, Massachusetts--a place of grassy terraces, long verandahs, lilac bushes, and shady trees--a perfect dwelling for a man of cultured tastes, as the interior also testifies.

From the Poet's study, a spacious, sunny room upon the ground floor, he could look across the meadows behind the house to the distant silver windings of the River Charles. It was a most orderly room. Every book and paper lay where he could put his hand on it in a moment. Book-cases full of valuable volumes--precious first editions--busts and portraits,--were to be seen on every side. A certain austere simplicity was noticeable all over Longfellow's house. "His private rooms," it has been said, "were like those of a German professor." But the attractiveness and delightfulness of Craigie House arose not from any intrinsic opulence of its contents, but from the personality of the man who lived there. "By his mere presence he rendered the sunshine brighter, and the place more radiant of kindness and peace."

The Poet began his day, so long as age and health permitted, by a brisk morning walk. He would be out and about by six, observing and enjoying the beauty of earth and air, and subsequently recording his exquisite impressions:

O Gift of God! O perfect day: Whereon shall no man work, but play; Whereon it is enough for me, Not to be doing, but to be!


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