Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

United States poet remembered for his long narrative poems (1807-1882)

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If I am not worth the wooing, I am surely not worth the winning.
The shades of night were falling fast,As though an Alpine village passedA youth, who bore, 'mid snow and ice,A banner with the strange device,ExcelsiorHis brow was sad his eye beneath,Flashed like a falchion from its sheath,And like a silver clarion rungThe accents of that unknown tongue,Excelsior
The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well, and doing well whatever you do without thought of fame. If it comes at all it will come because it is deserved, not because it is sought after.
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,Life is but an empty dreamFor the soul is dead that slumbers,and things are not what they seem.Life is real Life is earnestAnd the grave is not its goalDust thou art to dust returnest,Was not spoken of the soul.
Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.
'Tell me not, in mournful numbers, Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers, and things are not what they seem.
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.'
A torn jacket is soon mended but hard words bruise the heart of a child.
A torn jacket is soon mended; but hard words bruise the heart of a child.
Age is opportunity no less than youth itself.
All the means of action - the shapeless masses - the materials - lie everywhere about us. What we need is the celestial fire to change the flint into the transparent crystal, bright and clear. That fire is genius.
All things must change to something new, to something strange.
Doubtless criticism was originally benignant, pointing out the beauties of a work rather that its defects. The passions of men have made it malignant, as a bad heart of Procrustes turned the bed, the symbol of repose, into an instrument of torture.
Give what you have. To some it may be better than you dare think.
Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.
He that respects himself is safe from others. He wears a coat of mail that none can pierce.
I shot an arrow into the air, It fell to earth, I knew not where; For so swiftly it flew, the sight Could not follow it in its flight. I breathed a song into the air, It fell to earth, I knew not where; For, who has sight so keen and strong That it can follow the flight of song? Long, long afterward, in an oak I found the arrow, still unbroken; And the song, from beginning to end, I found again in the heart of a friend.
If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm any hostility.
Into each life some rain must fall, some days be dark and dreary.
It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it.
It is curious to note the old sea-margins of human thought. Each subsiding century reveals some new mystery; we build where monsters used to hide themselves.
It takes less time to do a thing right than to explain why you did it wrong.
It takes less time to do things right than to explain why you did it wrong.
Know how sublime a thing is to suffer and be strong.
Learn to labour and to wait.
Let us, then be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labour and to wait.
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.
Look not mournfully into the Past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the Present. In is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy Future, without fear, and a manly heart.
Look not mournfully into the past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear.
Men of genius are often dull and inert in society, as a blazing meteor when it descends to earth, is only a stone.
Most people would succeed in small things if they were not troubled with great ambitions.
Resolve and thou art free.
Silently one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven, Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.
Sit in reverie and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind.
Sometimes we may learn more from a man's errors, than from his virtues.
Talk not of wasted affection affection never was wasted.
Talk not of wasted affection, affection never was wasted, If it enrich not the heart of another, its waters returning Back to their springs, like the rain shall fill them full of refreshment That which the fountain sends forth returns again to the fountain.
Talk not of wasted affection, affection never was wasted,
If it enrich not the heart of another, its waters returning
Back to their springs, like the rain shall fill them full of refreshment;
That which the fountain sends forth returns again to the fountain.
Talk not of wasted affection; affection never was wasted.
The adoration of his heart had been to her only as the perfume of a wild flower, which she had carelessly crushed with her foot in passing.
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.
The holiest of holidays are those Kept by ourselves in silence and apart The secret anniversaries of the heart.
The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, And all the sweet serenity of books.
The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.
The morning pouring everywhere, its golden glory on the air.
The strength of criticism lies in the weakness of the thing criticized.
There are moments in life, when the heart is so full of emotion That if by chance it be shaken, or into its depths like a pebble Drops some careless word, it overflows, and its secret, Spilt on the ground like water, can never be gathered together.
To be seventy years old is like climbing the Alps. You reach a snow-crowned summit, and see behind you the deep valley stretching miles and miles away, and before you other summits higher and whiter, which you may have strength to climb, or may not. Then you sit down and meditate and wonder which it will be.
To say the least, a town life makes one more tolerant and liberal in one's judgement of others.
To which the fountain sends forth returns again to the fountain.
Trust no future, however pleasant Let the dead past bury its dead Act, - act in the living Present Heart within and God overhead.
Trust no future, however pleasant! Let the dead past bury its dead! Act -- act in the living Present! Heart within and God overhead.
We have not wings we cannot soar; but, we have feet to scale and climb, by slow degrees, by more and more, the cloudy summits of our time.
We judge ourselves by what we are capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
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.
Well has it been said that there is no grief like the grief which does not speak.
You know I say just what I think, and nothing more and less. I cannot say one thing and mean another.
Youth comes but once in a lifetime.

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