Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(27 February 1807 – 24 March 1882 / Portland, Maine)

Excelsior


The shades of night were falling fast,
As through an Alpine village passed
A youth, who bore, 'mid snow and ice,
A banner with the strange device,
Excelsior!

His brow was sad; his eye beneath,
Flashed like a falchion from its sheath,
And like a silver clarion rung
The accents of that unknown tongue,
Excelsior!

In happy homes he saw the light
Of household fires gleam warm and bright;
Above, the spectral glaciers shone,
And from his lips escaped a groan,
Excelsior!

"Try not the Pass!" the old man said:
"Dark lowers the tempest overhead,
The roaring torrent is deep and wide!
And loud that clarion voice replied,
Excelsior!

"Oh stay," the maiden said, "and rest
Thy weary head upon this breast!"
A tear stood in his bright blue eye,
But still he answered, with a sigh,
Excelsior!

"Beware the pine-tree's withered branch!
Beware the awful avalanche!"
This was the peasant's last Good-night,
A voice replied, far up the height,
Excelsior!

At break of day, as heavenward
The pious monks of Saint Bernard
Uttered the oft-repeated prayer,
A voice cried through the startled air,
Excelsior!

A traveller, by the faithful hound,
Half-buried in the snow was found,
Still grasping in his hand of ice
That banner with the strange device,
Excelsior!

There in the twilight cold and gray,
Lifeless, but beautiful, he lay,
And from the sky, serene and far,
A voice fell, like a falling star,
Excelsior!

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Form:


Do you like this poem?
1 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: snow, silver, star, sad, beautiful, happy, tree, dark, night, sky, light

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Excelsior by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  5. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  6. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  7. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  8. Roses Are Red Violets Are Blue, Jennifer Alejandra
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  10. Tonight I can write the saddest lines, Pablo Neruda

Poem of the Day

poet Oscar Wilde

(In memoriam
C. T. W.
Sometime trooper of the Royal Horse Guards
obiit H.M. prison, Reading, Berkshire
July 7, 1896)

I

He did not wear his scarlet coat,
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Ruth Stone

 

Member Poem

New Poems

  1. Thoughts of her, Nick Kler
  2. A flaw, gajanan mishra
  3. Gaining status, Angell Afinowi
  4. The Freedom I Seek, Douglas ClearyMaxwell
  5. Stages of life, gajanan mishra
  6. Remmbering Guernica, John F. McCullagh
  7. Value, Carolyn Blackmon
  8. Tagore Song (#9) My freedom exist in da.., Tushar Ray
  9. What is Courage, Lewis Antonuk
  10. Full Attention, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
[Hata Bildir]