Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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

Jeckoyva - Poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

They made the warrior's grave beside
The dashing of his native time:
And there was mourning in the glen--
The strong wail of a thousand men--
O'er him thus fallen in his pride,
Ere mist of age - or blight or blast
Had o'er his might spirit past.

They made the warrior's grave beneath
The bending of the wild elm's wreath,
When the dark hunter's piercing eye
Had found that mountain rest on high,
Where, scattered by the sharp wind's breath,
Beneath the ragged cliff were thrown
The strong belt and the mouldering bone.

Where was the warrior's foot, when first
The red sun on the mountain burst?
Where -- when the sultry noon-time came
On the green vales with scorching flame,
And made the woodlands faint with thirst?
'Twas where the wind is keen and loud,
And the gray eagle breasts the cloud.

Where was the warrior's foot when night
Veiled in thick cloud the mountain-height?
None heard the loud and sudden crash--
None saw the fallen warrior dash
Down the bare rock so high and white!
But he that drooped not in the chase
Made on the hills his burial-place.

They found him there, when the long day
Of cold desertion passed away,
And traces on that barren cleft
Of struggling hard with death were left--
Deep marks and footprints in the clay!
And they have laid this feathery helm
By the dark river and green elm.


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, March 30, 2010



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