Christopher Pearse Cranch

(1815-1892 / the USA)

Longfellow - Poem by Christopher Pearse Cranch

Across the sea the swift sad message darts
And beats with sudden pang against our hearts.
Under the elm-trees in his homestead old
The Laureate of our land lies dead and cold;
Wept by the love of friends, and crowned with fame;
Revered by youth and age, his well-known name
Caught in fast-circling whispers, sad and low,
In streets where noisy crowds move too and fro —
'Can it be true that he is dead — is dead?'
Life seemed to love that noble, silvery head,
And youth still lingered in the kindly eyes
Now closed, alas, to all beneath the skies!
No more across the fields by Charles's stream
Those eyes shall see their well-loved landscape gleam.
No more the treasured books upon his shelves
Suggest the visions rarer than themselves.
No friends around his hospitable fire
Hear the last touches of his graceful lyre.
The coming spring will flush with purple bloom
His lilacs, and waft in their sweet perfume;
His roses unregarded drop away;
Unheard the oriole's warble through the day;
Unmarked the bees' low hum from flower to flower,
The dial's shade, the sunshine and the shower.
Yet from the garden of his thoughts and deeds
Still will his poems fly like winged seeds.
And far and wide, through city, plain and hill,
Borne to a thousand firesides, bloom and fill
The people's hearts, and touch to issues fine
Of aspiration human and divine.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 24, 2010

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