Samuel Longfellow

Biography of Samuel Longfellow

Samuel Longfellow (1819-1892) was an American clergyman and hymn writer.

Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine to Stephen and Zilpah (Wadsworth) Longfellow; he is the younger brother of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He attended Harvard College and Harvard Divinity School, where his classmates included Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Samuel Johnson, with whom he would later collaborate in his hymn-writing. He is considered part of the second-generation of transcendentalists; after becoming a Unitarian pastor, he adapted the Transcendental philosophy he had encountered in divinity school into his hymns and sermons. He served as a pastor in Fall River, Massachusetts (1848), Second Unitarian Church (Brooklyn, New York) (1853), and Germantown, Pennsylvania (1860).

Samuel Longfellow's Works:

* A Book of Hymns for Public and Private Devotion, 1846, jointly edited with Samuel Johnson. This collection was enlarged and revised in 1860.
* Thalatta: a Book for the Seaside, with Thomas W. Higginson, 1853
* Vespers, 1859
* Hymns of the Spirit, 1864 (jointly edited with Samuel Johnson)
* The Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1886
* Memoir and Letters, 1894

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Vesper Hymn

Now, on sea and land descending,
Brings the night its peace profound:
Let our vesper hymn be blending
With the holy calm around.
Soon as dies the sunset glory,
Stars of heaven shine out above,
Telling still the ancient story--
Their Creator's changeless love.