Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, America’s Poet

Today is the anniversary of the 1807 birth of the great Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, arguably the quintessential American poet.

Longfellow was the grandson of Revolutionary Patriot General Peleg Wadsworth and the nephew of Henry Wadsworth, who died at Tripoli. Through childhood, college, professorship, international travels, marriages, fatherhood, and poetic career, Longfellow always held on to his ideals, including his patriotism. “Paul Revere’s Ride” and “Hiawatha” are magnificent examples of the best of Americanism passionately alive and strongly moving. There are villains and failings and sins in Longfellow’s poetry, but he truly believed that every man and woman can be great, that each individual can reach the heights, physical or moral (and regardless of race—he was firmly anti-slavery). That is why he is so particularly an American poet, our nation’s storyteller.

For instance:

“So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,—
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo forevermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.”

Read more about Longfellow and his poetry on Substack.

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Posted by CatSalgado32

Catherine Salgado is a columnist for The Rogue Review, a Writer for MRC Free Speech America, and writes her own Substack, Pro Deo et Libertate. She received the Andrew Breitbart MVP award for August 2021 from The Rogue Review for her journalism.

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