Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), was the most popular American poet of his day, and one of the first American celebrities who was also known in Europe. Though he was a very private man, who suffered greatly from neuralgia (nerve pain), his public reputation was “as a sweet and beautiful soul,” as his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson called him at his funeral. His reputation declined quickly after his death, and he has long been overshadowed by the more modern American poets such as Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost and Carl Sandberg.
To read Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “Holidays” click
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The holiest of all holidays are those
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
The secret anniversaries of the heart,
When the full river of feeling overflows;−
The happy days unclouded to their close;
The sudden joys that out of darkness start
As flames from ashes; swift desires that dart
Like swallows singing down each wind that blows!
White as the gleam of a receding sail,
White as a cloud that floats and fades in air,
White as the whitest lily on a stream,
These tender memories are;−a fairy tale
Of some enchanted land we know not where,
But lovely as a landscape in a dream.
“Holidays” is in the public domain.