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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889


By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)

[From Poetical Works. 1887.]

HOW beautiful it was, that one bright day

In the long week of rain!

Though all its splendor could not chase away

The omnipresent pain.

The lovely town was white with apple-blooms,

And the great elms o’erhead

Dark shadows wove on their aerial looms,

Shot through with golden thread.

Across the meadows, by the gray old manse,

The historic river flowed:

I was as one who wanders in a trance,

Unconscious of his road.

The faces of familiar friends seemed strange:

Their voices I could hear,

And yet the words they uttered seemed to change

Their meaning to my ear.

For the one face I looked for was not there,

The one low voice was mute;

Only an unseen presence filled the air,

And baffled my pursuit.

Now I look back, and meadow, manse, and stream

Dimly my thought defines;

I only see—a dream within a dream—

The hill-top hearsed with pines.

I only hear above his place of rest

Their tender undertone,

The infinite longings of a troubled breast,

The voice so like his own.

There in seclusion and remote from men

The wizard hand lies cold,

Which at its topmost speed let fall the pen,

And left the tale half told.

Ah! who shall lift that wand of magic power,

And the lost clew regain?

The unfinished window in Aladdin’s tower

Unfinished must remain!