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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.

The Seaside and the Fireside

By the Fireside. The Open Window

  • The old house by the lindens is what was known as the Lechmere house which formerly stood on Brattle Street, corner of Sparks Street, in Cambridge. It was in this house that Baron Riedesel was quartered as prisoner of war after the surrender of Burgoyne, and the windowpane used to be shown on which the Baroness wrote her name with a diamond.

  • THE OLD house by the lindens

    Stood silent in the shade,

    And on the gravelled pathway

    The light and shadow played.

    I saw the nursery windows

    Wide open to the air;

    But the faces of the children,

    They were no longer there.

    The large Newfoundland house-dog

    Was standing by the door;

    He looked for his little playmates,

    Who would return no more.

    They walked not under the lindens,

    They played not in the hall;

    But shadow, and silence, and sadness

    Were hanging over all.

    The birds sang in the branches,

    With sweet, familiar tone;

    But the voices of the children

    Will be heard in dreams alone!

    And the boy that walked beside me,

    He could not understand

    Why closer in mine, ah! closer,

    I pressed his warm, soft hand!