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

The Seaside and the Fireside

By the Seaside. Twilight

THE TWILIGHT is sad and cloudy,

The wind blows wild and free,

And like the wings of sea-birds

Flash the white caps of the sea.

But in the fisherman’s cottage

There shines a ruddier light,

And a little face at the window

Peers out into the night.

Close, close it is pressed to the window,

As if those childish eyes

Were looking into the darkness

To see some form arise.

And a woman’s waving shadow

Is passing to and fro,

Now rising to the ceiling,

Now bowing and bending low.

What tale do the roaring ocean,

And the night-wind, bleak and wild,

As they beat at the crazy casement,

Tell to that little child?

And why do the roaring ocean,

And the night-wind, wild and bleak,

As they beat at the heart of the mother

Drive the color from her cheek?