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

A Book of Sonnets


OH that a Song would sing itself to me

Out of the heart of Nature, or the heart

Of man, the child of Nature, not of Art,

Fresh as the morning, salt as the salt sea,

With just enough of bitterness to be

A medicine to this sluggish mood, and start

The life-blood in my veins, and so impart

Healing and help in this dull lethargy!

Alas! not always doth the breath of song

Breathe on us. It is like the wind that bloweth

At its own will, not ours, nor tarrieth long;

We hear the sound thereof, but no man knoweth

From whence it comes, so sudden and swift and strong,

Nor whither in its wayward course it goeth.