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

A Book of Sonnets


To Alfred Tennyson

POET! I come to touch thy lance with mine;

Not as a knight, who on the listed field

Of tourney touched his adversary’s shield

In token of defiance, but in sign

Of homage to the mastery, which is thine,

In English song; nor will I keep concealed,

And voiceless as a rivulet frost-congealed,

My admiration for thy verse divine.

Not of the howling dervishes of song,

Who craze the brain with their delirious dance,

Art thou, O sweet historian of the heart!

Therefore to thee the laurel-leaves belong,

To thee our love and our allegiance,

For thy allegiance to the poet’s art.