Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX. 1876–79.

New England: Nahant, Mass.


By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)

I STAND again on the familiar shore,

And hear the waves of the distracted sea

Piteously calling and lamenting thee,

And waiting restless at thy cottage door.

The rocks, the seaweed on the ocean floor,

The willows in the meadow, and the free

Wild winds of the Atlantic welcome me;

Then why shouldst thou be dead, and come no more?

Ah, why shouldst thou be dead, when common men

Are busy with their trivial affairs,

Having and holding? Why, when thou hadst read

Nature’s mysterious manuscript, and then

Wast ready to reveal the truth it bears,

Why art thou silent? Why shouldst thou be dead?