Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  Memorial Hall

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

New England: Cambridge, Mass.

Memorial Hall

By Christopher Pearse Cranch (1813–1892)


AMID the elms that interlace

Round Harvard’s grounds their branches tall,

We greet no walls of statelier grace

Than thine, our proud Memorial Hall.

Through arching boughs and roofs of green,

Whose dappled lights and shadows lie

Along the turf and road, is seen

Thy noble form against the sky.

And miles away on fields and streams,

Or where the woods the hill-tops crown,

The monumental temple gleams,

A landmark to each neighboring town.

Nor this alone. New England knows

A deeper meaning in the pride

Whose stately architecture shows

How Harvard’s children fought and died.

Therefore this hallowed pile recalls

The heroes young and true and brave,

Who gave their memories to these walls,

Their lives to fill the soldier’s grave.

The farmer, as he drives his team

To market in the morn, afar

Beholds the golden sunrise gleam

Upon thee, like a glistening star.

And gazing, he remembers well

Why stands yon tower so fair and tall;

His sons, perhaps, in battle fell:

For him, too, shines Memorial Hall.

And sometimes as the student glides

Along the winding Charles, and sees

Across the flats thy glowing sides

Above the elms and willow-trees,

Upon his oar he ’ll turn and pause,

Remembering the heroic aims

Of those who linked their country’s cause

In deathless glory with their names.