85+ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Quotes From The American Poet, Educator, And Abolitionist

Moumita Dutta
Dec 12, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Feb 19, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Hand writing with old quill pen on the old paper.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a world-renowned American poet.

Longfellow served as an inspiration for the next generation. At the beginning of his career, he worked as a teacher and then slowly shifted to his career in writing.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a master in lyric poetry to which he added autobiographical touches. He also wrote a large number of sonnets and ballads which included numerous poems on slavery and the abolishment of slavery.

If you love his poems then do give a check at this article. You can also take a look at Evangeline Henry Wadsworth Longfellow quotes.

If you find our content on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow quotes interesting then do check out these Nathaniel Hawthorne quotes and [Herman Melville quotes]

Best Quotes By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Here you will find some of the best Henry Wadsworth Longfellow quotes.

1. "Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

2. "Thy fate is the common fate of all,

Into each life some rain must fall,

Some days must be dark and dreary."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'The Rainy Day'.

3. "Look not mournfully into the past, it comes not back again. Wisely improve the present, it is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future without fear and with a manly heart."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

4. "Music is the universal language of mankind — poetry their universal pastime and delight."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

5. "If you would hit the mark, you must aim a little above it;

Every arrow that flies feels the attraction of earth."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'In the Harbor'.

6. "The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,

And all the sweet serenity of books."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Morituri Salutamus'.

7. In character, in manner, in style, in all the things, the supreme excellence is simplicity

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Favorite Poems'.

8. "For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

9. "If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility."

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'The Complete Works Of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow'.

10. "The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

11. "Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven,

Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie'.

12. "Ah, nothing is too late

Till the tired heart shall cease to palpitate."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'The Complete Poems Of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow'.

13. "Art is the child of nature in whom we trace the features of the mothers face."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

14. "We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

15. "The leaves of memory seemed to make a mournful rustling in the dark."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

16. "Most people would succeed in small things if they were not troubled with great ambitions."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

17. "Talk not of wasted affection - affection never was wasted."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

18. "My soul is full of longing for the secret of the sea, and the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse through me."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'The Secret Of The Sea'.

Quotes On Glorification Of Life And Its Possibilities

In this category, you will find the best Henry Wadsworth Longfellow quotes on the glorification of life.

19. "Art is long, and Time is fleeting..."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

20. "Know how sublime a thing it is

To suffer and be strong."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'The Light Of Stars'.

21. "Slowly in silent syllables recorded;

This is the secret of despair,

Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,

Now whispered and revealed."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Snow-flakes'.

22. "Life is but an empty dream!

For the soul is dead that slumbers,

And things are not what they seem."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'A Psalm Of Life'.

23. "The belfries of all Christendom

Had rolled along

The unbroken song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Christmas Bells'.

24. "Great are the sea, and the heaven;

Yet greater is my heart,

And fairer than pearls or stars

Flashes and beams my love."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'The Sea Hath Its Pearls'

25. "And the song, from beginning to end,

I found again in the heart of a friend."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'The Arrow And The Song.'

26. "Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;

Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;"

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'The Rainy Day'.

Quotes On Anti-Slavery

Here are some of the best Henry Wadsworth Longfellow quotes on abolishment and on anti-slavery.

27. "He did not feel the driver's whip,

Nor the burning heat of day;

For Death had illumined the Land of Sleep,

And his lifeless body lay

A worn-out fetter, that the soul

Had broken and thrown away!"

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'The Slave's Dream'.

28. "She reads to them at eventide

Of One who came to save;"

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'The Good Part, That Shall Not Be Taken Away'.

29. "And the rags, that hid his mangled frame,

Were the livery of disgrace."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'The Slave In The Dismal Swamp'.

30. "And what earthquake's arm of might

Breaks his dungeon-gates at night?"

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'The Slave Singing At Midnight'

31. "They (slaves) cry, from unknown graves,

'We are the Witnesses!'"

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'The Witnesses'.

32. "He led her by the hand,

To be his slave and paramour

In a strange and distant land!"

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'The Quadroon Girl'.

33. "Till the vast Temple of our liberties

A shapeless mass of wreck and rubbish lies."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'The Warning'.

Quotes On Romanticism

Here are some of the finest Henry Wadsworth Longfellow quotes on Romanticism.

34. "I heard the first wave of the rising tide

Rush onward with uninterrupted sweep;"

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'The Sound Of The Sea'.

35. "The tide rises, the tide falls,

The twilight darkens, the curlew calls..."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls'.

36. "Week in, week out, from morn till night,

You can hear his bellows blow;

You can hear him swing his heavy sledge..."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'The Village Blacksmith'.

37. "Till in sheltered coves, and reaches

Of sandy beaches,

All have found repose again."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Seaweed'.

38. "Thou standest, like imperial Charlemagne,

Upon thy bridge of gold.."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Autumn'.

39. "Go to the woods and hills! No tears

Dim the sweet look that Nature wears."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Sunrise On The Hills'.

40. "Being too full of sleep to understand

How far the unknown transcends the what we know."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Nature'.

Quotes On Concern For Environment

Enlisted below are the finest quotes about environment.

41. "Beneath some patriarchal tree

I lay upon the ground;..."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Voices Of The Night'.

42. "The calm, majestic presence of the Night,

As of the one I love."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Hymn To The Night'.

43. "These in flowers and men are more than seeming,

Workings are they of the self-same powers,..."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Flowers'.

44. "I hear the cry

Of their voices high

Falling dreamily through the sky."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Birds Of Passage'.

Quotes On Fondness Of Childhood

Here are the best quotes of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow on his fondness of childhood.

45. "Dear child! how radiant on thy mother's knee,

With merry-making eyes and jocund smiles"

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'To A Child'

46. "Between the dark and the daylight,

When the night is beginning to lower,

Comes a pause in the day's occupations,

That is known as the Children's Hour."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'The Children's Hour'.

47. "From the neighboring school

Come the boys,

With more than their wonted noise

And commotion;"

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Rain In Summer'.

48. "Sweetly, as I recall it, tears do fall,

And therefore I recall it with delight."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Childhood (From The Danish)'

49. "And whisper in my ear

What the birds and the winds are singing

In your sunny atmosphere."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Come To Me, O Ye Children'.

Other Famous Quotes From Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Enlisted below are Henry Wadsworth Longfellow famous quotes which are bound to delight you.

50. "A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years mere study of books."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Delphi Complete Works Of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow'.

51. "There are moments in life, when the heart is so full of emotion That if by chance it be shaken, or into its depths like a pebble Drops some careless word, it overflows, and its secret, Spilt on the ground like water, can never be gathered together."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Favorite Poems'.

52. "Let us labor for an inward stillness-- An inward stillness and an inward healing."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'My Complete Poetical Works (Annotated Edition)'.

53. "Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Longfellow's Days: The Longfellow Prose Birthday Book: Extracts From The Journals And Letters Of H. W. Longfellow'.

54. "What discord we should bring into the universe if our prayers were all answered. Then we should govern the world and not God."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

55. "Each day is a branch of the Tree of Life laden heavily with fruit. If we lie down lazily beneath it, we may starve; but if we shake the branches, some of the fruit will fall for us."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

56. "For it is the fate of a woman Long to be patient and silent, to wait like a ghost that is speechless, Till some questioning voice dissolves the spell of its silence."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Favorite Poems'.

57. "...God's almighty breath

Said to the darkness and the Night,

Let there be light! and there was light."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

58. "Weak minds make treaties with the passions they cannot overcome, and try to purchase happiness at the expense of principle;..."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

59. "How beautiful the long mild twilight, which, like a silver clasp, unites today with yesterday!"

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

60. "Take care of your garden And keep out the weeds, Fill it with sunshine, Kind words, and Kind deeds."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

61. "We have not wings we cannot soar; but, we have feet to scale and climb, by slow degrees, by more and more, the cloudy summits of our time."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

62. "The unwritten only still belongs to thee:

Take heed, and ponder well what that shall be."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

63. "Stay, stay at home, my heart and rest; Home-keeping hearts are the happiest..."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

64. "Every man must patiently bide his time."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

65. "The highest exercise of imagination is not to devise what has no existence, but rather to perceive what really exists, though unseen by the outward eye-not creation, but insight."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

66. "How can I teach your children gentleness and mercy to the weak, and reverence for life, which in its nakedness and excess, is still a gleam of God's omnipotence, when by your laws, your actions and your speech, you contradict the very things I teach?"

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

67. "The great tragedy of the average man is that he goes to his grave with his music still in him."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

68. "Live up to the best that is in you:

Live noble lives, as you all may, in whatever condition you may find yourselves."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

69. "There are things of which I may not speak;

There are dreams that cannot die;

There are thoughts that make the strong heart weak,

And bring a pallor into the cheek,

And a mist before the eye."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Poems And Other Writings'.

70. "The things that have been and shall be no more,

The things that are, and that hereafter shall be,

The things that might have been, and yet were not,

The fading twilight of joys departed."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Delphi Complete Works Of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow'.

71. "Silence and solitude, the soul's best friends."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Delphi Complete Works Of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow'.

72. "O Music! language of the soul, Of love, of God to man;

Bright beam from heaven thrilling,

That lightens sorrow's weight."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

73. "The history of the past is a mere puppet-show. A little man comes out and blows a little trumpet, and goes in again. You look for something new, and lo! another little man comes out, and blows another little trumpet, and goes in again. And it is all over."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'The Prose Works Of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Outre Mer And Driftwood'.

74. "To be seventy years old is like climbing the Alps. You reach a snow-crowned summit, and see behind you the deep valley stretching miles and miles away, and before you other summits higher and whiter, which you may have strength to climb, or may not...You...meditate and wonder which it will be."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Longfellow's Days: The Longfellow Prose Birthday Book : Extracts From The Journals And Letters Of H. W. Longfellow'.

75. "Nature paints not;

In oils, but frescoes the great dome of heaven;

With sunsets, and the lovely forms of clouds; And flying vapors."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'The Complete Poetical Works Of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow'.

76. "The Laws of Nature are just, but terrible. There is no weak mercy in them. Cause and consequence are inseparable and inevitable."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Prose Works Of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow'.

77. "If we love one another, nothing, in truth, can harm us, whatever mischances may happen."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Poems And Other Writings'.

78. "The Wreck of the Hesperus

But the father answered never a word,

A frozen corpse was he."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'The Wreck Of The Hesperus'.

79. "For age is opportunity no less

Than youth itself, though in another dress,

And as the evening twilight fades away

The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Selected Poems'.

80. "Man is always more than he can know of himself; consequently, his accomplishments, time and again, will come as a surprise to him."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

81. "It takes less time to do a thing right, than it does to explain why you did it wrong."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

82. "Thus at the flaming forge of life

Our fortunes must be wrought;

Thus on its sounding anvil shaped

Each burning deed and thought!"

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'The Poetical Works'.

83. "Gone are the living, but the dead remain, And not neglected; for a hand unseen,

Scattering its bounty like a summer rain,

Still keeps their graves and their remembrance green."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'The Complete Poetical Works'.

84. "Gorgeous flowerets in the sunlight shining,

Blossoms flaunting in the eye of day,

Tremulous leaves, with soft and silver lining,

Buds that open only to decay."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Poems'.

85. "To be infatuated with the power of one's own intellect is an accident which seldom happens but to those who are remarkable for the want of intellectual power."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 'Outre-mer And Drift-wood'.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow quotes then why not take a look at [poetry quotes], or Tennessee Williams quotes.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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