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THE BUILDERS

HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine, February 27, 1807. His father was a lawyer of Portland, and his mother was a descendant of Priscilla in the “Courtship of Miles Standish.” At the age of fourteen, he entered Bowdoin College, where he studied for four years and took his degree with high honors in 1825. His strong preference for a literary career soon showed itself, and having been offered the newly-established professorship of languages in Bowdoin College, for the purpose of qualifying himself for the post, he visited Europe, and spent three and a half years traveling in France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Holland, and England, studying the languages and literature of these countries. In 1829, he returned to America, and entered upon the duties of his professorship. In 1835, he was appointed to the professorship of modern languages and belles-lettres in Harvard College, resigning in 1854. He died in Cambridge, Mass., March 24, 1882.

All are architects of Fate,

Working in these walls of Time;
Some with massive deeds and great,

Some with ornaments of rhyme.

5

Nothing useless is, or low;

Each thing in its place is best;
And what seems but idle show

Strengthens and supports the rest.

10

For the structure that we raise,

Time is with materials filled;
Our to-days and yesterdays

Are the blocks with which we build.

[blocks in formation]

What is an architect?
How are we “architects of Fate”?

What does the poet mean by “massive deeds and great? What
by “ornaments of rhyme”?
How is the importance of each one's work shown in stanza 2?
What material does Time supply for the raising of the structure?

What would be some “yawning gaps' between the "to-days” and "yesterdays"?

Why did the builders in the “elder days of Art” work with great care?

Does the poet tell us to live right physically as well as morally?
How may we make the house “Beautiful, entire, and clean”?

What do you think “broken stairways“” refers to? (Read “The Ladder of St. Augustine," by Longfellow.)

How shall we build "to-day" in order that “to-morrow” shall be securely built?

AUTUMN

HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW

5

With what glory comes and goes the year!
The buds of spring, those beautiful harbingers
Of sunny skies and cloudless times, enjoy
Life's newness, and earth's garniture spread out;
And when the silver habit of the clouds
Comes down upon the autumn sun, and with
A sober gladness the old year takes up
His bright inheritance of golden fruits,
A pomp and pageant fill the splendid scene.

10

15

There is a beautiful spirit breathing now
Its mellow richness on the clustered trees,
And, from a beaker full of richest dyes,
Pouring new glory on the autumn woods,
And dipping in warm light the pillared clouds,
Morn on the mountain, like a summer bird,
Lifts up her purple wing, and in the vales
The gentle wind, a sweet and passionate wooer,
Kisses the blushing leaf, and stirs up life
Within the solemn woods of ash deep-crimsoned,
And silver beech, and maple yellow-leaved,
Where autumn, like a faint old man, sits down
By the wayside a-weary.

Through the trees

20

25

30

The golden robin moves. The purple finch,
That on wild cherry and red cedar feeds,
A winter bird, comes with its plaintive whistle,
And pecks by the witch-hazel, whilst aloud
From cottage roofs the warbling blue-bird sings,
And merrily, with oft-repeated stroke,
Sounds from the threshing-floor the busy flail.

O what a glory doth this world put on
For him who, with a fervent heart, goes forth
Under the bright and glorious sky, and looks
On duties well performed, and days well spent!
For him the wind, ay, and the yellow leaves
Shall have a voice, and give him eloquent teachings;
He shall so hear the solemn hymn that Death
Has lifted up for all, that he shall go
To his long resting-place without a tear.

35

HELPS FOR STUDY
What are “harbingers”?

Why are the buds spoken of as “beautiful harbingers of sunny skies and cloudless times”?

Explain “Life's newness,' 'earth's garniture,” “silver habit of the clouds," "pomp and pageant."

What is a “breaker”?

Have you ever been in the woods in Autumn? Did the trees look as if their leaves had been colored with “richest dyes”?

Explain “pillared cloud.”
Why do you think the poet compares autumn to a “faint old man”?
Compare the last stanza with the last stanza of “Thanatopsis.”

ADDITIONAL SELECTIONS
The Ladder of St. Augustine The Birds of Killingworth
A Psalm of Life

The Wreck of the Hesperus
Robert Burns

The Song of Hiawatha The Children's Hour

The Building of the Ship The Fire of Driftwood

The Sermon of St. Francis King Robert of Sicily

Daybreak The Legend Beautiful

My Lost Youth

LYRIC OF ACTION*

PAUL HAMILTON HAYNE

a

Paul Hamilton Hayne was born in Charleston, South Carolina, January 1, 1830. As a member of a distinguished Southern family, the boy was brought up amid cultured and wealthy surroundings. He was sent to the best schools of Charleston, and afterward to Charleston College, graduating in 1850. Although he had studied law, he longed for a literary life, and became an associate editor of the Southern Literary Gazette, and later editor of Russell's Magazine. He also published three volumes of poems, but the Civil War breaking out interfered seriously with his growing fame as a poet. In spite of a delicate constitution, he volunteered his services, and became an aide on the staff of Governor Pickens. After the war, with home, library, and fortune swept away, he settled in the pine barrens of Georgia. In the little cottage, built of logs, near the city of Augusta, he devoted himself to literature as a means of a livelihood. During the latter part of his life, he suffered from privation and disease, but his fine courage sustained him to the end. He died July 6, 1886. 'Tis the part of a coward to brood

O'er the past that is withered and dead:
What though the heart's roses are ashes and dust?

What though the heart's music be fled?

Still shine the grand heavens o'erhead, Whence the voice of an angel thrills clear on the soul, “Gird about thee thine armor, press on to the goal!”

5

10

If the faults or the crimes of thy youth

Are a burden too heavy to bear,
What hope can rebloom on the desolate waste

Of a jealous and craven despair?

Down, down with the fetters of fear! *Reprinted by permission of the publishers, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Company, Boston, Mass.

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