Longfellow Henry Wadsworth

American writer, Romantic poet. Son of a lawyer. Graduated from Bowdoin College and completed his education in Europe (1826-29); professor of literature at Harvard University (1836-1854).

His first poems were published in 1820.

Since the late 30’s the following collections of poems have been published – “Night Voices”, “Migratory Birds”, etc. A great role in American cultural life was played by his translations of works of European poets. He translated into English Dante’s The Divine Comedy.

He also wrote the novels Hyperion, Cavanagh, and a book of travel notes Beyond the Ocean. Touching upon the past of his country Longfellow tried to create epic works about the life of first settlers in America, he legalized hexameter in American poetry (the poems “Evangelina”, “Miles Standish’s Courtship”), on the basis of stories of Indian people, taking as a literary example the Finnish epos “Kalevala”, created “The Song about Guyavata” which brought him worldwide fame.

A scholar of literature and folklore, a translator, Longfellow undertook a 31-volume edition of Poems of Locality, dedicated to the portrayal of nature in the world’s poetry.

Aphorisms and Quotes by Henry Longfellow

  • The ability to succeed is nothing less than to do what you are capable of doing well, and to do well whatever you do without thinking of glory. If it ever comes, it’s because it’s earned, not because it’s sought.
  • Fame comes only when it is earned, and then it is as inevitable as fate, for it is fate.
  • Not in the noise of a crowded street, not in the shouts and applause of the crowd, but in ourselves, our triumphs and defeats.
  • Whatever it may seem, no evil is success and no good is defeat.
  • One conversation across the table with a wise man is more useful than ten years of book learning.
  • Sometimes a man’s mistakes say more about him than his virtues.
  • In dealing with our enemies, method is more important than force. By dropping gold beads next to a snake, a crow once arranged for a passerby to kill the snake from behind the beads.
  • Perseverance is a great factor of success. If you knock on the gate long enough and loud enough, you are sure to wake someone up.
  • In character, in manners, in style, in everything the most beautiful thing is simplicity.
  • No matter how cruel fate is to a man, no matter how abandoned and lonely he may be, there will always be a heart, however unknown to him, but open to respond to the call of his heart.
  • When nature leaves a hole in someone’s mind, it usually covers it up with a thick layer of complacency.
  • Love gives itself as a gift; it cannot be bought.
  • The young can die; the old must.
  • Music is the universal language of humanity.
  • We judge ourselves by our capacity for accomplishment; others judge us by what we have already accomplished.
  • Don’t talk about love spent in vain! Love is never wasted; even if it has not made the heart of another richer, its waters, returning back to their source, like rain, will fill it with freshness and coolness.