"after becoming imbued with poetic sentiment at Longfellow’s hearthstone"
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1868)
Public DomainHenry Wadsworth Longfellow (1868) - Credit: Julia Margaret Cameron

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) was revered as the greatest American poet of his generation and his writings are still much-admired today. His best-known works — such as The Song of Hiawatha (1855) and Evangeline (1847) — bring myth and legend to life and are imbued with an urgent sense of rhythm and a romantic sensibility. He and Hawthorne attended Bowdoin College together, marking the beginning of what would be a lifelong friendship. When Hawthorne died in 1864, Longfellow composed a poem that was less a eulogy than a desolate cry of loss, heart-rending in its dignified simplicity. Read it below.