Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
was the most beloved American poet of the 19th Century. He reminded Americans of their roots with his classics “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” about the Revolutionary War and “The Song of Hiawatha” an American Indian oral history.

“The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls”

The tide rises, the tide falls,
The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;
Along the sea-sands damp and brown
The traveller hastens toward the town,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.

Darkness settles on roofs and walls,
But the sea, the sea in the darkness calls;
The little waves, with their soft, white hands,
Efface the footprints in the sands,

And the tide rises, the tide falls.

The morning breaks; the steeds in their stalls
Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls;
The day returns, but nevermore
Returns the traveller to the shore,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.

Longfellow also influenced America's artistic and popular culture. His works inspired artists and composers, and his poems were read and recited not only in parlors and schoolrooms, but also at civic ceremonies. Schools, geographic locations, and ordinary products, even cigars, were named for him and for characters from his poems. In the 1870s, schoolchildren celebrated his birthday as if it were a national holiday.

“Arrow and the Song”
I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.
During his lifetime Longfellow was loved and admired both at home and abroad. In 1884 he was honored by the placing of a memorial bust in Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey in London, the first American to be so re cognized.

The Fireside Poets (also known as the Schoolroom or Household Poets) were a
group of 19th-century American poets from New England. The group is usually described as comprising Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, William Cullen Bryant, John Greenleaf Whittier, James Russell Lowell, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., who were the first American poets whose popularity rivaled that of British poets, both at home and abroad. The name "Fireside Poets" is derived from that popularity.