Sunday, 15 February 2009


Before I leave the snowy theme, I came across this touching poem by Longfellow. It was written for his second wife, Fanny. He pursued her for seven years before he convinced her to take the plunge. Got to admire his tenacity. They had six children together, but in 1861 Fanny died in a tragic accident when her dress caught fire. Longfellow was badly burned trying to save her, the beard was an effort to hide the scars. He wrote this in 1879, 18 years after her death.
In the long, sleepless watches of the night,
A gentle face - the face of one long dead -
Looks at me from the wall, where round its head
The night-lamp casts a halo of pale light.
Here in this room she died; and soul more white
Never through martyrdom of fire was led
To its repose; nor can in books be read
The legend of a life more benedight.
There is a mountain in the distant West
That, sun-defying, in its deepest ravines
Displays a cross of snow upon its side.
Such is the cross I wear upon my breast
These eighteen years, through all the changing scenes
And seasons, changeless since the day she died.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1807 - 1882

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