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A Mary T. Hoffman Commentary from


"Joyful Curmudgeon" An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.


Daybreak – 26 April 2009
By Mary T. Hoffman

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882) was born in Portland, Maine. He and Nathaniel Hawthorne graduated from Bowdoin College in the same year. After studying abroad, Longfellow returned to teach at Bowdoin and later at Harvard where he was a professor of Modern European literature. His ability to tell in verse simple stories of everyday life made Longfellow enormously popular during his lifetime. I think that this poem, with its surprise ending, is an example of his special gift for simple story-telling..

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

A wind came up out of the sea,
And said, “O mists, make room for me.”
It hailed the ships, and cried, “Sail on,
Ye mariners, the night is gone.”

And hurried landward far away,
Crying, “Awake! it is the day.”
It said unto the forest, “Shout!
Hang all your leafy banners out!”
It touched the wood-bird’s folded wing,
And said, “O bird, awake and sing.”

And o’er the farms, “O chanticleer,
Your clarion blow; the day is near.”
It whispered to the fields of corn,
“Bow down, and hail the coming morn.”
It shouted through the belfry-tower,
“Awake, O bell! proclaim the hour.”
It crossed the churchyard with a sigh,
And said, “Not yet! in quiet lie.”
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