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Heard on the winding waters, eve and morn;
She kissed me, saying, 'Thou art fair, my child,
As a king's son,' and often in her arms
She bare me, pacing on the dusky mere.
Would she had drowned me in it, where'er it be !
For what am I? what profits me my name
Of greatest knight? I fought for it, and have;
Pleasure to have it, none; to lose it, pain;
Now grown a part of me: but what use in it?
To make men worse by making my sin known?
Or sin seem less, the sinner seeming great?
Alas for Arthur's greatest knight, a man

Not after Arthur's heart! I needs must break
These bonds that so defame me: not without
She wills it would I, if she willed? nay,
Who knows? but if I would not, then may God,
I pray him, send a sudden Angel down
To seize me by the hair and bear me far,
And fling me deep in that forgotten mere,
Among the tumbled fragments of the hills."

So groaned Sir Lancelot in remorseful pain,
Not knowing he should die a holy man.






2. Astolat, Guildford, capital of the county of Surrey, 17 miles southwest of London.

4. Lancelot was one of the most famous of the Knights of the Round Table. 22. Caerlyle, now Carlisle, capital of the county of Cumberland, in the extreme northwest of England. It was originally a Roman station called Luguvallum, which the Saxons abbreviated to Luel. The Britons prefixed caer, castle or city; and hence the present name.

23. Caerleon, Castle of the Legion, the ancient capital of Wales. Near the modern town is what is popularly called "Arthur's Round Table," which some suppose to be an ancient Roman amphitheatre. - Camelot is the name of a steep hill in the county of Somerset, where are the remains of a camp, called " King Arthur's Palace."

32. Arthur, a son of Uther Pendragon, king of the Britons in 516. Uther having died, Arthur, at the age of 15 or 18, ascended the throne, and in his successful wars with the Saxons, Picts, and Scots, acquired great renown, and thus became the hero of many a legend. At the battle of Mount Badon, the modern Bath (see ver. 280), he is said to have slain 470 Saxons with his good sword Caliburn and his lance Ron. At York he is said to have introduced the Christian worship. Here also he married his queen Guinevere. After pushing his conquests over Ireland and into Norway

and Gaul, he returned and was crowned at Caerleon. Having been mortally wounded in a battle in Cornwall with his nephew Modred, he withdrew to the island or peninsula of Avalon, in Somersetshire, on which is situated the modern town of Glastonbury, and died there in 542.

54. Scaur, cliff or precipice; the same word etymologically as scar. Cf. A.-S. scer an, to shear, to cut off.

95. Lets, hinders; A.-S. lett an, to hinder. Cf. Isa. xliii. 13: "I will work and who shall let it?" Rom. i. 13: "But was let hitherto."

161. Barren-beaten, a participle modified by an adjective used adverbially. 203. Lustihood, here a dissyllable. Cf. likelihood, 366.

280. Badon hill. See n. on Arthur, ver. 32.

339. Rathe, early, soon; A.-S. rathe and hrathe. Hence our compar. rather 437. Samite, a kind of silk fabric; Old Fr. samit, from Greek ë§, six, and μɩros, thread.

1004. Make, compose; A.-S. mac ian. The Old English for poet was maker. 1415. Mere; A.-S. mere, a pool, a lake.

Tennyson uses the license which grammarians allow to poets, with great freedom. They will hardly pass such expressions as The one-day-seen, ver. 748, and The nine-years-fought-for, ver. 1170, whatever they may think of such expressions as barren-beaten, ver. 161.

He is equally free with his rhythm. There are passages scattered through the poem which if written as prose would not in reading be recognized as a poetic rhythm. Thus, vv. 281-483: "O there, great Lord, doubtless, Lavaine said, rapt by all the sweet and sudden passion of youth toward greatness in its elder." And, VV. 580-586: " Lord, no sooner had you parted from us than Lancelot told me of a common talk that men went down before his spear at a touch, but knowing he was Lancelot ; his great name conquered; and therefore would he hide his name from all men, even the king, and to this end had made the pretext of a hindering wound." This is poor prose so far as the rhythm is concerned, and poorer poetry.


HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW, son of Hon. Stephen Longfellow, was born in Portland, Maine, February 27, 1807. At the age of 14 he entered Bowdoin College. During his college course he wrote a number of smaller poems, which were afterwards published. He distinguished himself as a scholar, and was graduated in 1825. He was appointed Professor of Modern Languages and Literature in that institution, with the privilege of residing for several years abroad, and in 1826 sailed for Europe. After spending a year in France and Spain, and two years in Italy and Germany, he returned in 1880 and entered on the duties of his professorship. In 1885 he was appointed to a life professorship at Harvard College, and having spent 17 years in its duties there, he resigned in 1854, and has since resided in Cambridge. He published his "Outre Mer" in 1835; "Hyperion " and " Voices of the Night" in 1839; "Ballads and other Poems" in 1841; "Poems on Slavery In 1842; "The Spanish Student" in 1843; "Poets and Poetry of Europe " in 1845; "The Belfry of Bruges and other Poems" in 1846; "Evangeline" in 1847; *Kavanagh, "2 a novel, in 1849; "Seaside and Fireside" in 1850; "The Golden Legend" in 1851; "The Song of Hiawatha" in 1855; "The Courtship of Miles Standish " in 1858; a translation of Dante in 1867.


The selections for this work are inserted under the expressed permission of the publishers of Professor Longfellow's works, Messrs. Ticknor and Fields of Boston.


SHOULD you ask me, whence these stories?
Whence these legends and traditions,
With the odors of the forest,
With the dew and damp of meadows,
With the curling smoke of wigwams,
With the rushing of great rivers,
With their frequent repetitions,
And their wild reverberations,
As of thunder in the mountains?

I should answer, I should tell you,
From the forests and the prairies,
From the great lakes of the Northland,
From the land of the Ojibways,
From the land of the Dacotahs,

From the mountains, moors, and fen-lands,
Where the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah,
Feeds among the reeds and rushes.
I repeat them as I heard them
From the lips of Nawadaha,

The musician, the sweet singer.”
Should you ask where Nawadaha
Found these songs, so wild and wayward,
Found these legends and traditions,
I should answer, I should tell you,
"In the bird's-nests of the forest,
In the lodges of the beaver,
In the hoof-prints of the bison,
In the eyry of the eagle !

"All the wild-fowl sang them to him,
In the moorlands and the fen-lands,
In the melancholy marshes;
Chetowaik, the plover, sang them,
Mahng, the loon, the wild-goose, Wawa,
The blue heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah,
And the grouse, the Mushkodasa ! "

If still further you should ask me,
Saying, "Who was Nawadaha?
Tell us of this Nawadaha,"
I should answer your inquiries

Straightway in such words as follow.
"In the Vale of Tawasentha,
In the green and silent valley,
By the pleasant water-courses,
Dwelt the singer Nawadaha.
Round about the Indian village
Spread the meadows and the cornfields,
And beyond them stood the forest,
Stood the groves of singing pine-trees,
Green in Summer, white in Winter,
Ever sighing, ever singing.

"And the pleasant water-courses, You could trace them through the valley, By the rushing in the Spring-time, By the alders in the Summer, By the white fog in the Autumn, By the black line in the Winter; And beside them dwelt the singer, In the Vale of Tawasentha, In the green and silent valley.

"There he sang of Hiawatha, Sang the Song of Hiawatha, Sang his wondrous birth and being, How he prayed and how he fasted, How he lived, and toiled, and suffered, That the tribes of men might prosper, That he might advance his people!"

Ye who love the haunts of Nature, Love the sunshine of the meadow, Love the shadow of the forest, Love the wind among the branches, And the rain-shower and the snow-storm, And the rushing of great rivers, Through their palisades of pine-trees, And the thunder in the mountains, Whose innumerable echoes Flap like eagles in their eyries; Listen to these wild traditions, To this Song of Hiawatha !

Ye who love a nation's legends, Love the ballads of a people,

That like voices from afar off
Call to us to pause and listen,
Speak in tones so plain and childlike,
Scarcely can the ear distinguish
Whether they are sung or spoken; –
Listen to this Indian Legend,
To the Song of Hiawatha!

Ye whose hearts are fresh and simple,
Who have faith in God and Nature,
Who believe, that in all ages

Every human heart is human,
That in even savage bosoms
There are longings, yearnings, strivings
For the good they comprehend not,
That the feeble hands and helpless,
Groping blindly in the darkness

Touch God's right hand in that darkness
And are lifted up and strengthened;
Listen to this simple story,
To the Song of Hiawatha!

Ye, who sometimes, in your rambles
Through the green lanes of the country
Where the tangled barberry-bushes
Hang their tufts of crimson berries
Over stone walls gray with mosses,
Pause by some neglected graveyard,
For a while, to muse and ponder
On a half-effaced inscription,
Written with little skill of song-craft,
Homely phrases, but each letter
Full of hope and yet of heart-break,
Full of all the tender pathos
Of the Here and the Hereafter;
Stay and read this rude inscription,
Read the Song of Hiawatha!



DOWNWARD through the evening twilight, In the days that are forgotten,

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