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A Day of Sunshine
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


O gift of God! O perfect day:
Whereon shall no man work, but play;
Whereon it is enough for me,
Not to be doing, but to be!
Through every fibre of my brain,
Through every nerve, through every vein,
I feel the electric thrill, the touch
Of life, that seems almost too much.
I hear the wind among the trees
Playing celestial symphonies;
I see the branches downward bent,
Like keys of some great instrument.
And over me unrolls on high
The splendid scenery of the sky,
Where through a sapphire sea the sun
Sails like a golden galleon,
Towards yonder cloud-land in the West,
Towards yonder Islands of the Blest,
Whose steep sierra far uplifts
Its craggy summits white with drifts.
Blow, winds! and waft through all the rooms
The snow-flakes of the cherry-blooms!
Blow, winds! and bend within my reach
The fiery blossoms of the peach!
O Life and Love! O happy throng
Of thoughts, whose only speech is song!
O heart of man! canst thou not be
Blithe as the air is, and as free?

This poem is in the public domain.


Most experts would agree that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was the most popular American poet of the nineteenth century. A family man who suffered much tragedy in his personal life,  Longfellow was the first of a group of writers known as the "Fireside Poets," called such for their popularity with families all over the country who gathered by the fire in the evenings to read the work of these poets aloud. Longfellow published poetry over a forty year period, and enjoyed public adulation in line with that of rock stars and celebrities today.


Post New Comment:
Great mastery of the language to pull off this faultless rhyme scheme in flawless ionic tetrameter
Posted 03/25/2020 03:31 PM
Linda Lee Konichek:
He makes me realize how blessed we are!
Posted 03/25/2020 03:31 PM
"The splendid scenery of the sky" Lots of beautiful images in this poem. Love it!!!
Posted 03/25/2020 12:05 PM
A beautiful poem, so uplifting! Just what we need these days.
Posted 03/25/2020 11:39 AM
michael escoubas:
Near perfect iambic tetrameter, and the rhyme-scheme make this poem an artistic entree still resonating far beyond the dreams of even the poet himself. Wonderful post Jayne!
Posted 03/25/2020 10:58 AM
Doesn't that make us all feel wealthy -- all those riches available to us!
Posted 03/25/2020 08:48 AM
Gilbert Allen:
That third stanza is remarkable. How lovely!
Posted 03/25/2020 08:14 AM
Larry Schug:
"Whereon shall no man work, but play;" Kurt Vonnegut once said (paraphrased)"We were put here to fart around"--a great choice of poem for a Spring day.
Posted 03/25/2020 07:34 AM

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