Famous Death Poem

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) wrote a lot of light-hearted poems, but this is one of the more somber ones. This poem contain symbolism: the short days of February are compared to sadness. Both are dark and feel lifeless. Even the short length of each line contributes to the tone of this poem and the connection to the short February days. The Rhyme Scheme is AABC.

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Afternoon In February

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The day is ending,
The night is descending;
The marsh is frozen,
The river dead.

Through clouds like ashes
The red sun flashes
On village windows
That glimmer red.

The snow recommences;
The buried fences
Mark no longer
The road o'er the plain;

While through the meadows,
Like fearful shadows,
Slowly passes
A funeral train.

The bell is pealing,
And every feeling
Within me responds
To the dismal knell;

Shadows are trailing,
My heart is bewailing
And tolling within
Like a funeral bell.

more Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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