Famous Death Poem

The Cross of Snow, a Sonnet, is an expression of grief by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow over the tragic death of his wife by fire. The poem was written eighteen years after her death. While trying to save her, Longfellow was burnt on his face. After which he stopped shaving and grew the distinctive beard which he is known by.

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The Cross Of Snow

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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 deep 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.

more Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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