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

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow By more Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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.

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