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Page 344

GREAT AMERICAN AUTHORS
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), most loved of our poets, spent his boyhood amid the scenes of the beautiful harbor of Portland, Maine. It was to him a source of inspiration, as it was later to Robert Peary, the discoverer of the North Pole. They looked upon the islands of Casco Bay and upon the ships passing out from Portland on their way to the uttermost reaches of ocean, and the magic and mystery of these far-travelers and of the sea roused in these boys the spirit of adventure.
Longfel_low, too, like Peary, was to become a discoverer. He was to cross the sea and bring back stories and legends from the old world, to become the first to interpret the civilization of Europe for the benefit of America. From his love of the sea he was to write a patriotic poem, "The Building of the Ship," in which he compared the nation to a ship, a poem that nerved the tired heart of Lincoln in the darkest days of war. He was to write ballads of the sea, and the sea was to be a constant source of inspiration in many of his poems.
Most of Longfellow's active years were spent as professor of modern languages, first at Bodoin College in Maine, and later at Harvard College, Cambridge, where he lived in the historic Craigie House overlooking the Charles River-a house in which

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