Longfellow Poems 5 & 6

Here are the last two of Longfellow’s six sonnets about Dante. Remember, Longfellow wasn’t Catholic, he was a Unitarian. Then read Sonnet V right to its lovely end.

Sonnet VI might be pointing to Italian history of the 1800’s but I don’t know for sure. I do know that there is lots of commentary about Dante’s poetry and its effect on the Italian language.  Check out lines 6-8.


I Lift mine eyes, and all the windows blaze
    With forms of saints and holy men who died,
    Here martyred and hereafter glorified;
    And the great Rose upon its leaves displays
Christ’s Triumph, and the angelic roundelays,
    With splendor upon splendor multiplied;
    And Beatrice again at Dante’s side
    No more rebukes, but smiles her words of praise.
And then the organ sounds, and unseen choirs
    Sing the old Latin hymns of peace and love
    And benedictions of the Holy Ghost;
And the melodious bells among the spires
    O’er all the house-tops and through heaven above
    Proclaim the elevation of the Host!


O star of morning and of liberty!
    O bringer of the light, whose splendor shines
    Above the darkness of the Apennines,
    Forerunner of the day that is to be!
The voices of the city and the sea,
    The voices of the mountains and the pines,
    Repeat thy song, till the familiar lines
    Are footpaths for the thought of Italy!
Thy fame is blown abroad from all the heights,
    Through all the nations; and a sound is heard,
    As of a mighty wind, and men devout,
Strangers of Rome, and the new proselytes,
    In their own language hear thy wondrous word,
    And many are amazed and many doubt.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s