by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882)

The twilight is sad and cloudy
Language: English 
The twilight is sad and cloudy,
The wind blows wild and free,
And like the wings of [sea-birds]1
Flash the white caps of the sea.

But in the fisherman's cottage
There shines a ruddier light,
And a little face at the window
Peers out into the night.

Close, close it is pressed to the window,
As if those childish eyes
Were looking into the darkness,
To see some form arise.

And a woman's waving shadow
Is passing to and fro,
Now rising to the ceiling,
Now bowing and bending low.

What tale do the roaring ocean,
And the night-wind, bleak and wild,
As they beat at the crazy casement,
Tell to that little child?

And why do the roaring ocean,
And the night-wind, wild and bleak,
As they beat at the heart of the mother,
Drive the color from her cheek?

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Beach: "seagulls"

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)


Researcher for this text: Barbara Miller

This text was added to the website: 2005-08-03
Line count: 24
Word count: 141