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The Courtship of Miles Standish

The Courtship of Miles Standish by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
By: (1807-1882)

During the late nineteenth century and until the middle of the twentieth, many elementary classrooms in America featured (along with a Gilbert Stuart portrait of Washington) a black-and-white print of a group of New England pilgrims on their way to church, the men carrying their muskets. Every school child at that time was intimately acquainted with the story of the Mayflower and the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts. Among the historical figures, one of the best known was Captain Miles Standish, the military commander of the little “army,” which consisted of a bare handful of men, who repeatedly defeated many times their number of hostile Indians. The children also knew the friendly Indian Squanto and the young pilgrim gentleman John Alden and the lovely maiden Priscilla Mullins.
In the middle grades practically all students used to read Longfellow’s long narrative poem The Courtship of Miles Standish, telling the story of these real people. The plot is initiated by Standish’s request that his friend, the better educated and more eloquent Alden, plead his case for him and persuade Priscilla to marry this rough middle-aged widower. What the captain did not know was that John Alden was also deeply in love with the same young girl. Presentday readers will be impressed that the delightful Miss Mullins seems to be a quite modern young lady, with a mind of her own. Many hundreds of Americans trace their ancestry to John and Priscilla, whose descendants also include Presidents John and John Quincy Adams and Longfellow himself. Those who are not familiar with their romance will find it a most pleasant tale. (Introduction by Leonard Wilson)

First Page:

THE COMPLETE POETICAL WORKS OF HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW

(From the PUBLISHER'S NOTE: "The present Household Edition of Mr. Longfellow's Poetical Writings . . . contains all his original verse that he wished to preserve, and all his translations except the Divina Commedia. The poems are printed as nearly as possible in chronological order . . . Boston, Autumn, 1902." Houghton Mifflin Company.)

CONTENTS. VOICES OF THE NIGHT. Prelude Hymn to the Night A Psalm of Life The Reaper and the Flowers The Light of Stars Footsteps of Angels Flowers The Beleaguered City Midnight Mass for the Dying Year EARLIER POEMS. An April Day Autumn Woods in Winter Hymn of the Moravian Nuns of Bethlehem Sunrise on the Hills The Spirit of Poetry Burial of the Minnisink L'Envoi BALLADS AND OTHER POEMS. The Skeleton in Armor The Wreck of the Hesperus The Village Blacksmith Endymion It is not Always May The Rainy Day God's Acre To the River Charles Blind Bartimeus The Goblet of Life Maidenhood Excelsior POEMS ON SLAVERY... Continue reading book >>


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