Saturday, January 17, 2009


We’re driven inside today by snow and cold. It’s a perfect day for reading and sipping cocoa by the fire. Here’s a wonderful poem by Longfellow that so well reflects my sense of traveling and adventure when I open a good book.

Travels by the Fireside

The ceaseless rain is falling fast,
And yonder gilded vane,
Immovable for three days past,
Points to the misty main,

It drives me in upon myself
And to the fireside gleams,
To pleasant books that crowd my shelf,
And still more pleasant dreams,

I read whatever bards have sung
Of lands beyond the sea,
And the bright days when I was young
Come thronging back to me.

In fancy I can hear again
The Alpine torrent's roar,
The mule-bells on the hills of Spain,
The sea at Elsinore.

I see the convent's gleaming wall
Rise from its groves of pine,
And towers of old cathedrals tall,
And castles by the Rhine.

I journey on by park and spire,
Beneath centennial trees,
Through fields with poppies all on fire,
And gleams of distant seas.

I fear no more the dust and heat,
No more I feel fatigue,
While journeying with another's feet
O'er many a lengthening league.

Let others traverse sea and land,
And toil through various climes,
I turn the world round with my hand
Reading these poets' rhymes.

From them I learn whatever lies
Beneath each changing zone,
And see, when looking with their eyes,
Better than with mine own.

--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Sherri said...

What a wonderful master he was. I don't remember reading this one before. Doesn't he paint glorious pictures for your mind?

willow said...

The Longfellow is perfect for today...and the fire, too! Stay warm!

Bee said...

I was just looking at some gorgeous pictures from Denmark . . . and thinking how lovely it was to experience them from my warm little study! Reading: such a comfortable way to travel!

Joanne said...

Really, this is the best way to travel! What comfort ...

Dave King said...

Lovely photograph, a perfect compliment to the poem.

Derrick said...

Hello Peggy,

I've always believed that travel is the greatest form of education but reading about it must come close!

Starlene said...

Peggy, I just want to tell you that visiting your blog reconnects me to the importance and depth of the ordinary moments within a busy life. Sometimes it really is just so hard to push past that resistance we feel to contentment because there's still something that's just not quite right. But this blog truly is a reminder to keep the extraordinary alive, as I'm sure you meant it to be. Thank you. : )

Peggy said...

Sherri, indeed he does! I love that he allows me to see things through his eyes.

Willow, while not my favorite American poet, Longfellow fits some of my moods. A snowbound day is one of them, equal to his heavier tone. :)

Bee and Joanne, the other nice thing is that we can CHOOSE where we want to go today!

Peggy said...

Dave, the picture is so cozy, isn't it?!

Derrick, I think reading is a different type of education. With a seven-year-old in school, I can't pick up and go all the wonderful places I'd love to visit, but reading not only allows me the adventure; it also let's me experience it through the words the author chooses. That, in itself, has the power to transport!

Peggy said...

Starlene, welcome. And thank you so much for your kinds words. These are the kinds of things that help me focus on the small but profound wonders that color my world. How lovely that you can appreciate them, too! :-) Drop in anytime.