Santa Filomena


    Whene'er a noble deed is wrought,
    Whene'er is spoken a noble thought,
         Our hearts, in glad surprise,
         To higher levels rise.

    The tidal wave of deeper souls
    Into our inmost being rolls,
         And lifts us unawares
         Out of all meaner cares.

    Honor to those whose words or deeds
    Thus help us in our daily needs,
         And by their overflow
         Raise us from what is low!

    Thus thought I, as by night I read
    Of the great army of the dead,
         The trenches cold and damp,
         The starved and frozen camp,--

    The wounded from the battle-plain,
    In dreary hospitals of pain,
         The cheerless corridors,
         The cold and stony floors.

    Lo! in that house of misery
    A lady with a lamp I see
         Pass through the glimmering gloom,
         And flit from room to room.

    And slow, as in a dream of bliss,
    The speechless sufferer turns to kiss
         Her shadow, as it falls
         Upon the darkening walls.

    As if a door in heaven should be
    Opened and then closed suddenly,
         The vision came and went,
         The light shone and was spent.

    On England's annals, through the long
    Hereafter of her speech and song,
         That light its rays shall cast
         From portals of the past.

    A Lady with a Lamp shall stand
    In the great history of the land,
         A noble type of good,
         Heroic womanhood.

    Nor even shall be wanting here
    The palm, the lily, and the spear,
         The symbols that of yore
         Saint Filomena bore.


facebook share button twitter share button google plus share button tumblr share button reddit share button email share button share on pinterest pinterest

Create a library and add your favorite stories. Get started by clicking the "Add" button.
Add Santa Filomena to your own personal library.

Return to the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Home Page, or . . . Read the next poem; Seaweed

Anton Chekhov
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Susan Glaspell
Mark Twain
Edgar Allan Poe
Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Herman Melville
Stephen Leacock
Kate Chopin
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson