Considered one of the fireside poets from New England, the American poet who composed “A Day of Sunshine” is Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 - March 24, 1882). It begins “A gift of God! O perfect day:/ Whereon it is enough for me,/ Not to be doing, but to be!”

Later in the poem, Longfellow invites us to listen when he says, “I hear the wind among the trees/Playing celestial symphonies;”/

He spent his life in New England, born in Portland, Maine which was still part of Massachusetts at the time. He died in Cambridge Massachusetts. In addition to being a prolific poet he was a professor at Bowdoin College, located in Brunswick, Maine and then later at Harvard College.

When he retired from teaching in 1854, he lived the remainder of his life in the Revolutionary War headquarters of George Washington in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Longfellow composed many lyric poems known for their musicality often presenting stories of mythology and legend. A few of his most commonly known works include “Paul Revere’s Ride”, “The Song of Hiawatha” and “Evangeline”.

Of note, Longfellow was descended from English colonists who settled in New England in the early 1600s, including pilgrims who arrived on the “Mayflower”.

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