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Tuesday, 18 August 2015

F for From My Armchair.

From My Arm-Chair.  by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

'To the children of Cambridge. who presented to me, on my Seventy Second Birthday, February 27th 1879, this chair from the wood of the village Chestnut Tree'.

 The tree was cut down due to safety concerns. The children of Cambridge Massachusetts US. raised money to have a chair constructed from it's wood and presented it to Longfellow on his birthday.


From My Arm-Chair.

Am I as a king, that I should call my own this splendid ebon throne?  

Or by what reason, or what right divine,

can I proclaim it mine                           

Only perhaps, by right divine of song

  It may to me belong ,

Only because the spreading chestnut tree

Of old was sung by me.

Well I remember it in all its prime, when in summertime

The affluent foliage of its branches made

A cavern of cool shade.

There by the blacksmith's forge beside

the street

It's blossoms white and sweet

Enticed the bees, until it seemed alive,

And murmured like a hive.

 And when the winds of Autumn, with a shout

 Tossed its great arms about.

 The shining chestnuts, bursting from the sheath.


 Dropped to the ground beneath.


And now some  fragments of its branches bare, Shaped as a stately chair,

 Have by my hearthstone found a home at last.

 And whisper of the past.


The Danish King could not in all his pride

 Repel the ocean tide,

 But seated in this chair, I can in rhyme

 Roll back the tides of Time.


 I see again in one vision sees,

 The blossom and  the bees,

 And hear the children's voices shout and call,

 And the brown chestnuts fall.


I see the smithy with its fires aglow,

 I hear the bellows blow.

 And the shrill hammers on the anvil beat The iron white with heat!

 And thus dear children have ye made for me

 This day a jubilee,

 And to my more than three score years and ten

 Brought back my youth again.

 The hearth has its early memory like the mind,

 And in it are enshrined The precious keepsakes, into which are wrought

 The giver's loving thought.

 Only your love and your remembrance could

 Give life to this dead wood, And make these branches, leafless now so long, Blossom again in song. 

My sincere thanks to the Fabulous Denise for devising ABCW and also to the Fair-minded Roger for his never Failing efforts in the administration of ABCW.
 Thanks also go out to the team of helpers too! 
Best wishes to all Di. x  





  1. Fabulous! Thanks for sharing this fair poem. I enjoyed reading it.

  2. Beautiful poem, Di. I'd never read this before and it gives me goose bumps considering I'm getting closer and closer each day to that 3 score and 10...

    abcw team

  3. Hi Ellen,
    I'm so pleased you liked this poem,
    Longfellow is a wonderful writer, I've probably
    read most of his works.
    Hope all is well with your son and family, re the
    forest fires, they are in my thoughts.
    Best wishes,
    ABCW team.

  4. Hi Lesley,
    Did you read my take on The Village Blacksmith by Longfellow, for ABCW a few
    rounds ago?
    It links in with this poem, but I can't find it but you could google it.
    I'm not so far from three score and ten too !

    Love Di. xxx
    ABCW team.

  5. Leslie: Dec 2nd 2014 is the post about The Blacksmith and The Spreading Chestnut Tree, on my Trubes site,
    Sorry, I spelt your name incorrectly re last reply,
    Di. xxx

  6. A lovely thank you for a beautiful gift. It seems these days at three score years and ten we are still making memories!

  7. This is so beautiful and touching.
    Love the way you have presented the pics in the post.

  8. With each Wednesdays, I try to explore the possibilities of the writers and poets who shall be there in the post! Lovely read as usual.

  9. Luckily for the Danish king, there was no tsunami.

  10. Lovely, Di - cheered my morning no end! XX

  11. What a wonderful story of two gifts and the craft of words and wood. I wonder if the chair still exists.

  12. Rajesh:
    Thank you for your kind words,

    best wishes,

    ABCW team,

  13. To all the kind people who left a comment I apologise that
    I haven't the time to reply individually at present, due
    to family commitments, child minding etc.

    However, my sincere thanks for all the lovely and kind
    comments that have been left, they are most appreciated.
    Your friend in blogging and on ABCW team,

    best wishes,
    Di. xx

    ABCW team.

  14. Through Longfellow's poetic voice, I can hear how humbled and honored he was by such a special gift. Thank you for sharing this inspirational poem. Blessings, my friend!

  15. This is the first poem by Longfellow that I have read all the way to the end. It's beautiful. I can hear how touched he was by the children. That is so amazing. I must go read more about the chair, Longfellow, and the children. Thanks, Di, for your post. I may not have ever discovered the beauty in Longfellow at all.

  16. Arnoldo:
    Thanks for your. kind comments, It is a most touching poem, I love it and I'm so pleased that you liked it too!
    Blessings to you Arnoldo,
    ABCW team.

  17. Su-sieee, Good to hear from again.
    If you scroll down on my 'Trubes' blog site to Dec. 2014 (right side-bar) you will see another of Longfellow's works called The Blacksmith, it connects with this later poem.There he talks of the 'spreading chestnut tree', which, incidentally, we used to sing of at infant school.
    I have read much of Longfellow's works and life, I feel a lot of it connects with his real life.
    He had a good life but at times, it was tinged with deep sadness, which like many of his contemporaries he reflected in some of his work.
    I hope you enjoy my rendition of The Blacksmith, it's one that brings a tear to my eye each time I read it.
    Best wishes,
    ABCW team.

  18. Not to worry about responding, Trubes. Take that time to replenish your soul and spirit! I studied this poem as a youth, but appreciated it with new understanding today. What a beautiful post!

  19. I feel ashamed to say that I haven't read one of Longfellow's works. I shall do my best to look for his works.
    Thanks for your comment, Di!
    Winston Churchill was a much admired man by my parents too. He was born in this grand palace where his mother stayed for a holiday. His life had a very special start.
    Have a great week Di!
    Wil, ABCW Team

  20. Very nice poem ! Indeed cat Arthur is the King, that's why we call him "Sir" lol !

  21. Firstly my apologies for a late comment, i have been far to busy repairing my blog after a moval from one host to another... and taking care of other things that needed to be taken care of since my husband and i have health issues at the same time.

    Your post reads like a historielesson, again i learn things i did not know ;-)

    have a nice weekend

    Melody (abc-w-team)

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I usually like to reply to your comments but for some reason when i do post a reply it just diappears, any advice would be most welcome,Thanks Di x

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