From 1826-1829 he travelled throughout Europe studying Italian, Spanish and French. Over the next ten years he added German, Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Dutch, Portugese and Old Icelandic to his repertoire. In 1834 he accepted the position of Smith Professor of Modern Language at Harvard. During 1842 he spent time with the legendary Charles Dickens in Boston, and later visited him in London.
Actually there is not enough space in this article to write about all the amazing things this man achieved in his lifetime. But you may be asking at this point," What has he to do with our Asatru religion?" Well this wonderous man of poetry and prose published, in November of 1863, a series of poems called the Tales of the Wayside Inn. In this collection are Norse tales based on Heimskringla and the Eddas. You will find such wonderful poems as: Thora of Rimol, Queen Sigrid the Haughty, The Skerry of Shrieks, The Wraith of Odin, Raud the Strong, and my personal favorite, The Challenge of Thor, in which our Red Thor challenges the White Christ . It is a wonderful poem !
One of his best known poems is the Song of Hiawatha. Like most of you, I read this beautiful poem when I was in grade school along with works by, Melville, Twain and Dickens. He also wrote Tegner's Drapa based on the death of Balder and a number of Germanic poems which I list below:
Annie of Tharaw, Beware !, The Belfry of Bruges, The Bird and the Ship, The Black Knight, The Castle by the Sea, Carillon, The Dead, The Elected Knight, The Hemlock Tree, The Happiest Land, King Witlaf's Drinking Horn, King Christian, The Legend of the Crossbill, To an Old Danish Song Book, The Grave, Song of the Bell, The Statue over the Cathedral Door, The Skeleton in Armor, The Sea Hath its Pearls, Song of the Silent Land, The Wave and Wither ? Etc. Etc. Etc......
This great man, great American, became ill with peritonitis and died at his home on March 24th, 1882. This wonderfully creative man, who met, and or, knew as friends, Oscar Wilde, U.S.Grant, Franz Liszt, Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Washington Irving, William Cullen Bryant and Charles Dickens wrote some of the most beautiful poetry ever produced here in America. We of Germanic / Scandinavian heritage should feel proud and lucky that this talented man wrote poems about our history and culture. I personally thank the Gods and Goddesses for this man and his body of work.
If you have read his poems then I am sure you know how wonderful he was at his art. If you have never had the joy, then I would encourage you to pick up a copy of his complete poetry. Softcovers sell for under 20 dollars. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a great master of his craft for his time and all time !
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love and Thor's protection !