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Longfellow's writing desk at Wadsworth-Longfellow House, Portland, Me
Longfellow's writing desk at Wadsworth-Longfellow House, Portland, Me

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Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Was Born
February 27, 1807

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere

"Paul Revere's Ride" was published in Tales of a Wayside Inn in 1863. Paul Revere was the patriot who rode on horseback through the Massachusetts towns of Lexington and Concord warning of the upcoming British attack. Longfellow's poems were also popular in Europe. After he died in 1882, he became the only American commemorated in the Poet's Corner in England's Westminster Abbey.

While Longfellow was a professor at Harvard University, he lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his second wife, Fanny Appleton, (his first wife died) and his six children. One day, while he was at home, something happened that inspired him to write a poem about his children.

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