In the long, sleepless watches of the night,
A gentle face — the face of one long dead —
Looks at me from the wall, where round its head
The night-lamp casts a halo of pale light.
Here in this room she died; and soul more white
Never through martyrdom of fire was led
To its repose; nor can in books be read
The legend of a life more benedight.
There is a mountain in the distant West
That, sun-defying, in its deep ravines
Displays a cross of snow upon its side.
Such is the cross I wear upon my breast
These eighteen years, through all the changingscenes

And seasons, changeless since the day she died.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem The Cross of Snow


  1. Dulce says:

    what a wonderful poem!! this truly emotionally touched me!.. this is now one of my favorite peoms 🙂

  2. cooper says:

    it is a great representation of puritan society. The author is certainly not naive and ingenuous. Amen.

  3. VR29 says:

    Longfellow lost his wife in a terrible tragedy 18 years prior to writing this poem. She died after her dress caught on fire as she was sealing envelopes with locks of their children’s hair in them with sealing wax and a candle. This occurred in the library of Craigie House in Cambridge, MA. Longfellow managed to extinguish the fire, but his wife, Fanny, died in agony days later. He was badly burnt in the fire on his face and hands and was never able to shave again, hence his flowing beard. He never recovered from this horrible grief.

  4. Amloy says:

    i would like to thank the author for this he made me feel special

  5. bob says:

    i didnt really understand this someone please enlighten me with a quick summary of what longfellow is trying to say

  6. DuskAngel says:

    I would have to agree that this poem is well written, and seems to imply a great meaning in it’s verses. Given the fact though, that some may not quite understand it’s sentimental value to one who has lost a special someone, I would have to argue that it is somewhat of a hard read for many people. Some don’t understand the way the it’s meanings are implied…

    All in all, I agree that it is worth reading over and over again, and I believe this is a great work.


  7. ur-shak says:

    Poem mean lot to ur-shak, make ur-shak feel better. ur-shak like feel good

  8. katrina says:

    i think this is a very meaningful poem. it is easily understood. i like it very much.

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