Beware! The Israelite of old, who tore
The lion in his path,–when, poor and blind,
He saw the blessed light of heaven no more,
Shorn of his noble strength and forced to grind
In prison, and at last led forth to be
A pander to Philistine revelry,–

Upon the pillars of the temple laid
His desperate hands, and in its overthrow
Destroyed himself, and with him those who made
A cruel mockery of his sightless woe;
The poor, blind Slave, the scoff and jest of all,
Expired, and thousands perished in the fall!

There is a poor, blind Samson in this land,
Shorn of his strength and bound in bonds of steel,
Who may, in some grim revel, raise his hand,
And shake the pillars of this Commonweal,
Till the vast Temple of our liberties.
A shapeless mass of wreck and rubbish lies.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem THE WARNING


  1. Rachel says:

    I think the poem clearly shows that justified anger can and will cause strength to those who have the integrity to stand up for their moral convictions. Modern society should indeed take heed—“we the people” are suffering from socio-political changes which are causing the erosion of the middle class and suffering to the “working poor”.

  2. Ruben Luna says:

    The Warning was a cool pome it talked about a man that had unbeleveible strength named Samson, must have ben hard to kill 1000 philistines with 1 goat skull.

  3. amanda lee says:

    i thought thi poem was moving…and since no one else but a comment i thought i would!

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