Verse > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow > Complete Poetical Works
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882).  Complete Poetical Works.  1893.
 
A Book of Sonnets
Eliot’s Oak
 
THOU ancient oak! whose myriad leaves are loud
  With sounds of unintelligible speech,
  Sounds as of surges on a shingly beach,
  Or multitudinous murmurs of a crowd;
With some mysterious gift of tongues endowed,        5
  Thou speakest a different dialect to each;
  To me a language that no man can teach,
  Of a lost race, long vanished like a cloud.
For underneath thy shade, in days remote,
  Seated like Abraham at eventide        10
  Beneath the oaks of Mamre, the unknown
Apostle of the Indians, Eliot, wrote
  His Bible in a language that hath died
  And is forgotten, save by thee alone.
 
 
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