Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born on February 27, 1807, in Portland, Maine. He became a Harvard scholar versed in several European languages. He was heavily influenced by romanticism and became famous as a poet and novelist with works like Hyperion, Poems on Slavery, Evangeline, and The Song of Hiawatha. He also translated Dante’s Divine Comedy, an ambitious, considerably difficult task. Longfellow died on March 24, 1882, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Longfellow’s poem The Building of the Ship is allegorical to the building of a country, in particular the United States. It was first published in 1850. Excerpts of the Delaware Historical Society’s edition, which is from 1870, are as follows:
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