As a poet and as a human being, Longfellow was rather a shining example of insight, strength, optimism, courage, and good coming from the forging fires of sorrow, loss, grief, and great struggle. While many poets’ words live on because of their artistry, I would argue that Longfellow’s words live on more because of their heart and unending perseverance, hope, and faith in the face of tragedy and disappointment. “In “Loss and Gain” Longfellow writes of regret, of longing, of the wisdom born of humility, and of the hope that can come when we have faith in the future” (original source unknown).
I find encouragement in his words here shared, the kind of encouragement that helps me to hold onto hope another day in the face of my own loss and grief.
Originally published 19 December 2017.
Loss and Gain
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
When I compare
What I have lost with what I have gained,
What I have missed with what attained,
Little room do I find for pride.
I am aware
How many days have been idly spent;
How like an arrow the good intent
Has fallen short or been turned aside.
But who shall dare
To measure loss and gain in this wise?
Defeat may be victory in disguise;
The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.