The Wreck of the Hesperus by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Wreck of the Hesperus

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  • Publication Date: 1842-01-01
  • Genre: Poetry
5 Score: 5 (From 6 Ratings)

Book Synopsis

It is a story that presents the tragic consequences of a sea captain's pride. On an ill-fated voyage in winter, he brings his daughter aboard ship for company. The captain ignores the advice of one of his experienced men, who fears that a hurricane is approaching. When the storm arrives, the captain ties his daughter to the mast to prevent her from being swept overboard. She calls out to her dying father as she hears the surf beating on the shore, then prays to Christ to calm the seas. The ship crashes onto the reef of Norman's Woe and sinks; the next morning a horrified fisherman finds the daughter's body, still tied to the mast and drifting in the surf. The poem ends with a prayer that all be spared such a fate on the reef of Norman's Woe.

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