One of the most beloved American poets of all time, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was also an important figure in the history of American architecture. His home, Longfellow House, a classic example of Georgian Colonial architecture, still stands beautifully in Massachusetts today. In Longfellow's time, it was a frequent stop for dignitaries and celebrities of the day and served as headquarters for General George Washington during the Siege of Boston.
Clean shaven most of his life, Longfellow grew the familiar beard to cover scars from burns incurred in a fire which claimed the life of his wife in 1861. In 1879, a female admirer traveled to Longfellow's house in Cambridge and, unaware to whom she was speaking, asked Longfellow: "Is this the house where Longfellow was born?" Longfellow told her it was not. The visitor then asked if he had died there. "Not yet", he replied. The beautiful structure today remains, as does Longfellow, an American treasure. The words of his classic work The Builders embodies what we at Hyperion 1 aspire to achieve in our work.
All are architects of Fate,
Working in these walls of Time;
Some with massive deeds and great,
Some with ornaments of rhyme.
Nothing useless is, or low;
Each thing in its place is best;
And what seems but idle show
Strengthens and supports the rest.
For the structure that we raise,
Time is with materials filled;
Our to-days and yesterdays
Are the blocks with which we build.
Truly shape and fashion these;
Leave no yawning gaps between;
Think not, because no man sees,
Such things will remain unseen.
In the elder days of Art,
Builders wrought with greatest care
Each minute and unseen part;
For the Gods see everywhere.
Let us do our work as well,
Both the unseen and the seen;
Make the house, where Gods may dwell,
Beautiful, entire, and clean.
Else our lives are incomplete,
Standing in these walls of Time,
Broken stairways, where the feet
Stumble as they seek to climb.
Build to-day, then, strong and sure,
With a firm and ample base;
And ascending and secure
Shall to-morrow find its place.
Thus alone can we attain
To those turrets, where the eye
Sees the world as one vast plain,
And one boundless reach of sky.