top of page

Evangeline: Prolog

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


This is the forest primeval.

The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,

Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,

Stand like druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic,

Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.

Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean

Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.

This is the forest primeval; but where are the hearts that beneath it

Leaped like the roe when he hears in the woodland the voice of the huntsman?

Where is the thatch-roofed village, the home of Acadian farmers―

Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water the woodlands,

Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an image of heaven?

Waste are those pleasant farms, and the farmers forever departed!

Scattered like dust and leaves when the mighty blasts of October

Seize them, and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them far o'er the ocean.

Naught but tradition remains of the beautiful village of Grand-Pré.


Ye who believe in affection that hopes, and endures, and is patient,

Ye who believe in the beauty and strength of woman's devotion,

List to the mournful tradition still sung by the pines of the forest;

List to a Tale of Love in Acadie, home of the happy.

Evangeline, Longfellow's Epic poem with over 17,000 words, is present in its entirety on our website. The purpose for which is to enrich vocabulary and foster literary appreciation. It is accessible to Diamond, Gold, and Palladium members.


  • To listen to the poem, double left click on the first word of the beginning paragraph then, from the drop-down menu, right click and choose "Read aloud from here."

  • To hear definitions, double left click on a word then left click on the 3 dots that will appear above it, then click again on "define."

  • To increase culture awareness, get informed or be entertained, click on any word of the poem then choose "Search in sidebar for [that word.]" You'll see definitions, images, and videos.  

      Depicted below is a Dutch translation.

Highlighted word in Dutch shown in Sidebar in 2 languages


  • ​To listen on a smartphone, press on the bottom of your display and drag downward to reveal three linear dots or parallel lines, then tap on "Read aloud" from the chart menu. The voice controls will appear atop your screen.

bottom of page