The Courtship of Miles Standish by Longfellow

The Courtship of Miles Standish

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This narrative poem written in 1858 by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow tells a charming tale of a courtship during the early days of Plymouth Colony, the colonial settlement established in America by the Mayflower Pilgrims.

Standish Index

John Alden stays in Plymouth to protect Priscilla in Longfellow's poem The Courtship of Miles Standish.

Image from page 68 of
The Courtship of Miles Standish, illustrated by Howard Chandler Christy
(Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1903). From the Internet Archive Book Images on

  1. Miles Standish
  2. Love and Friendship
  3. The Lover’s Errand
  4. John Alden
  5. The Sailing of the Mayflower
  6. Priscilla
  7. The March of Miles Standish
  8. The Spinning Wheel
  9. The Wedding Day

The Courtship of Miles Standish: A 1949 performance

There was also a 1923 movie of The Courtship of Miles Standish, but I did not find a good online source for it.

Was Miles Standish a real person?

There actually was a real person named Myles Standish in New England, and it appears that Longfellow, a descendent of John Alden, crafted the poem around around a family legend about the famous courtship triangle.

Myles Standish (c. 1584 – 1656) was an English military officer hired by the Pilgrims as military adviser for Plymouth Colony. He accompanied them on the Mayflower journey and played a leading role in the administration and defense of Plymouth Colony from its beginning. Standish eventually became the first commander in chief of the Plymouth Colony militia and held that position for the rest of his life.

Other poetry by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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