My sister as a wee child was obliged to learn some Longfellow, and I believe that was what I remember seeing at her school recital in England - many children reciting at once. Later she taught it to me (at that point in Canada), though I only remember a bit as it was 55 years ago. There's just something about Longfellow. Perhaps my early initiation into his rhythms causes me to like his verse.
A tiny bit:
By the shores of Gitchee Gumee,
By the shining big-Sea-Water,
Stood the wigwam of Nokomis,
Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis.
Dark behind it rose the forest,
Rose the black and gloomy pine-trees,
Rose the firs with cones upon them;
Bright before it beat the water,
Beat the clear and sunny water,
Beat the shining Big-Sea-Water.
There the wrinkled old Nokomis
Nursed the little Hiawatha,
Rocked him in his linden cradle,
Bedded soft in moss and rushes,
Safely bound with reindeer sinews;
Stilled his fretful wail by saying,
“Hush! the Naked Bear will hear thee!”
Lulled him into slumber, singing,
“Ewa-yea! my little owlet!
Who is this, that lights the wigwam?
With his great eyes lights the wigwam?
Ewa-yea! my little owlet!”
I used to wonder what people who didn't know any poetry did in waiting rooms, but now people have the anti-poetry or perhaps anti-cogitation assister, their phone.
A fun way to write.