Evangeline and Gabriel
(America's Romeo and Juliet)
Longfellow's Evangeline - the Epic Poem
Immortalized by Henry Wadsworth
Longfellow's 1847 poem "Evangeline",
Evangeline and Gabriel, a betrothed
Acadian couple, are separated when forced
out of their homeland (Nova Scotia).
Evangeline's long and meandering search
for Gabriel brings her to the Atchafalaya
Basin, where at one point, the lovers' boats
unwittingly glide past one another.
Arriving in the Poste des Attakapas, or the
area of present-day St. Martinville,
Evangeline is reunited with Gabriel's
father, only to be "irrevocably barred from
this pastoral paradise" when she learns of
Gabriel's recent departure and marriage.
According to legend, after hearing this
news, she is said to have died of a broken heart
beneath the moss laden branches of
the Evangeline Oak.