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480 Works of John Greenleaf Whittier

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Yankee Gypsies

Story type: Literature

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“Here’s to budgets, packs, and wallets; Here’s to all the wandering train.” BURNS.(1) I CONFESS it, I am keenly sensitive to “skyey influences.” (2) I profess no indifference to the movements of that capricious old gentleman known as the clerk of the weather. I cannot conceal my interest in the behavior of that patriarchal bird […]

The Boy Captives

Story type: Literature

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An Incident of the Indian War of 1695 THE township of Haverhill, even as late as the close of the seventeenth century, was a frontier settlement, occupying an advanced position in the great wilderness, which, unbroken by the clearing of a white man, extended from the Merrimac River to the French villages on the St. […]

The return of the festival of our national independence has called our attention to a matter which has been very carefully kept out of sight by orators and toast-drinkers. We allude to the participation of colored men in the great struggle for American freedom. It is not in accordance with our taste or our principles […]

From a letter on the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, December 22, 1870. No one can appreciate more highly than myself the noble qualities of the men and women of the Mayflower. It is not of them that I, a descendant of the “sect called Quakers,” have […]

“The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceeding small; Though with patience He stands waiting, with exactness grinds He all.” FRIEDRICH VON LOGAU. The great impulse of the French Revolution was not confined by geographical boundaries. Flashing hope into the dark places of the earth, far down among the poor and long oppressed, […]

I am sorry that I cannot respond in person to the invitation of the Essex Institute to its commemorative festival on the 18th. I especially regret it, because, though a member of the Society of Friends, and, as such, regarding with abhorrence the severe persecution of the sect under the administration of Governor Endicott, I […]

John Winthrop

Story type: Essay

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On the anniversary of his landing at Salem. I see by the call of the Essex Institute that some probability is suggested that I may furnish a poem for the occasion of its meeting at The Willows on the 22d. I would be glad to make the implied probability a fact, but I find it […]

Pope Night

Story type: Essay

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“Lay up the fagots neat and trim; Pile ’em up higher; Set ’em afire! The Pope roasts us, and we ‘ll roast him!” Old Song. The recent attempt of the Romish Church to reestablish its hierarchy in Great Britain, with the new cardinal, Dr. Wiseman, at its head, seems to have revived an old popular […]

The picturesque site of the now large village of Haverhill, on the Merrimac River, was occupied a century and a half ago by some thirty dwellings, scattered at unequal distances along the two principal roads, one of which, running parallel with the river, intersected the other, which ascended the hill northwardly and lost itself in […]

THE GREAT IPSWICH FRIGHT. “The Frere into the dark gazed forth; The sounds went onward towards the north The murmur of tongues, the tramp and tread Of a mighty army to battle led.” BALLAD OF THE CID. Life’s tragedy and comedy are never far apart. The ludicrous and the sublime, the grotesque and the pathetic, […]

A review of the first two volumes of Macaulay’s History of England from the Accession of James II. In accordance with the labor-saving spirit of the age, we have in these volumes an admirable example of history made easy. Had they been published in his time, they might have found favor in the eyes of […]

In February, 1839, Henry Clay delivered a speech in the United States Senate, which was intended to smooth away the difficulties which his moderate opposition to the encroachments of slavery had erected in his path to the presidency. His calumniation of O’Connell called out the following summary of the career of the great Irish patriot. […]

The Female Martyr

Story type: Poetry

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Mary G—–, aged eighteen, a “Sister of Charity,” died in one of our Atlantic cities, during the prevalence of the Indian cholera, while in voluntary attendance upon the sick. “BRING out your dead!” The midnight street Heard and gave back the hoarse, low call; Harsh fell the tread of hasty feet, Glanced through the dark […]

(Originally a part of the author’s Moll Pitcher.) How has New England’s romance fled, Even as a vision of the morning! Its rites foredone, its guardians dead, Its priestesses, bereft of dread, Waking the veriest urchin’s scorning! Gone like the Indian wizard’s yell And fire-dance round the magic rock, Forgotten like the Druid’s spell At […]

This poem was suggested by the account given of the manner which the Waldenses disseminated their principles among the Catholic gentry. They gained access to the house through their occupation as peddlers of silks, jewels, and trinkets. “Having disposed of some of their goods,” it is said by a writer who quotes the inquisitor Rainerus […]

The Holy Land

Story type: Poetry

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Paraphrased from the lines in Lamartine’s Adieu to Marseilles, beginning “Je n’ai pas navigue sur l’ocean de sable.” I have not felt, o’er seas of sand, The rocking of the desert bark; Nor laved at Hebron’s fount my hand, By Hebron’s palm-trees cool and dark; Nor pitched my tent at even-fall, On dust where Job […]

Against the sunset’s glowing wall The city towers rise black and tall, Where Zorah, on its rocky height, Stands like an armed man in the light. Down Eshtaol’s vales of ripened grain Falls like a cloud the night amain, And up the hillsides climbing slow The barley reapers homeward go. Look, dearest! how our fair […]

My Soul And I

Story type: Poetry

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Stand still, my soul, in the silent dark I would question thee, Alone in the shadow drear and stark With God and me! What, my soul, was thy errand here? Was it mirth or ease, Or heaping up dust from year to year? “Nay, none of these!” Speak, soul, aright in His holy sight Whose […]

A FREE PARAPHRASE OF THE GERMAN. To weary hearts, to mourning homes, God’s meekest Angel gently comes No power has he to banish pain, Or give us back our lost again; And yet in tenderest love, our dear And Heavenly Father sends him here. There’s quiet in that Angel’s glance, There ‘s rest in his […]

MADDENED by Earth’s wrong and evil, “Lord!” I cried in sudden ire, “From Thy right hand, clothed with thunder, Shake the bolted fire! “Love is lost, and Faith is dying; With the brute the man is sold; And the dropping blood of labor Hardens into gold. “Here the dying wail of Famine, There the battle’s […]

Ezekiel

Story type: Poetry

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Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord. And they come […]

The Puritans of New England, even in their wilderness home, were not exempted from the sectarian contentions which agitated the mother country after the downfall of Charles the First, and of the established Episcopacy. The Quakers, Baptists, and Catholics were banished, on pain of death, from the Massachusetts Colony. One Samuel Gorton, a bold and […]

Hymns

Story type: Poetry

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FROM THE FRENCH OF LAMARTINE I. “Encore un hymne, O ma lyre Un hymn pour le Seigneur, Un hymne dans mon delire, Un hymne dans mon bonheur.” One hymn more, O my lyre! Praise to the God above, Of joy and life and love, Sweeping its strings of fire! Oh, who the speed of bird […]

Palestine

Story type: Poetry

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Blest land of Judaea! thrice hallowed of song, Where the holiest of memories pilgrim-like throng; In the shade of thy palms, by the shores of thy sea, On the hills of thy beauty, my heart is with thee. With the eye of a spirit I look on that shore Where pilgrim and prophet have lingered […]

The Crucifixion

Story type: Poetry

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Sunlight upon Judha’s hills! And on the waves of Galilee; On Jordan’s stream, and on the rills That feed the dead and sleeping sea! Most freshly from the green wood springs The light breeze on its scented wings; And gayly quiver in the sun The cedar tops of Lebanon! A few more hours,–a change hath […]

Not always as the whirlwind’s rush On Horeb’s mount of fear, Not always as the burning bush To Midian’s shepherd seer, Nor as the awful voice which came To Israel’s prophet bards, Nor as the tongues of cloven flame, Nor gift of fearful words,– Not always thus, with outward sign Of fire or voice from […]

“Get ye up from the wrath of God’s terrible day! Ungirded, unsandalled, arise and away! ‘T is the vintage of blood, ‘t is the fulness of time, And vengeance shall gather the harvest of crime!” The warning was spoken–the righteous had gone, And the proud ones of Sodom were feasting alone; All gay was the […]

Where Time the measure of his hours By changeful bud and blossom keeps, And, like a young bride crowned with flowers, Fair Shiraz in her garden sleeps; Where, to her poet’s turban stone, The Spring her gift of flowers imparts, Less sweet than those his thoughts have sown In the warm soil of Persian hearts: […]

A Legacy

Story type: Poetry

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Friend of my many years When the great silence falls, at last, on me, Let me not leave, to pain and sadden thee, A memory of tears, But pleasant thoughts alone Of one who was thy friendship’s honored guest And drank the wine of consolation pressed From sorrows of thy own. I leave with thee […]

Abram Morrison

Story type: Poetry

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‘Midst the men and things which will Haunt an old man’s memory still, Drollest, quaintest of them all, With a boy’s laugh I recall Good old Abram Morrison. When the Grist and Rolling Mill Ground and rumbled by Po Hill, And the old red school-house stood Midway in the Powow’s flood, Here dwelt Abram Morrison. […]

An Autograph

Story type: Poetry

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I write my name as one, On sands by waves o’errun Or winter’s frosted pane, Traces a record vain. Oblivion’s blankness claims Wiser and better names, And well my own may pass As from the strand or glass. Wash on, O waves of time! Melt, noons, the frosty rime! Welcome the shadow vast, The silence […]

Greeting

Story type: Poetry

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Originally prefixed to the volume, The King’s Missive and other Poems. I spread a scanty board too late; The old-time guests for whom I wait Come few and slow, methinks, to-day. Ah! who could hear my messages Across the dim unsounded seas On which so many have sailed away! Come, then, old friends, who linger […]

My Trust

Story type: Poetry

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A picture memory brings to me I look across the years and see Myself beside my mother’s knee. I feel her gentle hand restrain My selfish moods, and know again A child’s blind sense of wrong and pain. But wiser now, a man gray grown, My childhood’s needs are better known, My mother’s chastening love […]

A Name

Story type: Poetry

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Addressed to my grand-nephew, Greenleaf Whittier Pickard. Jonathan Greenleaf, in A Genealogy of the Greenleaf Family, says briefly: “From all that can be gathered, it is believed that the ancestors of the Greenleaf family were Huguenots, who left France on account of their religious principles some time in the course of the sixteenth century, and […]

The picturesquely situated Wayside Inn at West Ossipee, N. H., is now in ashes; and to its former guests these somewhat careless rhymes may be a not unwelcome reminder of pleasant summers and autumns on the banks of the Bearcamp and Chocorua. To the author himself they have a special interest from the fact that […]

At Eventide

Story type: Poetry

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Poor and inadequate the shadow-play Of gain and loss, of waking and of dream, Against life’s solemn background needs must seem At this late hour. Yet, not unthankfully, I call to mind the fountains by the way, The breath of flowers, the bird-song on the spray, Dear friends, sweet human loves, the joy of giving […]

Response

Story type: Poetry

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On the occasion of my seventieth birthday in 1877, I was the recipient of many tokens of esteem. The publishers of the Atlantic Monthly gave a dinner in my name, and the editor of The Literary World gathered in his paper many affectionate messages from my associates in literature and the cause of human progress. […]

Red Riding-Hood

Story type: Poetry

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On the wide lawn the snow lay deep, Ridged o’er with many a drifted heap; The wind that through the pine-trees sung The naked elm-boughs tossed and swung; While, through the window, frosty-starred, Against the sunset purple barred, We saw the sombre crow flap by, The hawk’s gray fleck along the sky, The crested blue-jay […]

My Birthday

Story type: Poetry

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Beneath the moonlight and the snow Lies dead my latest year; The winter winds are wailing low Its dirges in my ear. I grieve not with the moaning wind As if a loss befell; Before me, even as behind, God is, and all is well! His light shines on me from above, His low voice […]

In School-Days

Story type: Poetry

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Still sits the school-house by the road, A ragged beggar sleeping; Around it still the sumachs grow, And blackberry-vines are creeping. Within, the master’s desk is seen, Deep scarred by raps official; The warping floor, the battered seats, The jack-knife’s carved initial; The charcoal frescos on its wall; Its door’s worn sill, betraying The feet […]

My Triumph

Story type: Poetry

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The autumn-time has come; On woods that dream of bloom, And over purpling vines, The low sun fainter shines. The aster-flower is failing, The hazel’s gold is paling; Yet overhead more near The eternal stars appear! And present gratitude Insures the future’s good, And for the things I see I trust the things to be; […]

Snow-Bound

Story type: Poetry

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A WINTER IDYL. TO THE MEMORY OF THE HOUSEHOLD IT DESCRIBES, THIS POEM IS DEDICATED BY THE AUTHOR. The inmates of the family at the Whittier homestead who are referred to in the poem were my father, mother, my brother and two sisters, and my uncle and aunt both unmarried. In addition, there was the […]

The Waiting

Story type: Poetry

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I wait and watch: before my eyes Methinks the night grows thin and gray; I wait and watch the eastern skies To see the golden spears uprise Beneath the oriflamme of day! Like one whose limbs are bound in trance I hear the day-sounds swell and grow, And see across the twilight glance, Troop after […]

My Psalm

Story type: Poetry

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I mourn no more my vanished years Beneath a tender rain, An April rain of smiles and tears, My heart is young again. The west-winds blow, and, singing low, I hear the glad streams run; The windows of my soul I throw Wide open to the sun. No longer forward nor behind I look in […]

The Barefoot Boy

Story type: Poetry

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Blessings on thee, little man, Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan With thy turned-up pantaloons, And thy merry whistled tunes; With thy red lip, redder still Kissed by strawberries on the hill; With the sunshine on thy face, Through thy torn brim’s jaunty grace; From my heart I give thee joy,– I was once a […]

A Memory

Story type: Poetry

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Here, while the loom of Winter weaves The shroud of flowers and fountains, I think of thee and summer eves Among the Northern mountains. When thunder tolled the twilight’s close, And winds the lake were rude on, And thou wert singing, Ca’ the Yowes, The bonny yowes of Cluden! When, close and closer, hushing breath, […]

My Namesake

Story type: Poetry

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Addressed to Francis Greenleaf Allison of Burlington, New Jersey. You scarcely need my tardy thanks, Who, self-rewarded, nurse and tend– A green leaf on your own Green Banks– The memory of your friend. For me, no wreath, bloom-woven, hides The sobered brow and lessening hair For aught I know, the myrtled sides Of Helicon are […]

My Thanks

Story type: Poetry

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ACCOMPANYING MANUSCRIPTS PRESENTED TO A FRIEND. ‘T is said that in the Holy Land The angels of the place have blessed The pilgrim’s bed of desert sand, Like Jacob’s stone of rest. That down the hush of Syrian skies Some sweet-voiced saint at twilight sings The song whose holy symphonies Are beat by unseen wings; […]

To My Sister

Story type: Poetry

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WITH A COPY OF “THE SUPERNATURALISM OF NEW ENGLAND.” The work referred to was a series of papers under this title, contributed to the Democratic Review and afterward collected into a volume, in which I noted some of the superstitions and folklore prevalent in New England. The volume has not been kept in print, but […]

Forgiveness

Story type: Poetry

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My heart was heavy, for its trust had been Abused, its kindness answered with foul wrong; So, turning gloomily from my fellow-men, One summer Sabbath day I strolled among The green mounds of the village burial-place; Where, pondering how all human love and hate Find one sad level; and how, soon or late, Wronged and […]

The Pumpkin

Story type: Poetry

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Oh, greenly and fair in the lands of the sun, The vines of the gourd and the rich melon run, And the rock and the tree and the cottage enfold, With broad leaves all greenness and blossoms all gold, Like that which o’er Nineveh’s prophet once grew, While he waited to know that his warning […]

Ego

Story type: Poetry

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WRITTEN IN THE ALBUM OF A FRIEND. On page of thine I cannot trace The cold and heartless commonplace, A statue’s fixed and marble grace. For ever as these lines I penned, Still with the thought of thee will blend That of some loved and common friend, Who in life’s desert track has made His […]

Memories

Story type: Poetry

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A beautiful and happy girl, With step as light as summer air, Eyes glad with smiles, and brow of pearl, Shadowed by many a careless curl Of unconfined and flowing hair; A seeming child in everything, Save thoughtful brow and ripening charms, As Nature wears the smile of Spring When sinking into Summer’s arms. A […]

A Day

Story type: Poetry

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Talk not of sad November, when a day Of warm, glad sunshine fills the sky of noon, And a wind, borrowed from some morn of June, Stirs the brown grasses and the leafless spray. On the unfrosted pool the pillared pines Lay their long shafts of shadow: the small rill, Singing a pleasant song of […]

The Wood Giant

Story type: Poetry

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From Alton Bay to Sandwich Dome, From Mad to Saco river, For patriarchs of the primal wood We sought with vain endeavor. And then we said: “The giants old Are lost beyond retrieval; This pygmy growth the axe has spared Is not the wood primeval. “Look where we will o’er vale and hill, How idle […]

Sweet Fern

Story type: Poetry

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The subtle power in perfume found Nor priest nor sibyl vainly learned; On Grecian shrine or Aztec mound No censer idly burned. That power the old-time worships knew, The Corybantes’ frenzied dance, The Pythian priestess swooning through The wonderland of trance. And Nature holds, in wood and field, Her thousand sunlit censers still; To spells […]

To kneel before some saintly shrine, To breathe the health of airs divine, Or bathe where sacred rivers flow, The cowled and turbaned pilgrims go. I too, a palmer, take, as they With staff and scallop-shell, my way To feel, from burdening cares and ills, The strong uplifting of the hills. The years are many […]

A cloud, like that the old-time Hebrew saw On Carmel prophesying rain, began To lift itself o’er wooded Cardigan, Growing and blackening. Suddenly, a flaw Of chill wind menaced; then a strong blast beat Down the long valley’s murmuring pines, and woke The noon-dream of the sleeping lake, and broke Its smooth steel mirror at […]

This name in some parts of Europe is given to the season we call Indian Summer, in honor of the good St. Martin. The title of the poem was suggested by the fact that the day it refers to was the exact date of that set apart to the Saint, the 11th of November. Though […]

I wandered lonely where the pine-trees made Against the bitter East their barricade, And, guided by its sweet Perfume, I found, within a narrow dell, The trailing spring flower tinted like a shell Amid dry leaves and mosses at my feet. From under dead boughs, for whose loss the pines Moaned ceaseless overhead, the blossoming […]

They left their home of summer ease Beneath the lowland’s sheltering trees, To seek, by ways unknown to all, The promise of the waterfall. Some vague, faint rumor to the vale Had crept–perchance a hunter’s tale– Of its wild mirth of waters lost On the dark woods through which it tossed. Somewhere it laughed and […]

A gold fringe on the purpling hem Of hills the river runs, As down its long, green valley falls The last of summer’s suns. Along its tawny gravel-bed Broad-flowing, swift, and still, As if its meadow levels felt The hurry of the hill, Noiseless between its banks of green From curve to curve it slips; […]

Hazel Blossoms

Story type: Poetry

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The summer warmth has left the sky, The summer songs have died away; And, withered, in the footpaths lie The fallen leaves, but yesterday With ruby and with topaz gay. The grass is browning on the hills; No pale, belated flowers recall The astral fringes of the rills, And drearily the dead vines fall, Frost-blackened, […]

A Sea Dream

Story type: Poetry

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We saw the slow tides go and come, The curving surf-lines lightly drawn, The gray rocks touched with tender bloom Beneath the fresh-blown rose of dawn. We saw in richer sunsets lost The sombre pomp of showery noons; And signalled spectral sails that crossed The weird, low light of rising moons. On stormy eves from […]

A Mystery

Story type: Poetry

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The river hemmed with leaning trees Wound through its meadows green; A low, blue line of mountains showed The open pines between. One sharp, tall peak above them all Clear into sunlight sprang I saw the river of my dreams, The mountains that I sang! No clue of memory led me on, But well the […]

The Pageant

Story type: Poetry

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A sound as if from bells of silver, Or elfin cymbals smitten clear, Through the frost-pictured panes I hear. A brightness which outshines the morning, A splendor brooking no delay, Beckons and tempts my feet away. I leave the trodden village highway For virgin snow-paths glimmering through A jewelled elm-tree avenue; Where, keen against the […]

The time of gifts has come again, And, on my northern window-pane, Outlined against the day’s brief light, A Christmas token hangs in sight. The wayside travellers, as they pass, Mark the gray disk of clouded glass; And the dull blankness seems, perchance, Folly to their wise ignorance. They cannot from their outlook see The […]

The Vanishers

Story type: Poetry

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Sweetest of all childlike dreams In the simple Indian lore Still to me the legend seems Of the shapes who flit before. Flitting, passing, seen and gone, Never reached nor found at rest, Baffling search, but beckoning on To the Sunset of the Blest. From the clefts of mountain rocks, Through the dark of lowland […]

Mountain Pictures

Story type: Poetry

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I. FRANCONIA FROM THE PEMIGEWASSET Once more, O Mountains of the North, unveil Your brows, and lay your cloudy mantles by And once more, ere the eyes that seek ye fail, Uplift against the blue walls of the sky Your mighty shapes, and let the sunshine weave Its golden net-work in your belting woods, Smile […]

The River Path

Story type: Poetry

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No bird-song floated down the hill, The tangled bank below was still; No rustle from the birchen stem, No ripple from the water’s hem. The dusk of twilight round us grew, We felt the falling of the dew; For, from us, ere the day was done, The wooded hills shut out the sun. But on […]

The Palm-Tree

Story type: Poetry

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Is it the palm, the cocoa-palm, On the Indian Sea, by the isles of balm? Or is it a ship in the breezeless calm? A ship whose keel is of palm beneath, Whose ribs of palm have a palm-bark sheath, And a rudder of palm it steereth with. Branches of palm are its spars and […]

Our vales are sweet with fern and rose, Our hills are maple-crowned; But not from them our fathers chose The village burying-ground. The dreariest spot in all the land To Death they set apart; With scanty grace from Nature’s hand, And none from that of Art. A winding wall of mossy stone, Frost-flung and broken, […]

The First Flowers

Story type: Poetry

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For ages on our river borders, These tassels in their tawny bloom, And willowy studs of downy silver, Have prophesied of Spring to come. For ages have the unbound waters Smiled on them from their pebbly hem, And the clear carol of the robin And song of bluebird welcomed them. But never yet from smiling […]

I. O’er the bare woods, whose outstretched hands Plead with the leaden heavens in vain, I see, beyond the valley lands, The sea’s long level dim with rain. Around me all things, stark and dumb, Seem praying for the snows to come, And, for the summer bloom and greenness gone, With winter’s sunset lights and […]

Flowers In Winter

Story type: Poetry

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PAINTED UPON A PORTE LIVRE. How strange to greet, this frosty morn, In graceful counterfeit of flowers, These children of the meadows, born Of sunshine and of showers! How well the conscious wood retains The pictures of its flower-sown home, The lights and shades, the purple stains, And golden hues of bloom! It was a […]

The Fruit-Gift

Story type: Poetry

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Last night, just as the tints of autumn’s sky Of sunset faded from our hills and streams, I sat, vague listening, lapped in twilight dreams, To the leaf’s rustle, and the cricket’s cry. Then, like that basket, flush with summer fruit, Dropped by the angels at the Prophet’s foot, Came, unannounced, a gift of clustered […]

LAKE WINNIPESAUKEE. I. NOON. White clouds, whose shadows haunt the deep, Light mists, whose soft embraces keep The sunshine on the hills asleep! O isles of calm! O dark, still wood! And stiller skies that overbrood Your rest with deeper quietude! O shapes and hues, dim beckoning, through Yon mountain gaps, my longing view Beyond […]

Pictures

Story type: Poetry

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I. Light, warmth, and sprouting greenness, and o’er all Blue, stainless, steel-bright ether, raining down Tranquillity upon the deep-hushed town, The freshening meadows, and the hillsides brown; Voice of the west-wind from the hills of pine, And the brimmed river from its distant fall, Low hum of bees, and joyous interlude Of bird-songs in the […]

All day the darkness and the cold Upon my heart have lain, Like shadows on the winter sky, Like frost upon the pane; But now my torpid fancy wakes, And, on thy Eagle’s plume, Rides forth, like Sindbad on his bird, Or witch upon her broom! Below me roar the rocking pines, Before me spreads […]

Autumn Thoughts

Story type: Poetry

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Gone hath the Spring, with all its flowers, And gone the Summer’s pomp and show, And Autumn, in his leafless bowers, Is waiting for the Winter’s snow. I said to Earth, so cold and gray, “An emblem of myself thou art.” “Not so,” the Earth did seem to say, “For Spring shall warm my frozen […]

The Lakeside

Story type: Poetry

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The shadows round the inland sea Are deepening into night; Slow up the slopes of Ossipee They chase the lessening light. Tired of the long day’s blinding heat, I rest my languid eye, Lake of the Hills! where, cool and sweet, Thy sunset waters lie! Along the sky, in wavy lines, O’er isle and reach […]

A Dream Of Summer

Story type: Poetry

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Bland as the morning breath of June The southwest breezes play; And, through its haze, the winter noon Seems warm as summer’s day. The snow-plumed Angel of the North Has dropped his icy spear; Again the mossy earth looks forth, Again the streams gush clear. The fox his hillside cell forsakes, The muskrat leaves his […]

Hampton Beach

Story type: Poetry

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The sunlight glitters keen and bright, Where, miles away, Lies stretching to my dazzled sight A luminous belt, a misty light, Beyond the dark pine bluffs and wastes of sandy gray. The tremulous shadow of the Sea! Against its ground Of silvery light, rock, hill, and tree, Still as a picture, clear and free, With […]

The Merrimac

Story type: Poetry

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“The Indians speak of a beautiful river, far to the south, which they call Merrimac.”–SIEUR. DE MONTS, 1604. Stream of my fathers! sweetly still The sunset rays thy valley fill; Poured slantwise down the long defile, Wave, wood, and spire beneath them smile. I see the winding Powow fold The green hill in its belt […]

The hint of this ballad is found in Arndt’s Miirchen, Berlin, 1816. The ballad appeared first in St. Nicholas, whose young readers were advised, while smiling at the absurd superstition, to remember that bad companionship and evil habits, desires, and passions are more to be dreaded now than the Elves and Trolls who frightened the […]

1660. On a painting by E. A. Abbey. The General Court of Massachusetts enacted Oct. 19, 1658, that “any person or persons of the cursed sect of Quakers” should, on conviction of the same, be banished, on pain of death, from the jurisdiction of the common-wealth. OVER the threshold of his pleasant home Set in […]

The Homestead

Story type: Poetry

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AGAINST the wooded hills it stands, Ghost of a dead home, staring through Its broken lights on wasted lands Where old-time harvests grew. Unploughed, unsown, by scythe unshorn, The poor, forsaken farm-fields lie, Once rich and rife with golden corn And pale green breadths of rye. Of healthful herb and flower bereft, The garden plot […]

AN ALGONQUIN LEGEND. HAPPY young friends, sit by me, Under May’s blown apple-tree, While these home-birds in and out Through the blossoms flit about. Hear a story, strange and old, By the wild red Indians told, How the robin came to be: Once a great chief left his son,– Well-beloved, his only one,– When the […]

Requital

Story type: Poetry

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As Islam’s Prophet, when his last day drew Nigh to its close, besought all men to say Whom he had wronged, to whom he then should pay A debt forgotten, or for pardon sue, And, through the silence of his weeping friends, A strange voice cried: “Thou owest me a debt,” “Allah be praised!” he […]

Read at the unveiling of the bust of Elizabeth Fry at the Friends’ School, Providence, R. I. A. D. 1209. AMIDST Thuringia’s wooded hills she dwelt, A high-born princess, servant of the poor, Sweetening with gracious words the food she dealt To starving throngs at Wartburg’s blazoned door. A blinded zealot held her soul in […]

Birchbrook Mill

Story type: Poetry

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A NOTELESS stream, the Birchbrook runs Beneath its leaning trees; That low, soft ripple is its own, That dull roar is the sea’s. Of human signs it sees alone The distant church spire’s tip, And, ghost-like, on a blank of gray, The white sail of a ship. No more a toiler at the wheel, It […]

A TALE for Roman guides to tell To careless, sight-worn travellers still, Who pause beside the narrow cell Of Gregory on the Caelian Hill. One day before the monk’s door came A beggar, stretching empty palms, Fainting and fast-sick, in the name Of the Most Holy asking alms. And the monk answered, “All I have […]

The following is a copy of the warrant issued by Major Waldron, of Dover, in 1662. The Quakers, as was their wont, prophesied against him, and saw, as they supposed, the fulfilment of their prophecy when, many years after, he was killed by the Indians. To the constables of Dover, Hampton, Salisbury, Newbury, Rowley, Ipswich, […]

AMONG the legends sung or said Along our rocky shore, The Wishing Bridge of Marblehead May well be sung once more. An hundred years ago (so ran The old-time story) all Good wishes said above its span Would, soon or late, befall. If pure and earnest, never failed The prayers of man or maid For […]

The volume in which “The Bay of Seven Islands” was published was dedicated to the late Edwin Percy Whipple, to whom more than to any other person I was indebted for public recognition as one worthy of a place in American literature, at a time when it required a great degree of courage to urge […]

H. Y. Hind, in Explorations in the Interior of the Labrador Peninsula (ii. 166) mentions the finding of a rock tomb near the little fishing port of Bradore, with the inscription upon it which is given in the poem. A DREAR and desolate shore! Where no tree unfolds its leaves, And never the spring wind […]

Rabbi Ishmael

Story type: Poetry

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“Rabbi Ishmael Ben Elisha said, Once, I entered into the Holy of Holies [as High Priest] to burn incense, when I saw Aktriel [the Divine Crown] Jah, Lord of Hosts, sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, who said unto me, ‘Ishmael, my son, bless me.’ I answered, ‘May it please Thee to make […]

Valuation

Story type: Poetry

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THE old Squire said, as he stood by his gate, And his neighbor, the Deacon, went by, “In spite of my bank stock and real estate, You are better off, Deacon, than I. “We’re both growing old, and the end’s drawing near, You have less of this world to resign, But in Heaven’s appraisal your […]

1661. This ballad, originally written for The Memorial History of Boston, describes, with pardonable poetic license, a memorable incident in the annals of the city. The interview between Shattuck and the Governor took place, I have since learned, in the residence of the latter, and not in the Council Chamber. The publication of the ballad […]

THE Khan came from Bokhara town To Hamza, santon of renown. “My head is sick, my hands are weak; Thy help, O holy man, I seek.” In silence marking for a space The Khan’s red eyes and purple face, Thick voice, and loose, uncertain tread, “Thou hast a devil!” Hamza said. “Allah forbid!” exclaimed the […]

E. B. Tylor in his Primitive Culture, chapter xii., gives an account of the reverence paid the dead by the Kol tribes of Chota Nagpur, Assam. “When a Ho or Munda,” he says, “has been burned on the funeral pile, collected morsels of his bones are carried in procession with a solemn, ghostly, sliding step, […]

The Henchman

Story type: Poetry

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MY lady walks her morning round, My lady’s page her fleet greyhound, My lady’s hair the fond winds stir, And all the birds make songs for her. Her thrushes sing in Rathburn bowers, And Rathburn side is gay with flowers; But ne’er like hers, in flower or bird, Was beauty seen or music heard. The […]

On the 8th of July, 1677, Margaret Brewster with four other Friends went into the South Church in time of meeting, “in sack-cloth, with ashes upon her head, barefoot, and her face blackened,” and delivered “a warning from the great God of Heaven and Earth to the Rulers and Magistrates of Boston.” For the offence […]

OUT from Jerusalem The king rode with his great War chiefs and lords of state, And Sheba’s queen with them; Comely, but black withal, To whom, perchance, belongs That wondrous Song of songs, Sensuous and mystical, Whereto devout souls turn In fond, ecstatic dream, And through its earth-born theme The Love of loves discern. Proud […]

The house is still standing in Danvers, Mass., where, it is said, a suspected witch was confined overnight in the attic, which was bolted fast. In the morning when the constable came to take her to Salem for trial she was missing, although the door was still bolted. Her escape was doubtless aided by her […]

Conductor Bradley

Story type: Poetry

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A railway conductor who lost his life in an accident on a Connecticut railway, May 9, 1873. CONDUCTOR BRADLEY, (always may his name Be said with reverence!) as the swift doom came, Smitten to death, a crushed and mangled frame, Sank, with the brake he grasped just where he stood To do the utmost that […]

John Underhill

Story type: Poetry

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A SCORE of years had come and gone Since the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth stone, When Captain Underhill, bearing scars From Indian ambush and Flemish wars, Left three-hilled Boston and wandered down, East by north, to Cocheco town. With Vane the younger, in counsel sweet, He had sat at Anna Hutchinson’s feet, And, when the […]

The Three Bells

Story type: Poetry

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BENEATH the low-hung night cloud That raked her splintering mast The good ship settled slowly, The cruel leak gained fast. Over the awful ocean Her signal guns pealed out. Dear God! was that Thy answer From the horror round about? A voice came down the wild wind, “Ho! ship ahoy!” its cry “Our stout Three […]

AFTER THE DANISH OF CHRISTIAN WINTER. WHERE, over heathen doom-rings and gray stones of the Horg, In its little Christian city stands the church of Vordingborg, In merry mood King Volmer sat, forgetful of his power, As idle as the Goose of Gold that brooded on his tower. Out spake the King to Henrik, his […]

INTRODUCTORY NOTE. THE beginning of German emigration to America may be traced to the personal influence of William Penn, who in 1677 visited the Continent, and made the acquaintance of an intelligent and highly cultivated circle of Pietists, or Mystics, who, reviving in the seventeenth century the spiritual faith and worship of Tauler and the […]

Marguerite

Story type: Poetry

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MASSACHUSETTS BAY, 1760. Upwards of one thousand of the Acadian peasants forcibly taken from their homes on the Gaspereau and Basin of Minas were assigned to the several towns of the Massachusetts colony, the children being bound by the authorities to service or labor. THE robins sang in the orchard, the buds into blossoms grew; […]

NAUHAUGHT, the Indian deacon, who of old Dwelt, poor but blameless, where his narrowing Cape Stretches its shrunk arm out to all the winds And the relentless smiting of the waves, Awoke one morning from a pleasant dream Of a good angel dropping in his hand A fair, broad gold-piece, in the name of God. […]

Miriam

Story type: Poetry

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TO FREDERICK A. P. BARNARD. THE years are many since, in youth and hope, Under the Charter Oak, our horoscope We drew thick-studded with all favoring stars. Now, with gray beards, and faces seamed with scars From life’s hard battle, meeting once again, We smile, half sadly, over dreams so vain; Knowing, at last, that […]

Norembega

Story type: Poetry

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Norembega, or Norimbegue, is the name given by early French fishermen and explorers to a fabulous country south of Cape Breton, first discovered by Verrazzani in 1524. It was supposed to have a magnificent city of the same name on a great river, probably the Penobscot. The site of this barbaric city is laid down […]

The Two Rabbins

Story type: Poetry

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THE Rabbi Nathan two-score years and ten Walked blameless through the evil world, and then, Just as the almond blossomed in his hair, Met a temptation all too strong to bear, And miserably sinned. So, adding not Falsehood to guilt, he left his seat, and taught No more among the elders, but went out From […]

THE land was pale with famine And racked with fever-pain; The frozen fiords were fishless, The earth withheld her grain. Men saw the boding Fylgja Before them come and go, And, through their dreams, the Urdarmoon From west to east sailed slow. Jarl Thorkell of Thevera At Yule-time made his vow; On Rykdal’s holy Doom-stone […]

Among The Hills

Story type: Poetry

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This poem, when originally published, was dedicated to Annie Fields, wife of the distinguished publisher, James T. Fields, of Boston, in grateful acknowledgment of the strength and inspiration I have found in her friendship and sympathy. The poem in its first form was entitled The Wife: an Idyl of Bearcamp Water, and appeared in The […]

The Countess

Story type: Poetry

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TO E. W. I inscribed this poem to Dr. Elias Weld of Haverhill, Massachusetts, to whose kindness I was much indebted in my boyhood. He was the one cultivated man in the neighborhood. His small but well-chosen library was placed at my disposal. He is the “wise old doctor” of Snow-Bound. Count Francois de Vipart […]

Amy Wentworth

Story type: Poetry

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TO WILLIAM BRADFORD. As they who watch by sick-beds find relief Unwittingly from the great stress of grief And anxious care, in fantasies outwrought From the hearth’s embers flickering low, or caught From whispering wind, or tread of passing feet, Or vagrant memory calling up some sweet Snatch of old song or romance, whence or […]

My Playmate

Story type: Poetry

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THE pines were dark on Ramoth hill, Their song was soft and low; The blossoms in the sweet May wind Were falling like the snow. The blossoms drifted at our feet, The orchard birds sang clear; The sweetest and the saddest day It seemed of all the year. For, more to me than birds or […]

In the winter of 1675-76, the Eastern Indians, who had been making war upon the New Hampshire settlements, were so reduced in numbers by fighting and famine that they agreed to a peace with Major Waldron at Dover, but the peace was broken in the fall of 1676. The famous chief, Squando, was the principal […]

The Preacher

Story type: Poetry

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George Whitefield, the celebrated preacher, died at Newburyport in 1770, and was buried under the church which has since borne his name. ITS windows flashing to the sky, Beneath a thousand roofs of brown, Far down the vale, my friend and I Beheld the old and quiet town; The ghostly sails that out at sea […]

OUT and in the river is winding The links of its long, red chain, Through belts of dusky pine-land And gusty leagues of plain. Only, at times, a smoke-wreath With the drifting cloud-rack joins,– The smoke of the hunting-lodges Of the wild Assiniboins. Drearily blows the north-wind From the land of ice and snow; The […]

Susanna Martin, an aged woman of Amesbury, Mass., was tried and executed for the alleged crime of witchcraft. Her home was in what is now known as Pleasant Valley on the Merrimac, a little above the old Ferry way, where, tradition says, an attempt was made to assassinate Sir Edmund Andros on his way to […]

In Young’s Chronicles of Massachusetts Bay front 1623 to 1636 may be found Anthony Thacher’s Narrative of his Shipwreck. Thacher was Avery’s companion and survived to tell the tale. Mather’s Magnalia, III. 2, gives further Particulars of Parson Avery’s End, and suggests the title of the poem. WHEN the reaper’s task was ended, and the […]

A remarkable custom, brought from the Old Country, formerly prevailed in the rural districts of New England. On the death of a member of the family, the bees were at once informed of the event, and their hives dressed in mourning. This ceremonial was supposed to be necessary to prevent the swarms from leaving their […]

The Sycamores

Story type: Poetry

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Hugh Tallant was the first Irish resident of Haverhill, Mass. He planted the button-wood trees on the bank of the river below the village in the early part of the seventeenth century. Unfortunately this noble avenue is now nearly destroyed. IN the outskirts of the village, On the river’s winding shores, Stand the Occidental plane-trees, […]

TRITEMIUS of Herbipolis, one day, While kneeling at the altar’s foot to pray, Alone with God, as was his pious choice, Heard from without a miserable voice, A sound which seemed of all sad things to tell, As of a lost soul crying out of hell. Thereat the Abbot paused; the chain whereby His thoughts […]

FROM the hills of home forth looking, far beneath the tent-like span Of the sky, I see the white gleam of the headland of Cape Ann. Well I know its coves and beaches to the ebb-tide glimmering down, And the white-walled hamlet children of its ancient fishing town. Long has passed the summer morning, and […]

The Ranger

Story type: Poetry

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Originally published as Martha Mason; a Song of the Old French War. ROBERT RAWLIN!–Frosts were falling When the ranger’s horn was calling Through the woods to Canada. Gone the winter’s sleet and snowing, Gone the spring-time’s bud and blowing, Gone the summer’s harvest mowing, And again the fields are gray. Yet away, he’s away! Faint […]

Mary Garvin

Story type: Poetry

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FROM the heart of Waumbek Methna, from the lake that never fails, Falls the Saco in the green lap of Conway’s intervales; There, in wild and virgin freshness, its waters foam and flow, As when Darby Field first saw them, two hundred years ago. But, vexed in all its seaward course with bridges, dams, and […]

O STRONG, upwelling prayers of faith, From inmost founts of life ye start,– The spirit’s pulse, the vital breath Of soul and heart! From pastoral toil, from traffic’s din, Alone, in crowds, at home, abroad, Unheard of man, ye enter in The ear of God. Ye brook no forced and measured tasks, Nor weary rote, […]

Tauler

Story type: Poetry

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TAULER, the preacher, walked, one autumn day, Without the walls of Strasburg, by the Rhine, Pondering the solemn Miracle of Life; As one who, wandering in a starless night, Feels momently the jar of unseen waves, And hears the thunder of an unknown sea, Breaking along an unimagined shore. And as he walked he prayed. […]

The incident upon which this poem is based is related in a note to Bernardin Henri Saint Pierre’s Etudes de la Nature. “We arrived at the habitation of the Hermits a little before they sat down to their table, and while they were still at church. J. J. Rousseau proposed to me to offer up […]

Pennant, in his Voyage to the Hebrides, describes the holy well of Loch Maree, the waters of which were supposed to effect a miraculous cure of melancholy, trouble, and insanity. CALM on the breast of Loch Maree A little isle reposes; A shadow woven of the oak And willow o’er it closes. Within, a Druid’s […]

Kathleen

Story type: Poetry

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This ballad was originally published in my prose work, Leaves from Margaret Smith’s Journal, as the song of a wandering Milesian schoolmaster. In the seventeenth century, slavery in the New World was by no means confined to the natives of Africa. Political offenders and criminals were transported by the British government to the plantations of […]

“This legend [to which my attention was called by my friend Charles Sumner], is the subject of a celebrated picture by Tintoretto, of which Mr. Rogers possesses the original sketch. The slave lies on the ground, amid a crowd of spectators, who look on, animated by all the various emotions of sympathy, rage, terror; a […]

A letter-writer from Mexico during the Mexican war, when detailing some of the incidents at the terrible fight of Buena Vista, mentioned that Mexican women were seen hovering near the field of death, for the purpose of giving aid and succor to the wounded. One poor woman was found surrounded by the maimed and suffering […]

Winnepurkit, otherwise called George, Sachem of Saugus, married a daughter of Passaconaway, the great Pennacook chieftain, in 1662. The wedding took place at Pennacook (now Concord, N. H.), and the ceremonies closed with a great feast. According to the usages of the chiefs, Passaconaway ordered a select number of his men to accompany the newly-married […]

The following ballad is founded upon one of the marvellous legends connected with the famous General —-, of Hampton, New Hampshire, who was regarded by his neighbors as a Yankee Faust, in league with the adversary. I give the story, as I heard it when a child, from a venerable family visitant. DARK the halls, […]

In 1658 two young persons, son and daughter of Lawrence Smithwick of Salem, who had himself been imprisoned and deprived of nearly all his property for having entertained Quakers at his house, were fined for non-attendance at church. They being unable to pay the fine, the General Court issued an order empowering “the Treasurer of […]

ERE down yon blue Carpathian hills The sun shall sink again, Farewell to life and all its ills, Farewell to cell and chain! These prison shades are dark and cold, But, darker far than they, The shadow of a sorrow old Is on my heart alway. For since the day when Warkworth wood Closed o’er […]

The Exiles

Story type: Poetry

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The incidents upon which the following ballad has its foundation about the year 1660. Thomas Macy was one of the first, if not the first white settler of Nantucket. The career of Macy is briefly but carefully outlined in James S. Pike’s The New Puritan. THE goodman sat beside his door One sultry afternoon, With […]

Ibn Batuta, the celebrated Mussulman traveller of the fourteenth century, speaks of a cypress-tree in Ceylon, universally held sacred by the natives, the leaves of which were said to fall only at certain intervals, and he who had the happiness to find and eat one of them was restored, at once, to youth and vigor. […]

Polan, chief of the Sokokis Indians of the country between Agamenticus and Casco Bay, was killed at Windham on Sebago Lake in the spring of 1756. After the whites had retired, the surviving Indians “swayed” or bent down a young tree until its roots were upturned, placed the body of their chief beneath it, then […]

The Norsemen

Story type: Poetry

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In the early part of the present century, a fragment of a statue, rudely chiselled from dark gray stone, was found in the town of Bradford, on the Merrimac. Its origin must be left entirely to conjecture. The fact that the ancient Northmen visited the north-east coast of North America and probably New England, some […]

Pentucket

Story type: Poetry

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The village of Haverhill, on the Merrimac, called by the Indians Pentucket, was for nearly seventeen years a frontier town, and during thirty years endured all the horrors of savage warfare. In the year 1708, a combined body of French and Indians, under the command of De Chaillons, and Hertel de Rouville, the famous and […]

The Fountain

Story type: Poetry

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On the declivity of a hill in Salisbury, Essex County, is a fountain of clear water, gushing from the very roots of a venerable oak. It is about two miles from the junction of the Powow River with the Merrimac. TRAVELLER! on thy journey toiling By the swift Powow, With the summer sunshine falling On […]

THE Brownie sits in the Scotchman’s room, And eats his meat and drinks his ale, And beats the maid with her unused broom, And the lazy lout with his idle flail; But he sweeps the floor and threshes the corn, And hies him away ere the break of dawn. The shade of Denmark fled from […]

“Our Father Time is weak and gray, Awaiting for the better day; See how idiot-like he stands, Fumbling his old palsied hands!” SHELLEY’s Masque of Anarchy. “STAGE ready, gentlemen! Stage for campground, Derry! Second Advent camp-meeting!” Accustomed as I begin to feel to the ordinary sights and sounds of this busy city, I was, I […]

The Beautiful

Story type: Essay

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“A beautiful form is better than a beautiful face; a beautiful behavior is better than a beautiful form; it gives a higher pleasure than statues or pictures; it is the finest of the fine arts.” EMERSON’S Essays, Second Series, iv., p. 162. A FEW days since I was walking with a friend, who, unfortunately for […]

FASCINATION, saith Henry Cornelius Agrippa, in the fiftieth chapter of his first book on Occult Philosophy, “is a binding which comes of the spirit of the witch through the eyes of him that is bewitched, entering to his heart; for the eye being opened and intent upon any one, with a strong imagination doth dart […]

[1869.] LOOKING at the Government Chart of Lake Erie, one sees the outlines of a long, narrow island, stretching along the shore of Canada West, opposite the point where Loudon District pushes its low, wooded wedge into the lake. This is Long Point Island, known and dreaded by the navigators of the inland sea which […]

“Up the airy mountain, Down the rushy glen, We dare n’t go a-hunting For fear of little men. Wee folk, good folk, Trooping all together; Green jacket, red cap, Gray cock’s feather.” ALLINGHAM. IT was from a profound knowledge of human nature that Lord Bacon, in discoursing upon truth, remarked that a mixture of a […]

Taking Comfort

Story type: Literature

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For the last few days the fine weather has lured me away from books and papers and the close air of dwellings into the open fields, and under the soft, warm sunshine, and the softer light of a full moon. The loveliest season of the whole year–that transient but delightful interval between the storms of […]

The Lighting Up

Story type: Essay

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“He spak to the spynnsters to spynnen it oute.” PIERS PLOUGHMAN. THIS evening, the 20th of the ninth month, is the time fixed upon for lighting the mills for night-labor; and I have just returned from witnessing for the first time the effect of the new illumination. Passing over the bridge, nearly to the Dracut […]

To a population like that of Lowell, the weekly respite from monotonous in-door toil afforded by the first day of the week is particularly grateful. Sabbath comes to the weary and overworked operative emphatically as a day of rest. It opens upon him somewhat as it did upon George Herbert, as he describes it in […]

Patucket Falls

Story type: Essay

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MANY years ago I read, in some old chronicle of the early history of New England, a paragraph which has ever since haunted my memory, calling up romantic associations of wild Nature and wilder man:– “The Sachem Wonolanset, who lived by the Groat Falls of Patucket, on the Merrimac.” It was with this passage in […]

The City Of A Day

Story type: Literature

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The writer, when residing in Lowell, in 1843 contributed this and the companion pieces to ‘The Stranger’ in Lowell. This, then, is Lowell,–a city springing up, like the enchanted palaces of the Arabian tales, as it were in a single night, stretching far and wide its chaos of brick masonry and painted shingles, filling the […]

The Training

Story type: Essay

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“Send for the milingtary.” NOAH CLAYPOLE in Oliver Twist. WHAT’S now in the wind? Sounds of distant music float in at my window on this still October air. Hurrying drum-beat, shrill fife-tones, wailing bugle-notes, and, by way of accompaniment, hurrahs from the urchins on the crowded sidewalks. Here come the citizen-soldiers, each martial foot beating […]

Published originally in The Little Pilgrim, Philadelphia, 1843. OUR old homestead (the house was very old for a new country, having been built about the time that the Prince of, Orange drove out James the Second) nestled under a long range of hills which stretched off to the west. It was surrounded by woods in […]

David Matson

Story type: Literature

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Published originally in Our Young Folks, 1865. WHO of my young friends have read the sorrowful story of “Enoch Arden,” so sweetly and simply told by the great English poet? It is the story of a man who went to sea, leaving behind a sweet young wife and little daughter. He was cast away on […]

The Proselytes

Story type: Literature

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[1833] THE student sat at his books. All the day he had been poring over an old and time-worn volume; and the evening found him still absorbed in its contents. It was one of that interminable series of controversial volumes, containing the theological speculations of the ancient fathers of the Church. With the patient perseverance […]

The Opium Eater

Story type: Literature

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[1833.] Heavens! what a revulsion! what an upheaving from its lowest depths of the inner spirit! what an apocalypse of the world within me! Here was a panacea, a pharmakon nepenthes for all human woes; here was the secret of happiness about which philosophers had disputed for so many ages: happiness might be bought for […]

Passaconaway

Story type: Literature

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[1833.] I know not, I ask not, what guilt’s in thy heart, But I feel that I love thee, whatever thou art. Moor. THE township of Haverhill, on the Merrimac, contained, in the autumn of 1641, the second year of its settlement, but six dwelling-houses, situated near each other, on the site of the present […]

The Little Iron Soldier

Story type: Literature

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WHAT AMINADAB IVISON DREAMED ABOUT. AMINADAB IVISON started up in his bed. The great clock at the head of the staircase, an old and respected heirloom of the family, struck one. “Ah,” said he, heaving up a great sigh from the depths of his inner man, “I’ve had a tried time of it.” “And so […]

CHAPTER I. DR. SINGLETARY is dead! Well, what of it? All who live die sooner or later; and pray who was Dr. Singletary, that his case should claim particular attention? Why, in the first place, Dr. Singletary, as a man born to our common inheritance of joy and sorrow, earthly instincts and heavenward aspirations,–our brother […]

8TH Mo. 29TH, 1892. This, the last of Mr. Whittier’s poems, was written but a few weeks before his death. Among the thousands who with hail and cheer Will welcome thy new year, How few of all have passed, as thou and I, So many milestones by! We have grown old together; we have seen, […]

Summer’s last sun nigh unto setting shines Through yon columnar pines, And on the deepening shadows of the lawn Its golden lines are drawn. Dreaming of long gone summer days like this, Feeling the wind’s soft kiss, Grateful and glad that failing ear and sight Have still their old delight, I sit alone, and watch […]

Between The Gates

Story type: Poetry

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Between the gates of birth and death An old and saintly pilgrim passed, With look of one who witnesseth The long-sought goal at last. O thou whose reverent feet have found The Master’s footprints in thy way, And walked thereon as holy ground, A boon of thee I pray. “My lack would borrow thy excess, […]

The Wind Of March

Story type: Poetry

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Up from the sea, the wild north wind is blowing Under the sky’s gray arch; Smiling, I watch the shaken elm-boughs, knowing It is the wind of March. Between the passing and the coming season, This stormy interlude Gives to our winter-wearied hearts a reason For trustful gratitude. Welcome to waiting ears its harsh forewarning […]

December 17, 1891. Blossom and greenness, making all The winter birthday tropical, And the plain Quaker parlors gay, Have gone from bracket, stand, and wall; We saw them fade, and droop, and fall, And laid them tenderly away. White virgin lilies, mignonette, Blown rose, and pink, and violet, A breath of fragrance passing by; Visions […]

Inscription on the Memorial Window in St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster, the gift of George W. Childs, of America. The new world honors him whose lofty plea For England’s freedom made her own more sure, Whose song, immortal as its theme, shall be Their common freehold while both worlds endure.

Inscription on her Memorial Tablet in Christ Church at Hartford, Conn. She sang alone, ere womanhood had known The gift of song which fills the air to-day Tender and sweet, a music all her own May fitly linger where she knelt to pray.

For the bass-relief by Preston Powers, carved upon the huge boulder in Denver Park, Col., and representing the Last Indian and the Last Bison. The eagle, stooping from yon snow-blown peaks, For the wild hunter and the bison seeks, In the changed world below; and finds alone Their graven semblance in the eternal stone.

Haverhill

Story type: Poetry

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1640-1890. Read at the Celebration of the Two Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the City, July 2, 1890. O river winding to the sea! We call the old time back to thee; From forest paths and water-ways The century-woven veil we raise. The voices of to-day are dumb, Unheard its sounds that go and come; […]

To G. G.

Story type: Poetry

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AN AUTOGRAPH. The daughter of Daniel Gurteen, Esq., delegate from Haverhill, England, to the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary celebration of Haverhill, Massachusetts. The Rev. John Ward of the former place and many of his old parishioners were the pioneer settlers of the new town on the Merrimac. Graceful in name and in thyself, our […]

From purest wells of English undefiled None deeper drank than he, the New World’s child, Who in the language of their farm-fields spoke The wit and wisdom of New England folk, Shaming a monstrous wrong. The world-wide laugh Provoked thereby might well have shaken half The walls of Slavery down, ere yet the ball And […]

Climbing a path which leads back never more We heard behind his footsteps and his cheer; Now, face to face, we greet him standing here Upon the lonely summit of Fourscore Welcome to us, o’er whom the lengthened day Is closing and the shadows colder grow, His genial presence, like an afterglow, Following the one […]

Before my drift-wood fire I sit, And see, with every waif I burn, Old dreams and fancies coloring it, And folly’s unlaid ghosts return. O ships of mine, whose swift keels cleft The enchanted sea on which they sailed, Are these poor fragments only left Of vain desires and hopes that failed? Did I not […]

The substance of these lines, hastily pencilled several years ago, I find among such of my unprinted scraps as have escaped the waste-basket and the fire. In transcribing it I have made some changes, additions, and omissions. On these green banks, where falls too soon The shade of Autumn’s afternoon, The south wind blowing soft […]

Make, for he loved thee well, our Merrimac, From wave and shore a low and long lament For him, whose last look sought thee, as he went The unknown way from which no step comes back. And ye, O ancient pine-trees, at whose feet He watched in life the sunset’s reddening glow, Let the soft […]

Read in New York, April 30, 1889, at the Centennial Celebration of the Inauguration of George Washington as the first President of the United States. The sword was sheathed: in April’s sun Lay green the fields by Freedom won; And severed sections, weary of debates, Joined hands at last and were United States. O City […]

The story of the shipwreck of Captain Valentine Bagley, on the coast of Arabia, and his sufferings in the desert, has been familiar from my childhood. It has been partially told in the singularly beautiful lines of my friend, Harriet Prescott Spofford, an the occasion of a public celebration at the Newburyport Library. To the […]

To E. C. S.

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Poet and friend of poets, if thy glass Detects no flower in winter’s tuft of grass, Let this slight token of the debt I owe Outlive for thee December’s frozen day, And, like the arbutus budding under snow, Take bloom and fragrance from some morn of May When he who gives it shall have gone […]

Low in the east, against a white, cold dawn, The black-lined silhouette of the woods was drawn, And on a wintry waste Of frosted streams and hillsides bare and brown, Through thin cloud-films, a pallid ghost looked down, The waning moon half-faced! In that pale sky and sere, snow-waiting earth, What sign was there of […]

The famous Dark Day of New England, May 19, 1780, was a physical puzzle for many years to our ancestors, but its occurrence brought something more than philosophical speculation into the winds of those who passed through it. The incident of Colonel Abraham Davenport’s sturdy protest is a matter of history. In the old days […]

The harp at Nature’s advent strung Has never ceased to play; The song the stars of morning sung Has never died away. And prayer is made, and praise is given, By all things near and far; The ocean looketh up to heaven, And mirrors every star. Its waves are kneeling on the strand, As kneels […]

What flecks the outer gray beyond The sundown’s golden trail? The white flash of a sea-bird’s wing, Or gleam of slanting sail? Let young eyes watch from Neck and Point, And sea-worn elders pray,– The ghost of what was once a ship Is sailing up the bay. From gray sea-fog, from icy drift, From peril […]

Block Island in Long Island Sound, called by the Indians Manisees, the isle of the little god, was the scene of a tragic incident a hundred years or more ago, when The Palatine, an emigrant ship bound for Philadelphia, driven off its course, came upon the coast at this point. A mutiny on board, followed […]

Attitash, an Indian word signifying “huckleberry,” is the name of a large and beautiful lake in the northern part of Amesbury. In sky and wave the white clouds swam, And the blue hills of Nottingham Through gaps of leafy green Across the lake were seen, When, in the shadow of the ash That dreams its […]

“Tie stille, barn min Imorgen kommer Fin, Fa’er din, Og gi’er dig Esbern Snares nine og hjerte at lege med!” Zealand Rhyme. “Build at Kallundborg by the sea A church as stately as church may be, And there shalt thou wed my daughter fair,” Said the Lord of Nesvek to Esbern Snare. And the Baron […]

O lonely bay of Trinity, O dreary shores, give ear! Lean down unto the white-lipped sea The voice of God to hear! From world to world His couriers fly, Thought-winged and shod with fire; The angel of His stormy sky Rides down the sunken wire. What saith the herald of the Lord? “The world’s long […]

For the fairest maid in Hampton They needed not to search, Who saw young Anna Favor Come walking into church, Or bringing from the meadows, At set of harvest-day, The frolic of the blackbirds, The sweetness of the hay. Now the weariest of all mothers, The saddest two-years bride, She scowls in the face of […]

Piero Luca, known of all the town As the gray porter by the Pitti wall Where the noon shadows of the gardens fall, Sick and in dolor, waited to lay down His last sad burden, and beside his mat The barefoot monk of La Certosa sat. Unseen, in square and blossoming garden drifted, Soft sunset […]

At the mouth of the Melvin River, which empties into Moulton-Bay in Lake Winnipesaukee, is a great mound. The Ossipee Indians had their home in the neighborhood of the bay, which is plentifully stocked with fish, and many relics of their occupation have been found. Where the Great Lake’s sunny smiles Dimple round its hundred […]

The Goody Cole who figures in this poem and The Changeling as Eunice Cole, who for a quarter of a century or more was feared, persecuted, and hated as the witch of Hampton. She lived alone in a hovel a little distant from the spot where the Hampton Academy now stands, and there she died, […]

It can scarcely be necessary to name as the two companions whom I reckoned with myself in this poetical picnic, Fields the lettered magnate, and Taylor the free cosmopolite. The long line of sandy beach which defines almost the whole of the New Hampshire sea-coast is especially marked near its southern extremity, by the salt-meadows […]

Written for the unveiling of the statue of Josiah Bartlett at Amesbury, Mass., July 4, 1888. Governor Bartlett, who was a native of the town, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Amesbury or Ambresbury, so called from the “anointed stones” of the great Druidical temple near it, was the seat of one of […]

1886 The land, that, from the rule of kings, In freeing us, itself made free, Our Old World Sister, to us brings Her sculptured Dream of Liberty, Unlike the shapes on Egypt’s sands Uplifted by the toil-worn slave, On Freedom’s soil with freemen’s hands We rear the symbol free hands gave. O France, the beautiful! […]

Norumbega Hall

Story type: Poetry

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Norumbega Hall at Wellesley College, named in honor of Eben Norton Horsford, who has been one of the most munificent patrons of that noble institution, and who had just published an essay claiming the discovery of the site of the somewhat mythical city of Norumbega, was opened with appropriate ceremonies, in April, 1886. The following […]

The Reunion

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Read September 10, 1885, to the surviving students of Haverhill Academy in 1827-1830. The gulf of seven and fifty years We stretch our welcoming hands across; The distance but a pebble’s toss Between us and our youth appears. For in life’s school we linger on The remnant of a once full list; Conning our lessons, […]

Winter Roses

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In reply to a flower gift from Mrs. Putnam’s school at Jamaica Plain. My garden roses long ago Have perished from the leaf-strewn walks; Their pale, fair sisters smile no more Upon the sweet-brier stalks. Gone with the flower-time of my life, Spring’s violets, summer’s blooming pride, And Nature’s winter and my own Stand, flowerless, […]

Godspeed

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Written on the occasion of a voyage made by my friends Annie Fields and Sarah Orne Jewett. Outbound, your bark awaits you. Were I one Whose prayer availeth much, my wish should be Your favoring trade-wind and consenting sea. By sail or steed was never love outrun, And, here or there, love follows her in […]

Read at Harriet Beecher Stowe’s seventieth anniversary, June 14, 1882, at a garden party at ex-Governor Claflin’s in Newtonville, Mass. Thrice welcome from the Land of Flowers And golden-fruited orange bowers To this sweet, green-turfed June of ours! To her who, in our evil time, Dragged into light the nation’s crime With strength beyond the […]

Garden

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The American Horticultural Society, 1882. O painter of the fruits and flowers, We own wise design, Where these human hands of ours May share work of Thine! Apart from Thee we plant in vain The root and sow the seed; Thy early and Thy later rain, Thy sun and dew we need. Our toil is […]

The Landmarks

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This poem was read at a meeting of citizens of Boston having for its object the preservation of the Old South Church famous in Colonial and Revolutionary history. I. THROUGH the streets of Marblehead Fast the red-winged terror sped; Blasting, withering, on it came, With its hundred tongues of flame, Where St. Michael’s on its […]

Sung at the anniversary of the Children’s Mission, Boston, 1878. Thine are all the gifts, O God! Thine the broken bread; Let the naked feet be shod, And the starving fed. Let Thy children, by Thy grace, Give as they abound, Till the poor have breathing-space, And the lost are found. Wiser than the miser’s […]

At School-Close

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BOWDOIN STREET, BOSTON, 1877. The end has come, as come it must To all things; in these sweet June days The teacher and the scholar trust Their parting feet to separate ways. They part: but in the years to be Shall pleasant memories cling to each, As shells bear inland from the sea The murmur […]

Centennial Hymn

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Written for the opening of the International Exhibition, Philadelphia, May 10, 1876. The music for the hymn was written by John K. Paine, and may be found in The Atlantic Monthly for June, 1876. I. Our fathers’ God! from out whose hand The centuries fall like grains of sand, We meet to-day, united, free, And […]

An incident in St. Augustine, Florida. ‘Neath skies that winter never knew The air was full of light and balm, And warm and soft the Gulf wind blew Through orange bloom and groves of palm. A stranger from the frozen North, Who sought the fount of health in vain, Sank homeless on the alien earth, […]

The Library

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Sung at the opening of the Haverhill Library, November 11, 1875. “Let there be light!” God spake of old, And over chaos dark and cold, And through the dead and formless frame Of nature, life and order came. Faint was the light at first that shone On giant fern and mastodon, On half-formed plant and […]

All things are Thine: no gift have we, Lord of all gifts, to offer Thee; And hence with grateful hearts to-day, Thy own before Thy feet we lay. Thy will was in the builders’ thought; Thy hand unseen amidst us wrought; Through mortal motive, scheme and plan, Thy wise eternal purpose ran. No lack Thy […]

Longwood, not far from Bayard Taylor’s birthplace in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, was the home of my esteemed friends John and Hannah Cox, whose golden wedding was celebrated in 1874. With fifty years between you and your well-kept wedding vow, The Golden Age, old friends of mine, is not a fable now. And, sweet as has […]

Kinsman

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Died at the Island of Panay (Philippine group), aged nineteen years. Where ceaseless Spring her garland twines, As sweetly shall the loved one rest, As if beneath the whispering pines And maple shadows of the West. Ye mourn, O hearts of home! for him, But, haply, mourn ye not alone; For him shall far-off eyes […]

Chicago

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The great fire at Chicago was on 8-10 October, 1871. Men said at vespers: “All is well!” In one wild night the city fell; Fell shrines of prayer and marts of gain Before the fiery hurricane. On threescore spires had sunset shone, Where ghastly sunrise looked on none. Men clasped each other’s hands, and said […]

Read at the President’s Levee, Brown University, 29th 6th month, 1870. To-day the plant by Williams set Its summer bloom discloses; The wilding sweethrier of his prayers Is crowned with cultured roses. Once more the Island State repeats The lesson that he taught her, And binds his pearl of charity Upon her brown-locked daughter. Is […]

The giver of the house was the late George Peabody, of London. Thou dwellest not, O Lord of all In temples which thy children raise; Our work to thine is mean and small, And brief to thy eternal days. Forgive the weakness and the pride, If marred thereby our gift may be, For love, at […]

FOR THE OPENING OF THOMAS STARR KING’S HOUSE OF WORSHIP, 1864. The poetic and patriotic preacher, who had won fame in the East, went to California in 1860 and became a power on the Pacific coast. It was not long after the opening of the house of worship built for him that he died. Amidst […]

O dwellers in the stately towns, What come ye out to see? This common earth, this common sky, This water flowing free? As gayly as these kalmia flowers Your door-yard blossoms spring; As sweetly as these wild-wood birds Your caged minstrels sing. You find but common bloom and green, The rippling river’s rune, The beauty […]

"The Laurels"

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At the twentieth and last anniversary. FROM these wild rocks I look to-day O’er leagues of dancing waves, and see The far, low coast-line stretch away To where our river meets the sea. The light wind blowing off the land Is burdened with old voices; through Shut eyes I see how lip and hand The […]

Revisited

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Read at “The Laurels,” on the Merrimac, 6th month, 1865. The roll of drums and the bugle’s wailing Vex the air of our vales-no more; The spear is beaten to hooks of pruning, The share is the sword the soldier wore! Sing soft, sing low, our lowland river, Under thy banks of laurel bloom; Softly […]

Our River

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FOR A SUMMER FESTIVAL AT “THE LAURELS” ON THE MERRIMAC. Jean Pierre Brissot, the famous leader of the Girondist party in the French Revolution, when a young man travelled extensively in the United States. He visited the valley of the Merrimac, and speaks in terms of admiration of the view from Moulton’s hill opposite Amesbury. […]

The Quaker Alumni

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Read at the Friends’ School Anniversary, Providence, R. I., 6th mo., 1860. From the well-springs of Hudson, the sea-cliffs of Maine, Grave men, sober matrons, you gather again; And, with hearts warmer grown as your heads grow more cool, Play over the old game of going to school. All your strifes and vexations, your whims […]

The Persian’s flowery gifts, the shrine Of fruitful Ceres, charm no more; The woven wreaths of oak and pine Are dust along the Isthmian shore. But beauty hath its homage still, And nature holds us still in debt; And woman’s grace and household skill, And manhood’s toil, are honored yet. And we, to-day, amidst our […]

Kenoza Lake

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This beautiful lake in East Haverhill was the “Great Pond” the writer’s boyhood. In 1859 a movement was made for improving its shores as a public park. At the opening of the park, August 31, 1859, the poem which gave it the name of Kenoza (in Indian language signifying Pickerel) was read. As Adam did […]

A Song Of Harvest

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For the Agricultural and Horticultural Exhibition at Amesbury and Salisbury, September 28, 1858. This day, two hundred years ago, The wild grape by the river’s side, And tasteless groundnut trailing low, The table of the woods supplied. Unknown the apple’s red and gold, The blushing tint of peach and pear; The mirror of the Powow […]

A Lay Of Old Time

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Written for the Essex County Agricultural Fair, and sung at the banquet at Newburyport, October 2, 1856. One morning of the first sad Fall, Poor Adam and his bride Sat in the shade of Eden’s wall– But on the outer side. She, blushing in her fig-leaf suit For the chaste garb of old; He, sighing […]

Samuel J. Tilden

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GREYSTONE, AUG. 4, 1886. Once more, O all-adjusting Death! The nation’s Pantheon opens wide; Once more a common sorrow saith A strong, wise man has died. Faults doubtless had he. Had we not Our own, to question and asperse The worth we doubted or forgot Until beside his hearse? Ambitious, cautious, yet the man To […]

Eva

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Suggested by Mrs. Stowe’s tale of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and written when the characters in the tale were realities by the fireside of countless American homes. Dry the tears for holy Eva, With the blessed angels leave her; Of the form so soft and fair Give to earth the tender care. For the golden locks […]

Luck to the craft that bears this name of mine, Good fortune follow with her golden spoon The glazed hat and tarry pantaloon; And wheresoe’er her keel shall cut the brine, Cod, hake and haddock quarrel for her line. Shipped with her crew, whatever wind may blow, Or tides delay, my wish with her shall […]

Mulford

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Author of The Nation and The Republic of God. Unnoted as the setting of a star He passed; and sect and party scarcely knew When from their midst a sage and seer withdrew To fitter audience, where the great dead are In God’s republic of the heart and mind, Leaving no purer, nobler soul behind. […]

Take our hands, James Russell Lowell, Our hearts are all thy own; To-day we bid thee welcome Not for ourselves alone. In the long years of thy absence Some of us have grown old, And some have passed the portals Of the Mystery untold; For the hands that cannot clasp thee, For the voices that […]

GEORGE FULLER Haunted of Beauty, like the marvellous youth Who sang Saint Agnes’ Eve! How passing fair Her shapes took color in thy homestead air! How on thy canvas even her dreams were truth! Magician! who from commonest elements Called up divine ideals, clothed upon By mystic lights soft blending into one Womanly grace and […]

Wilson

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Read at the Massachusetts Club on the seventieth anniversary the birthday of Vice-President Wilson, February 16, 1882. The lowliest born of all the land, He wrung from Fate’s reluctant hand The gifts which happier boyhood claims; And, tasting on a thankless soil The bitter bread of unpaid toil, He fed his soul with noble aims. […]

LONGFELLOW. WITH a glory of winter sunshine Over his locks of gray, In the old historic mansion He sat on his last birthday; With his books and his pleasant pictures, And his household and his kin, While a sound as of myriads singing From far and near stole in. It came from his own fair […]

Within The Gate

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L. M. C. I have more fully expressed my admiration and regard for Lydia Maria Child in the biographical introduction which I wrote for the volume of Letters, published after her death. We sat together, last May-day, and talked Of the dear friends who walked Beside us, sharers of the hopes and fears Of five […]

As a guest who may not stay Long and sad farewells to say Glides with smiling face away, Of the sweetness and the zest Of thy happy life possessed Thou hast left us at thy best. Warm of heart and clear of brain, Of thy sun-bright spirit’s wane Thou hast spared us all the pain. […]

Bayard Taylor

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I. “And where now, Bayard, will thy footsteps tend?” My sister asked our guest one winter’s day. Smiling he answered in the Friends’ sweet way Common to both: “Wherever thou shall send! What wouldst thou have me see for thee?” She laughed, Her dark eyes dancing in the wood-fire’s glow “Loffoden isles, the Kilpis, and […]

Our Autocrat

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Read at the breakfast given in honor of Dr. Holmes by the publishers of the Atlantic Monthly, December 3, 1879. His laurels fresh from song and lay, Romance, art, science, rich in all, And young of heart, how dare we say We keep his seventieth festival? No sense is here of loss or lack; Before […]

AT THE UNVEILING OF HIS STATUE. Among their graven shapes to whom Thy civic wreaths belong, O city of his love, make room For one whose gift was song. Not his the soldier’s sword to wield, Nor his the helm of state, Nor glory of the stricken field, Nor triumph of debate. In common ways, […]

Oh, well may Essex sit forlorn Beside her sea-blown shore; Her well beloved, her noblest born, Is hers in life no more! No lapse of years can render less Her memory’s sacred claim; No fountain of forgetfulness Can wet the lips of Fame. A grief alike to wound and heal, A thought to soothe and […]

Sumner

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“I am not one who has disgraced beauty of sentiment by deformity of conduct, or the maxims of a freeman by the actions of a slave; but, by the grace of God, I have kept my life unsullied.” –MILTON’S Defence of the People of England. O Mother State! the winds of March Blew chill o’er […]

Theirs

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I. Fate summoned, in gray-bearded age, to act A history stranger than his written fact, Him who portrayed the splendor and the gloom Of that great hour when throne and altar fell With long death-groan which still is audible. He, when around the walls of Paris rung The Prussian bugle like the blast of doom, […]

How Mary Grew

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These lines were in answer to an invitation to hear a lecture of Mary Grew, of Philadelphia, before the Boston Radical Club. The reference in the last stanza is to an essay on Sappho by T. W. Higginson, read at the club the preceding month. With wisdom far beyond her years, And graver than her […]

The Singer

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This poem was written on the death of Alice Cary. Her sister Phoebe, heart-broken by her loss, followed soon after. Noble and richly gifted, lovely in person and character, they left behind them only friends and admirers. Years since (but names to me before), Two sisters sought at eve my door; Two song-birds wandering from […]

ON READING HER POEM IN “THE STANDARD.” Mrs. Child wrote her lines, beginning, “Again the trees are clothed in vernal green,” May 24, 1859, on the first anniversary of Ellis Gray Loring’s death, but did not publish them for some years afterward, when I first read them, or I could not have made the reference […]

Garibaldi

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In trance and dream of old, God’s prophet saw The casting down of thrones. Thou, watching lone The hot Sardinian coast-line, hazy-hilled, Where, fringing round Caprera’s rocky zone With foam, the slow waves gather and withdraw, Behold’st the vision of the seer fulfilled, And hear’st the sea-winds burdened with a sound Of falling chains, as, […]

I need not ask thee, for my sake, To read a book which well may make Its way by native force of wit Without my manual sign to it. Its piquant writer needs from me No gravely masculine guaranty, And well might laugh her merriest laugh At broken spears in her behalf; Yet, spite of […]

George L. Stearns

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No man rendered greater service to the cause of freedom than Major Stearns in the great struggle between invading slave-holders and the free settlers of Kansas. He has done the work of a true man,– Crown him, honor him, love him. Weep, over him, tears of woman, Stoop manliest brows above him! O dusky mothers […]

Mr. Bryant’s seventieth birthday, November 3, 1864, was celebrated by a festival to which these verses were sent. We praise not now the poet’s art, The rounded beauty of his song; Who weighs him from his life apart Must do his nobler nature wrong. Not for the eye, familiar grown With charms to common sight […]

Thomas Starr King

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Published originally as a prelude to the posthumous volume of selections edited by Richard Frothingham. The great work laid upon his twoscore years Is done, and well done. If we drop our tears, Who loved him as few men were ever loved, We mourn no blighted hope nor broken plan With him whose life stands […]

Naples

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INSCRIBED TO ROBERT C. WATERSTON, OF BOSTON. Helen Waterston died at Naples in her eighteenth year, and lies buried in the Protestant cemetery there. The stone over her grave bears the lines, Fold her, O Father, in Thine arms, And let her henceforth be A messenger of love between Our human hearts and Thee. I […]

A Memorial

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Moses Austin Cartland, a dear friend and relation, who led a faithful life as a teacher and died in the summer of 1863. Oh, thicker, deeper, darker growing, The solemn vista to the tomb Must know henceforth another shadow, And give another cypress room. In love surpassing that of brothers, We walked, O friend, from […]

In the fair land o’erwatched by Ischia’s mountains, Across the charmed bay Whose blue waves keep with Capri’s silver fountains Perpetual holiday, A king lies dead, his wafer duly eaten, His gold-bought masses given; And Rome’s great altar smokes with gums to sweeten Her foulest gift to Heaven. And while all Naples thrills with mute […]

John Brown of Ossawatomie spake on his dying day: “I will not have to shrive my soul a priest in Slavery’s pay. But let some poor slave-mother whom I have striven to free, With her children, from the gallows-stair put up a prayer for me!” John Brown of Ossawatomie, they led him out to die; […]

Read at the Boston celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, 25th 1st mo., 1859. In my absence these lines were read by Ralph Waldo Emerson. How sweetly come the holy psalms From saints and martyrs down, The waving of triumphal palms Above the thorny crown The choral praise, the chanted […]

ON A BLANK LEAF OF “POEMS PRINTED, NOT PUBLISHED.” Well thought! who would not rather hear The songs to Love and Friendship sung Than those which move the stranger’s tongue, And feed his unselected ear? Our social joys are more than fame; Life withers in the public look. Why mount the pillory of a book, […]

So spake Esaias: so, in words of flame, Tekoa’s prophet-herdsman smote with blame The traffickers in men, and put to shame, All earth and heaven before, The sacerdotal robbers of the poor. All the dread Scripture lives for thee again, To smite like lightning on the hands profane Lifted to bless the slave-whip and the […]

To Charles Sumner

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If I have seemed more prompt to censure wrong Than praise the right; if seldom to thine ear My voice hath mingled with the exultant cheer Borne upon all our Northern winds along; If I have failed to join the fickle throng In wide-eyed wonder, that thou standest strong In victory, surprised in thee to […]

William Forster

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William Forster, of Norwich, England, died in East Tennessee, in the 1st month, 1854, while engaged in presenting to the governors of the States of this Union the address of his religious society on the evils of slavery. He was the relative and coadjutor of the Buxtons, Gurneys, and Frys; and his whole life, extending […]

The Cross

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Richard Dillingham, a young member of the Society of Friends, died in the Nashville penitentiary, where he was confined for the act of aiding the escape of fugitive slaves. “The cross, if rightly borne, shall be No burden, but support to thee;” So, moved of old time for our sake, The holy monk of Kempen […]

The Rantoul

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No more fitting inscription could be placed on the tombstone of Robert Rantoul than this: “He died at his post in Congress, and his last words were a protest in the name of Democracy against the Fugitive-Slave Law.” One day, along the electric wire His manly word for Freedom sped; We came next morn: that […]

AN EPISTLE NOT AFTER THE MANNER OF HORACE These lines were addressed to my worthy friend Joshua Coffin, teacher, historian, and antiquarian. He was one of the twelve persons who with William Lloyd Garrison formed the first anti-slavery society in New England. Old friend, kind friend! lightly down Drop time’s snow-flakes on thy crown! Never […]

Kossuth

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It can scarcely be necessary to say that there are elements in the character and passages in the history of the great Hungarian statesman and orator, which necessarily command the admiration of those, even, who believe that no political revolution was ever worth the price of human blood. Type of two mighty continents!–combining The strength […]

Benedicite

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God’s love and peace be with thee, where Soe’er this soft autumnal air Lifts the dark tresses of thy hair. Whether through city casements comes Its kiss to thee, in crowded rooms, Or, out among the woodland blooms, It freshens o’er thy thoughtful face, Imparting, in its glad embrace, Beauty to beauty, grace to grace! […]

In Peace

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A track of moonlight on a quiet lake, Whose small waves on a silver-sanded shore Whisper of peace, and with the low winds make Such harmonies as keep the woods awake, And listening all night long for their sweet sake A green-waved slope of meadow, hovered o’er By angel-troops of lilies, swaying light On viewless […]

Fair Nature’s priestesses! to whom, In hieroglyph of bud and bloom, Her mysteries are told; Who, wise in lore of wood and mead, The seasons’ pictured scrolls can read, In lessons manifold! Thanks for the courtesy, and gay Good-humor, which on Washing Day Our ill-timed visit bore; Thanks for your graceful oars, which broke The […]

Wordsworth

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WRITTEN ON A BLANK LEAF OF HIS MEMOIRS. Dear friends, who read the world aright, And in its common forms discern A beauty and a harmony The many never learn! Kindred in soul of him who found In simple flower and leaf and stone The impulse of the sweetest lays Our Saxon tongue has known,– […]

The Lost Occasion

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Some die too late and some too soon, At early morning, heat of noon, Or the chill evening twilight. Thou, Whom the rich heavens did so endow With eyes of power and Jove’s own brow, With all the massive strength that fills Thy home-horizon’s granite hills, With rarest gifts of heart and head From manliest […]

Ichabod

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This poem was the outcome of the surprise and grief and forecast of evil consequences which I felt on reading the seventh of March speech of Daniel Webster in support of the “compromise,” and the Fugitive Slave Law. No partisan or personal enmity dictated it. On the contrary my admiration of the splendid personality and […]

Elliott

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Ebenezer Elliott was to the artisans of England what Burns was to the peasantry of Scotland. His Corn-law Rhymes contributed not a little to that overwhelming tide of popular opinion and feeling which resulted in the repeal of the tax on bread. Well has the eloquent author of The Reforms and Reformers of Great Britain […]

The Hill-Top

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The burly driver at my side, We slowly climbed the hill, Whose summit, in the hot noontide, Seemed rising, rising still. At last, our short noon-shadows bid The top-stone, bare and brown, From whence, like Gizeh’s pyramid, The rough mass slanted down. I felt the cool breath of the North; Between me and the sun, […]

To Avis Keene

Story type: Poetry

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ON RECEIVING A BASKET OF SEA-MOSSES. Thanks for thy gift Of ocean flowers, Born where the golden drift Of the slant sunshine falls Down the green, tremulous walls Of water, to the cool, still coral bowers, Where, under rainbows of perpetual showers, God’s gardens of the deep His patient angels keep; Gladdening the dim, strange […]

It is proper to say that these lines are the joint impromptus of my sister and myself. They are inserted here as an expression of our admiration of the gifted stranger whom we have since learned to love as a friend. Seeress of the misty Norland, Daughter of the Vikings bold, Welcome to the sunny […]

Daniel Wheeler

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Daniel Wheeler, a minister of the Society of Friends, who had labored in the cause of his Divine Master in Great Britain, Russia, and the islands of the Pacific, died in New York in the spring of 1840, while on a religious visit to this country. O Dearly loved! And worthy of our love! No […]

Sophia Sturge, sister of Joseph Sturge, of Birmingham, the President of the British Complete Suffrage Association, died in the 6th month, 1845. She was the colleague, counsellor, and ever-ready helpmate of her brother in all his vast designs of beneficence. The Birmingham Pilot says of her: “Never, perhaps, were the active and passive virtues of […]

Channing

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The last time I saw Dr. Channing was in the summer of 1841, when, in company with my English friend, Joseph Sturge, so well known for his philanthropic labors and liberal political opinions, I visited him in his summer residence in Rhode Island. In recalling the impressions of that visit, it can scarcely be necessary […]

To Ronge

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This was written after reading the powerful and manly protest of Johannes Ronge against the “pious fraud” of the Bishop of Treves. The bold movement of the young Catholic priest of Prussian Silesia seemed to me full of promise to the cause of political as well as religious liberty in Europe. That it failed was […]

Gone

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Another hand is beckoning us, Another call is given; And glows once more with Angel-steps The path which reaches Heaven. Our young and gentle friend, whose smile Made brighter summer hours, Amid the frosts of autumn time Has left us with the flowers. No paling of the cheek of bloom Forewarned us of decay; No […]

Chalkley Hall

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Chalkley Hall, near Frankford, Pa., was the residence of Thomas Chalkley, an eminent minister of the Friends’ denomination. He was one of the early settlers of the Colony, and his Journal, which was published in 1749, presents a quaint but beautiful picture of a life of unostentatious and simple goodness. He was the master of […]

To J. P.

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John Pierpont, the eloquent preacher and poet of Boston. Not as a poor requital of the joy With which my childhood heard that lay of thine, Which, like an echo of the song divine At Bethlehem breathed above the Holy Boy, Bore to my ear the Airs of Palestine,– Not to the poet, but the […]

Follen

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ON READING HIS ESSAY ON THE “FUTURE STATE.” Charles Follen, one of the noblest contributions of Germany to American citizenship, was at an early age driven from his professorship in the University of Jena, and compelled to seek shelter from official prosecution in Switzerland, on account of his liberal political opinions. He became Professor of […]

Lucy Hooper

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Lucy Hooper died at Brooklyn, L. I., on the 1st of 8th mo., 1841, aged twenty-four years. They tell me, Lucy, thou art dead, That all of thee we loved and cherished Has with thy summer roses perished; And left, as its young beauty fled, An ashen memory in its stead, The twilight of a […]

How smiled the land of France Under thy blue eye’s glance, Light-hearted rover Old walls of chateaux gray, Towers of an early day, Which the Three Colors play Flauntingly over. Now midst the brilliant train Thronging the banks of Seine Now midst the splendor Of the wild Alpine range, Waking with change on change Thoughts […]

William Leggett, who died in 1839 at the age of thirty-seven, was the intrepid editor of the New York Evening Post and afterward of The Plain Dealer. His vigorous assault upon the system of slavery brought down upon him the enmity of political defenders of the system. “Ye build the tombs of the prophets.”–Holy Writ. […]

“Get the writings of John Woolman by heart.”–Essays of Elia. Maiden! with the fair brown tresses Shading o’er thy dreamy eye, Floating on thy thoughtful forehead Cloud wreaths of its sky. Youthful years and maiden beauty, Joy with them should still abide,– Instinct take the place of Duty, Love, not Reason, guide. Ever in the […]

ON THE DEATH OF S. OLIVER TORREY, SECRETARY OF THE BOSTON YOUNG MEN’S ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY. Gone before us, O our brother, To the spirit-land! Vainly look we for another In thy place to stand. Who shall offer youth and beauty On the wasting shrine Of a stern and lofty duty, With a faith like thine? […]

Late President of Western Reserve College, who died at his post of duty, overworn by his strenuous labors with tongue and pen in the cause of Human Freedom. Thou hast fallen in thine armor, Thou martyr of the Lord With thy last breath crying “Onward!” And thy hand upon the sword. The haughty heart derideth, […]

A Letter

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Supposed to be written by the chairman of the “Central Clique” at Concord, N. H., to the Hon. M. N., Jr., at Washington, giving the result of the election. The following verses were published in the Boston Chronotype in 1846. They refer to the contest in New Hampshire, which resulted in the defeat of the […]

Astraea

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“Jove means to settle Astraea in her seat again, And let down from his golden chain An age of better metal.” BEN JONSON, 1615. O POET rare and old! Thy words are prophecies; Forward the age of gold, The new Saturnian lies. The universal prayer And hope are not in vain; Rise, brothers! and prepare […]

Our Country

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Read at Woodstock, Conn., July 4,1883. WE give thy natal day to hope, O Country of our love and prayer I Thy way is down no fatal slope, But up to freer sun and air. Tried as by furnace-fires, and yet By God’s grace only stronger made, In future tasks before thee set Thou shalt […]

On The Big Horn

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In the disastrous battle on the Big Horn River, in which General Custer and his entire force were slain, the chief Rain-in-the-Face was one of the fiercest leaders of the Indians. In Longfellow’s poem on the massacre, these lines will be remembered:– “Revenge!” cried Rain-in-the-Face, “Revenge upon all the race Of the White Chief with […]

The Problem

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I. NOT without envy Wealth at times must look On their brown strength who wield the reaping-hook And scythe, or at the forge-fire shape the plough Or the steel harness of the steeds of steam; All who, by skill and patience, anyhow Make service noble, and the earth redeem From savageness. By kingly accolade Than […]

Disarmament

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“PUT up the sword!” The voice of Christ once more Speaks, in the pauses of the cannon’s roar, O’er fields of corn by fiery sickles reaped And left dry ashes; over trenches heaped With nameless dead; o’er cities starving slow Under a rain of fire; through wards of woe Down which a groaning diapason runs […]

After Election

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THE day’s sharp strife is ended now, Our work is done, God knoweth how! As on the thronged, unrestful town The patience of the moon looks down, I wait to hear, beside the wire, The voices of its tongues of fire. Slow, doubtful, faint, they seem at first Be strong, my heart, to know the […]

Freedom In Brazil

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WITH clearer light, Cross of the South, shine forth In blue Brazilian skies; And thou, O river, cleaving half the earth From sunset to sunrise, From the great mountains to the Atlantic waves Thy joy’s long anthem pour. Yet a few years (God make them less!) and slaves Shall shame thy pride no more. No […]

Italy

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ACROSS the sea I heard the groans Of nations in the intervals Of wind and wave. Their blood and bones Cried out in torture, crushed by thrones, And sucked by priestly cannibals. I dreamed of Freedom slowly gained By martyr meekness, patience, faith, And lo! an athlete grimly stained, With corded muscles battle-strained, Shouting it […]

From Perugia

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“The thing which has the most dissevered the people from the Pope,–the unforgivable thing,–the breaking point between him and them,–has been the encouragement and promotion he gave to the officer under whom were executed the slaughters of Perugia. That made the breaking point in many honest hearts that had clung to him before.”–HARRIET BEECHER STOWE’S […]

FROM gold to gray Our mild sweet day Of Indian Summer fades too soon; But tenderly Above the sea Hangs, white and calm, the hunter’s moon. In its pale fire, The village spire Shows like the zodiac’s spectral lance; The painted walls Whereon it falls Transfigured stand in marble trance! O’er fallen leaves The west-wind […]

“Joseph Sturge, with a companion, Thomas Harvey, has been visiting the shores of Finland, to ascertain the amount of mischief and loss to poor and peaceable sufferers, occasioned by the gun-boats of the allied squadrons in the late war, with a view to obtaining relief for them.”– Friends’ Review. ACROSS the frozen marshes The winds […]

The New Exodus

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Written upon hearing that slavery had been formally abolished in Egypt. Unhappily, the professions and pledges of the vacillating government of Egypt proved unreliable. BY fire and cloud, across the desert sand, And through the parted waves, From their long bondage, with an outstretched hand, God led the Hebrew slaves! Dead as the letter of […]

The Voices

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WHY urge the long, unequal fight, Since Truth has fallen in the street, Or lift anew the trampled light, Quenched by the heedless million’s feet? “Give o’er the thankless task; forsake The fools who know not ill from good Eat, drink, enjoy thy own, and take Thine ease among the multitude. “Live out thyself; with […]

IT chanced that while the pious troops of France Fought in the crusade Pio Nono preached, What time the holy Bourbons stayed his hands (The Hun and Aaron meet for such a Moses), Stretched forth from Naples towards rebellious Rome To bless the ministry of Oudinot, And sanctify his iron homilies And sharp persuasions of […]

THE proudest now is but my peer, The highest not more high; To-day, of all the weary year, A king of men am I. To-day, alike are great and small, The nameless and the known; My palace is the people’s hall, The ballot-box my throne! Who serves to-day upon the list Beside the served shall […]

The Disenthralled

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HE had bowed down to drunkenness, An abject worshipper The pride of manhood’s pulse had grown Too faint and cold to stir; And he had given his spirit up To the unblessed thrall, And bowing to the poison cup, He gloried in his fall! There came a change–the cloud rolled off, And light fell on […]

“GREAT peace in Europe! Order reigns From Tiber’s hills to Danube’s plains!” So say her kings and priests; so say The lying prophets of our day. Go lay to earth a listening ear; The tramp of measured marches hear; The rolling of the cannon’s wheel, The shotted musket’s murderous peal, The night alarm, the sentry’s […]

I HAVE been thinking of the victims bound In Naples, dying for the lack of air And sunshine, in their close, damp cells of pain, Where hope is not, and innocence in vain Appeals against the torture and the chain! Unfortunates! whose crime it was to share Our common love of freedom, and to dare, […]

Our State

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THE South-land boasts its teeming cane, The prairied West its heavy grain, And sunset’s radiant gates unfold On rising marts and sands of gold. Rough, bleak, and hard, our little State Is scant of soil, of limits strait; Her yellow sands are sands alone, Her only mines are ice and stone! From Autumn frost to […]

Calef In Boston

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1692. IN the solemn days of old, Two men met in Boston town, One a tradesman frank and bold, One a preacher of renown. Cried the last, in bitter tone: “Poisoner of the wells of truth Satan’s hireling, thou hast sown With his tares the heart of youth!” Spake the simple tradesman then, “God be […]

To Pius Ix

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The writer of these lines is no enemy of Catholics. He has, on more than one occasion, exposed himself to the censures of his Protestant brethren, by his strenuous endeavors to procure indemnification for the owners of the convent destroyed near Boston. He defended the cause of the Irish patriots long before it had become […]

The Men Of Old

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“WELL speed thy mission, bold Iconoclast! Yet all unworthy of its trust thou art, If, with dry eye, and cold, unloving heart, Thou tread’st the solemn Pantheon of the Past, By the great Future’s dazzling hope made blind To all the beauty, power, and truth behind. Not without reverent awe shouldst thou put by The […]

The reader of the biography of William Allen, the philanthropic associate of Clarkson and Romilly, cannot fail to admire his simple and beautiful record of a tour through Europe, in the years 1818 and 1819, in the company of his American friend, Stephen Grellett. No aimless wanderers, by the fiend Unrest Goaded from shore to […]

Before the law authorizing imprisonment for debt had been abolished in Massachusetts, a revolutionary pensioner was confined in Charlestown jail for a debt of fourteen dollars, and on the fourth of July was seen waving a handkerchief from the bars of his cell in honor of the day. Look on him! through his dungeon grate, […]

STILL in thy streets, O Paris! doth the stain Of blood defy the cleansing autumn rain; Still breaks the smoke Messina’s ruins through, And Naples mourns that new Bartholomew, When squalid beggary, for a dole of bread, At a crowned murderer’s beck of license, fed The yawning trenches with her noble dead; Still, doomed Vienna, […]

The Reformer

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ALL grim and soiled and brown with tan, I saw a Strong One, in his wrath, Smiting the godless shrines of man Along his path. The Church, beneath her trembling dome, Essayed in vain her ghostly charm Wealth shook within his gilded home With strange alarm. Fraud from his secret chambers fled Before the sunlight […]

The Huskers

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(Seventh poem in a group Songs of Labor poems) IT was late in mild October, and the long autumnal rain Had left the summer harvest-fields all green with grass again; The first sharp frosts had fallen, leaving all the woodlands gay With the hues of summer’s rainbow, or the meadow-flowers of May. Through a thin, […]

The Drovers

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(Sixth poem in a group Songs of Labor poems) THROUGH heat and cold, and shower and sun, Still onward cheerly driving There’s life alone in duty done, And rest alone in striving. But see! the day is closing cool, The woods are dim before us; The white fog of the wayside pool Is creeping slowly […]

The Ship-builders

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(Fifth poem in a group Songs of Labor poems) THE sky is ruddy in the east, The earth is gray below, And, spectral in the river-mist, The ship’s white timbers show. Then let the sounds of measured stroke And grating saw begin; The broad-axe to the gnarled oak, The mallet to the pin! Hark! roars […]

The Lumbermen

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(Fourth poem in a group Songs of Labor poems) WILDLY round our woodland quarters Sad-voiced Autumn grieves; Thickly down these swelling waters Float his fallen leaves. Through the tall and naked timber, Column-like and old, Gleam the sunsets of November, From their skies of gold. O’er us, to the southland heading, Screams the gray wild-goose; […]

The Fishermen

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(Third poem in a group Songs of Labor poems) HURRAH! the seaward breezes Sweep down the bay amain; Heave up, my lads, the anchor! Run up the sail again Leave to the lubber landsmen The rail-car and the steed; The stars of heaven shall guide us, The breath of heaven shall speed. From the hill-top […]

The Shoemakers

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(Second poem in a group Songs of Labor poems) Ho! workers of the old time styled The Gentle Craft of Leather Young brothers of the ancient guild, Stand forth once more together! Call out again your long array, In the olden merry manner Once more, on gay St. Crispin’s day, Fling out your blazoned banner! […]

Dedication

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(First poem in a group Songs of Labor poems) Prefixed to the volume of which the group of six poems following this prelude constituted the first portion. I WOULD the gift I offer here Might graces from thy favor take, And, seen through Friendship’s atmosphere, On softened lines and coloring, wear The unaccustomed light of […]

Some leading sectarian papers had lately published the letter of a clergyman, giving an account of his attendance upon a criminal (who had committed murder during a fit of intoxication), at the time of his execution, in western New York. The writer describes the agony of the wretched being, his abortive attempts at prayer, his […]

This poem was addressed to those who like Richard Cobden and John Bright were seeking the reform of political evils in Great Britain by peaceful and Christian means. It will be remembered that the Anti-Corn Law League was in the midst of its labors at this time. GOD bless ye, brothers! in the fight Ye […]

The Gallows

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Written on reading pamphlets published by clergymen against the abolition of the gallows. I. THE suns of eighteen centuries have shone Since the Redeemer walked with man, and made The fisher’s boat, the cavern’s floor of stone, And mountain moss, a pillow for His head; And He, who wandered with the peasant Jew, And broke […]

Democracy

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All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.–MATTHEW vii. 12. BEARER of Freedom’s holy light, Breaker of Slavery’s chain and rod, The foe of all which pains the sight, Or wounds the generous ear of God! Beautiful yet thy temples rise, Though there profaning gifts are […]

THE Quaker of the olden time! How calm and firm and true, Unspotted by its wrong and crime, He walked the dark earth through. The lust of power, the love of gain, The thousand lures of sin Around him, had no power to stain The purity within. With that deep insight which detects All great […]

Garrison

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The earliest poem in this division was my youthful tribute to the great reformer when himself a young man he was first sounding his trumpet in Essex County. I close with the verses inscribed to him at the end of his earthly career, May 24, 1879. My poetical service in the cause of freedom is […]

A number of students of Fisk University, under the direction of one of the officers, gave a series of concerts in the Northern States, for the purpose of establishing the college on a firmer financial foundation. Their hymns and songs, mostly in a minor key, touched the hearts of the people, and were received as […]

Moses Kimball, a citizen of Boston, presented to the city a duplicate of the Freedman’s Memorial statue erected in Lincoln Square, Washington. The group, which stands in Park Square, represents the figure of a slave, from whose limbs the broken fetters have fallen, kneeling in gratitude at the feet of Lincoln. The group was designed […]

Howard At Atlanta

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RIGHT in the track where Sherman Ploughed his red furrow, Out of the narrow cabin, Up from the cellar’s burrow, Gathered the little black people, With freedom newly dowered, Where, beside their Northern teacher, Stood the soldier, Howard. He listened and heard the children Of the poor and long-enslaved Reading the words of Jesus, Singing […]

IN the old Hebrew myth the lion’s frame, So terrible alive, Bleached by the desert’s sun and wind, became The wandering wild bees’ hive; And he who, lone and naked-handed, tore Those jaws of death apart, In after time drew forth their honeyed store To strengthen his strong heart. Dead seemed the legend: but it […]

The thirty-ninth congress was that which met in 1565 after the close of the war, when it was charged with the great question of reconstruction; the uppermost subject in men’s minds was the standing of those who had recently been in arms against the Union and their relations to the freedmen. O PEOPLE-CHOSEN! are ye […]

The Peace Autumn

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Written for the Fssex County Agricultural Festival, 1865. THANK God for rest, where none molest, And none can make afraid; For Peace that sits as Plenty’s guest Beneath the homestead shade! Bring pike and gun, the sword’s red scourge, The negro’s broken chains, And beat them at the blacksmith’s forge To ploughshares for our plains. […]

NOT unto us who did but seek The word that burned within to speak, Not unto us this day belong The triumph and exultant song. Upon us fell in early youth The burden of unwelcome truth, And left us, weak and frail and few, The censor’s painful work to do. Thenceforth our life a fight […]

Laus Deo!

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On hearing the bells ring on the passage of the constitutional amendment abolishing slavery. The resolution was adopted by Congress, January 31, 1865. The ratification by the requisite number of states was announced December 18, 1865. IT is done! Clang of bell and roar of gun Send the tidings up and down. How the belfries […]

A LEGEND OF “THE RED, WHITE, AND BLUE,” A. D. 1154-1864. A STRONG and mighty Angel, Calm, terrible, and bright, The cross in blended red and blue Upon his mantle white. Two captives by him kneeling, Each on his broken chain, Sang praise to God who raiseth The dead to life again! Dropping his cross-wrought […]

THE birds against the April wind Flew northward, singing as they flew; They sang, “The land we leave behind Has swords for corn-blades, blood for dew.” “O wild-birds, flying from the South, What saw and heard ye, gazing down?” “We saw the mortar’s upturned mouth, The sickened camp, the blazing town! “Beneath the bivouac’s starry […]

Barbara Frietchie

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This poem was written in strict conformity to the account of the incident as I had it from respectable and trustworthy sources. It has since been the subject of a good deal of conflicting testimony, and the story was probably incorrect in some of its details. It is admitted by all that Barbara Frietchie was […]

Anniversary Poem

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Read before the Alumni of the Friends’ Yearly Meeting School, at the Annual Meeting at Newport, R. I., 15th 6th mo., 1863. ONCE more, dear friends, you meet beneath A clouded sky Not yet the sword has found its sheath, And on the sweet spring airs the breath Of war floats by. Yet trouble springs […]

The Proclamation

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President Lincoln’s proclamation of emancipation was issued January 1, 1863. SAINT PATRICK, slave to Milcho of the herds Of Ballymena, wakened with these words “Arise, and flee Out from the land of bondage, and be free!” Glad as a soul in pain, who hears from heaven The angels singing of his sins forgiven, And, wondering, […]

OH, none in all the world before Were ever glad as we! We’re free on Carolina’s shore, We’re all at home and free. Thou Friend and Helper of the poor, Who suffered for our sake, To open every prison door, And every yoke to break! Bend low Thy pitying face and mild, And help us […]

THE flags of war like storm-birds fly, The charging trumpets blow; Yet rolls no thunder in the sky, No earthquake strives below. And, calm and patient, Nature keeps Her ancient promise well, Though o’er her bloom and greenness sweeps The battle’s breath of hell. And still she walks in golden hours Through harvest-happy farms, And […]

ABOLITION OF SLAVERY IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, 1862. WHEN first I saw our banner wave Above the nation’s council-hall, I heard beneath its marble wall The clanking fetters of the slave! In the foul market-place I stood, And saw the Christian mother sold, And childhood with its locks of gold, Blue-eyed and fair with […]

At Port Royal

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In November, 1861, a Union force under Commodore Dupont and General Sherman captured Port Royal, and from this point as a basis of operations, the neighboring islands between Charleston and Savannah were taken possession of. The early occupation of this district, where the negro population was greatly in excess of the white, gave an opportunity […]

It is recorded that the Chians, when subjugated by Mithridates of Cappadocia, were delivered up to their own slaves, to be carried away captive to Colchis. Athenxus considers this a just punishment for their wickedness in first introducing the slave-trade into Greece. From this ancient villany of the Chians the proverb arose, “The Chian hath […]

To Englishmen

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Written when, in the stress of our terrible war, the English ruling class, with few exceptions, were either coldly indifferent or hostile to the party of freedom. Their attitude was illustrated by caricatures of America, among which was one of a slaveholder and cowhide, with the motto, “Haven’t I a right to wallop my nigger?” […]

The Watchers

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BESIDE a stricken field I stood; On the torn turf, on grass and wood, Hung heavily the dew of blood. Still in their fresh mounds lay the slain, But all the air was quick with pain And gusty sighs and tearful rain. Two angels, each with drooping head And folded wings and noiseless tread, Watched […]

On the 31st of August, 1861, General Fremont, then in charge of the Western Department, issued a proclamation which contained a clause, famous as the first announcement of emancipation: “The property,” it declared, “real and personal, of all persons in the State of Missouri, who shall take up arms against the United States, or who […]

LUTHER’S HYMN. WE wait beneath the furnace-blast The pangs of transformation; Not painlessly doth God recast And mould anew the nation. Hot burns the fire Where wrongs expire; Nor spares the hand That from the land Uproots the ancient evil. The hand-breadth cloud the sages feared Its bloody rain is dropping; The poison plant the […]

THE firmament breaks up. In black eclipse Light after light goes out. One evil star, Luridly glaring through the smoke of war, As in the dream of the Apocalypse, Drags others down. Let us not weakly weep Nor rashly threaten. Give us grace to keep Our faith and patience; wherefore should we leap On one […]

Thy Will Be Done

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WE see not, know not; all our way Is night,–with Thee alone is day From out the torrent’s troubled drift, Above the storm our prayers we lift, Thy will be done! The flesh may fail, the heart may faint, But who are we to make complaint, Or dare to plead, in times like these, The […]

TO SAMUEL E. SEWALL AND HARRIET W. SEWAll, OF MELROSE. These lines to my old friends stood as dedication in the volume which contained a collection of pieces under the general title of In War Time. The group belonging distinctly under that title I have retained here; the other pieces in the volume are distributed […]

On the 12th of January, 1861, Mr. Seward delivered in the Senate chamber a speech on The State of the Union, in which he urged the paramount duty of preserving the Union, and went as far as it was possible to go, without surrender of principles, in concessions to the Southern party, concluding his argument […]

On A Prayer-Book

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WITH ITS FRONTISPIECE, ARY SCHEFFER’S “CHRISTUS CONSOLATOR,” AMERICANIZED BY THE OMISSION OF THE BLACK MAN. It is hardly to be credited, yet is true, that in the anxiety of the Northern merchant to conciliate his Southern customer, a publisher was found ready thus to mutilate Scheffer’s picture. He intended his edition for use in the […]

The Panorama

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“A! fredome is a nobill thing! Fredome mayse man to haif liking. Fredome all solace to man giffis; He levys at ese that frely levys A nobil hart may haif nane ese Na ellvs nocht that may him plese Gyff Fredome failythe.” ARCHDEACON BARBOUR. THROUGH the long hall the shuttered windows shed A dubious light […]

Written after the election in 1586, which showed the immense gains of the Free Soil party, and insured its success in 1860. BENEATH thy skies, November! Thy skies of cloud and rain, Around our blazing camp-fires We close our ranks again. Then sound again the bugles, Call the muster-roll anew; If months have well-nigh won […]

What Of The Day?

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Written during the stirring weeks when the great political battle for Freedom under Fremont’s leadership was permitting strong hope of success,–a hope overshadowed and solemnized by a sense of the magnitude of the barbaric evil, and a forecast of the unscrupulous and desperate use of all its powers in the last and decisive struggle. A […]

Written in the summer of 1856, during the political campaign of the Free Soil party under the candidacy of John C. Fremont. Up, laggards of Freedom!–our free flag is cast To the blaze of the sun and the wings of the blast; Will ye turn from a struggle so bravely begun, From a foe that […]

ALL night above their rocky bed They saw the stars march slow; The wild Sierra overhead, The desert’s death below. The Indian from his lodge of bark, The gray bear from his den, Beyond their camp-fire’s wall of dark, Glared on the mountain men. Still upward turned, with anxious strain, Their leader’s sleepless eye, Where […]

The massacre of unarmed and unoffending men, in Southern Kansas, in May, 1858, took place near the Marais du Cygne of the French voyageurs. A BLUSH as of roses Where rose never grew! Great drops on the bunch-grass, But not of the dew! A taint in the sweet air For wild bees to shun! A […]

To Pennsylvania

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O STATE prayer-founded! never hung Such choice upon a people’s tongue, Such power to bless or ban, As that which makes thy whisper Fate, For which on thee the centuries wait, And destinies of man! Across thy Alleghanian chain, With groanings from a land in pain, The west-wind finds its way: Wild-wailing from Missouri’s flood […]

Burial Of Barber

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Thomas Barber was shot December 6, 1855, near Lawrence, Kansas. BEAR him, comrades, to his grave; Never over one more brave Shall the prairie grasses weep, In the ages yet to come, When the millions in our room, What we sow in tears, shall reap. Bear him up the icy hill, With the Kansas, frozen […]

LETTER FROM A MISSIONARY OF THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH, IN KANSAS, TO A DISTINGUISHED POLITICIAN DOUGLAS MISSION, August, 1854, LAST week–the Lord be praised for all His mercies To His unworthy servant!–I arrived Safe at the Mission, via Westport; where I tarried over night, to aid in forming A Vigilance Committee, to send back, […]

This poem and the three following were called out by the popular movement of Free State men to occupy the territory of Kansas, and by the use of the great democratic weapon–an over-powering majority–to settle the conflict on that ground between Freedom and Slavery. The opponents of the movement used another kind of weapon. WE […]

Inscribed to friends under arrest for treason against the slave power. THE age is dull and mean. Men creep, Not walk; with blood too pale and tame To pay the debt they owe to shame; Buy cheap, sell dear; eat, drink, and sleep Down-pillowed, deaf to moaning want; Pay tithes for soul-insurance; keep Six days […]

The Haschish

Story type: Poetry

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OF all that Orient lands can vaunt Of marvels with our own competing, The strangest is the Haschish plant, And what will follow on its eating. What pictures to the taster rise, Of Dervish or of Almeh dances! Of Eblis, or of Paradise, Set all aglow with Houri glances! The poppy visions of Cathay, The […]

Arisen At Last

Story type: Poetry

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On the passage of the bill to protect the rights and liberties of the people of the State against the Fugitive Slave Act. I SAID I stood upon thy grave, My Mother State, when last the moon Of blossoms clomb the skies of June. And, scattering ashes on my head, I wore, undreaming of relief, […]

The Rendition

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On the 2d of June, 1854, Anthony Burns, a fugitive slave from Virginia, after being under arrest for ten days in the Boston Court House, was remanded to slavery under the Fugitive Slave Act, and taken down State Street to a steamer chartered by the United States Government, under guard of United States troops and […]

Official Piety

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Suggested by reading a state paper, wherein the higher law is invoked to sustain the lower one. A Pious magistrate! sound his praise throughout The wondering churches. Who shall henceforth doubt That the long-wished millennium draweth nigh? Sin in high places has become devout, Tithes mint, goes painful-faced, and prays its lie Straight up to […]

In a foot-note of the Report of the Senate of Massachusetts on the case of the arrest and return to bondage of the fugitive slave Thomas Sims it is stated that–“It would have been impossible for the U. S. marshal thus successfully to have resisted the law of the State, without the assistance of the […]

In The Evil Days

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This and the four following poems have special reference to that darkest hour in the aggression of slavery which preceded the dawn of a better day, when the conscience of the people was roused to action. THE evil days have come, the poor Are made a prey; Bar up the hospitable door, Put out the […]

A Sabbath Scene

Story type: Poetry

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This poem finds its justification in the readiness with which, even in the North, clergymen urged the prompt execution of the Fugitive Slave Law as a Christian duty, and defended the system of slavery as a Bible institution. SCARCE had the solemn Sabbath-bell Ceased quivering in the steeple, Scarce had the parson to his desk […]

Derne

Story type: Poetry

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The storming of the city of Derne, in 1805, by General Eaton, at the head of nine Americans, forty Greeks, and a motley array of Turks and Arabs, was one of those feats of hardihood and daring which have in all ages attracted the admiration of the multitude. The higher and holier heroism of Christian […]

A pleasant print to peddle out In lands of rice and cotton; The model of that face in dough Would make the artist’s fortune. For Fame to thee has come unsought, While others vainly woo her, In proof how mean a thing can make A great man of its doer. To whom shall men thyself […]

The Crisis

Story type: Poetry

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Written on learning the terms of the treaty with Mexico. ACROSS the Stony Mountains, o’er the desert’s drouth and sand, The circles of our empire touch the western ocean’s strand; From slumberous Timpanogos, to Gila, wild and free, Flowing down from Nuevo-Leon to California’s sea; And from the mountains of the east, to Santa Rosa’s […]

Paean

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This poem indicates the exultation of the anti-slavery party in view of the revolt of the friends of Martin Van Buren in New York, from the Democratic Presidential nomination in 1848. Now, joy and thanks forevermore! The dreary night has wellnigh passed, The slumbers of the North are o’er, The Giant stands erect at last! […]

The rights and liberties affirmed by Magna Charta were deemed of such importance, in the thirteenth century, that the Bishops, twice a year, with tapers burning, and in their pontifical robes, pronounced, in the presence of the king and the representatives of the estates of England, the greater excommunication against the infringer of that instrument. […]

Suggested by a daguerreotype taken from a small French engraving of two negro figures, sent to the writer by Oliver Johnson. BEAMS of noon, like burning lances, through the tree-tops flash and glisten, As she stands before her lover, with raised face to look and listen. Dark, but comely, like the maiden in the ancient […]

Written on hearing of the death of Silas Wright of New York. As they who, tossing midst the storm at night, While turning shoreward, where a beacon shone, Meet the walled blackness of the heaven alone, So, on the turbulent waves of party tossed, In gloom and tempest, men have seen thy light Quenched in […]

O MOTHER EARTH! upon thy lap Thy weary ones receiving, And o’er them, silent as a dream, Thy grassy mantle weaving, Fold softly in thy long embrace That heart so worn and broken, And cool its pulse of fire beneath Thy shadows old and oaken. Shut out from him the bitter word And serpent hiss […]

Yorktown

Story type: Poetry

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Dr. Thacher, surgeon in Scammel’s regiment, in his description of the siege of Yorktown, says: “The labor on the Virginia plantations is performed altogether by a species of the human race cruelly wrested from their native country, and doomed to perpetual bondage, while their masters are manfully contending for freedom and the natural rights of […]

To Delaware

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Written during the discussion in the Legislature of that State, in the winter of 1846-47, of a bill for the abolition of slavery. THRICE welcome to thy sisters of the East, To the strong tillers of a rugged home, With spray-wet locks to Northern winds released, And hardy feet o’erswept by ocean’s foam; And to […]

“Sebah, Oasis of Fezzan, 10th March, 1846.–This evening the female slaves were unusually excited in singing, and I had the curiosity to ask my negro servant, Said, what they were singing about. As many of them were natives of his own country, he had no difficulty in translating the Mandara or Bornou language. I had […]

A STRENGTH Thy service cannot tire, A faith which doubt can never dim, A heart of love, a lip of fire, O Freedom’s God! be Thou to him! Speak through him words of power and fear, As through Thy prophet bards of old, And let a scornful people hear Once more Thy Sinai-thunders rolled. For […]

The Freed Islands

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Written for the anniversary celebration of the first of August, at Milton, 7846. A FEW brief years have passed away Since Britain drove her million slaves Beneath the tropic’s fiery ray God willed their freedom; and to-day Life blooms above those island graves! He spoke! across the Carib Sea, We heard the clash of breaking […]

The Branded Hand

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Captain Jonathan Walker, of Harwich, Mass., was solicited by several fugitive slaves at Pensacola, Florida, to carry them in his vessel to the British West Indies. Although well aware of the great hazard of the enterprise he attempted to comply with the request, but was seized at sea by an American vessel, consigned to the […]

At Washington

Story type: Poetry

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Suggested by a visit to the city of Washington, in the 12th month of 1845. WITH a cold and wintry noon-light On its roofs and steeples shed, Shadows weaving with the sunlight From the gray sky overhead, Broadly, vaguely, all around me, lies the half-built town outspread. Through this broad street, restless ever, Ebbs and […]

John C. Calhoun, who had strongly urged the extension of slave territory by the annexation of Texas, even if it should involve a war with England, was unwilling to promote the acquisition of Oregon, which would enlarge the Northern domain of freedom, and pleaded as an excuse the peril of foreign complications which he had […]

The poem immediately following indicates the intense feeling of the friends of freedom in view of the annexation of Texas, with its vast territory sufficient, as was boasted, for six new slave States. Written on hearing that the Anti-Slavery Resolves of Stephen C. Phillips had been rejected by the Whig Convention in Faneuil Hall, in […]

The poem immediately following indicates the intense feeling of the friends of freedom in view of the annexation of Texas, with its vast territory sufficient, as was boasted, for six new slave States. GOD bless New Hampshire! from her granite peaks Once more the voice of Stark and Langdon speaks. The long-bound vassal of the […]

The poem immediately following indicates the intense feeling of the friends of freedom in view of the annexation of Texas, with its vast territory sufficient, as was boasted, for six new slave States. WHAT though around thee blazes No fiery rallying sign? From all thy own high places, Give heaven the light of thine! What […]

The poem immediately following indicates the intense feeling of the friends of freedom in view of the annexation of Texas, with its vast territory sufficient, as was boasted, for six new slave States. Written in 1844, on reading a call by “a Massachusetts Freeman” for a meeting in Faneuil Hall of the citizens of Massachusetts, […]

VOICE OF NEW ENGLAND. The poem immediately following indicates the intense feeling of the friends of freedom in view of the annexation of Texas, with its vast territory sufficient, as was boasted, for six new slave States. Up the hillside, down the glen, Rouse the sleeping citizen; Summon out the might of men! Like a […]

Oh, from the fields of cane, From the low rice-swamp, from the trader’s cell; From the black slave-ship’s foul and loathsome hell, And coffle’s weary chain; Hoarse, horrible, and strong, Rises to Heaven that agonizing cry, Filling the arches of the hollow sky, How long, O God, how long? THE SENTENCE OF JOHN L. BROWN. […]

In a publication of L. F. Tasistro–Random Shots and Southern Breezes– is a description of a slave auction at New Orleans, at which the auctioneer recommended the woman on the stand as “A GOOD CHRISTIAN!” It was not uncommon to see advertisements of slaves for sale, in which they were described as pious or as […]

Written on reading an account of the proceedings of the citizens of Norfolk, Va., in reference to George Latimer, the alleged fugitive slave, who was seized in Boston without warrant at the request of James B. Grey, of Norfolk, claiming to be his master. The case caused great excitement North and South, and led to […]

OF THE FRIENDS OF EMANCIPATION, HELD IN LONDON IN 1840. Joseph Sturge, the founder of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, proposed the calling of a world’s anti-slavery convention, and the proposal was promptly seconded by the American Anti-Slavery Society. The call was addressed to “friends of the slave of every nation and of every […]

The Relic

Story type: Poetry

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Written on receiving a cane wrought from a fragment of the wood-work of Pennsylvania Hall which the fire had spared. TOKEN of friendship true and tried, From one whose fiery heart of youth With mine has beaten, side by side, For Liberty and Truth; With honest pride the gift I take, And prize it for […]

Addressed to the Patrons of the Pennsylvania Freeman. THE wave is breaking on the shore, The echo fading from the chime Again the shadow moveth o’er The dial-plate of time! O seer-seen Angel! waiting now With weary feet on sea and shore, Impatient for the last dread vow That time shall be no more! Once […]

Pennsylvania Hall

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Read at the dedication of Pennsylvania Hall, Philadelphia, May 15, 1838. The building was erected by an association of gentlemen, irrespective of sect or party, “that the citizens of Philadelphia should possess a room wherein the principles of Liberty, and Equality of Civil Rights, could be freely discussed, and the evils of slavery fearlessly portrayed.” […]

THE FAREWELL OF A VIRGINIA SLAVE MOTHER TO HER DAUGHTERS SOLD INTO SOUTHERN BONDAGE GONE, gone,–sold and gone, To the rice-swamp dank and lone. Where the slave-whip ceaseless swings, Where the noisome insect stings, Where the fever demon strews Poison with the falling dews, Where the sickly sunbeams glare Through the hot and misty air; […]

Written for the celebration of the third anniversary of British emancipation at the Broadway Tabernacle, New York, first of August, 1837. O HOLY FATHER! just and true Are all Thy works and words and ways, And unto Thee alone are due Thanksgiving and eternal praise! As children of Thy gracious care, We veil the eye, […]

The General Association of Congregational ministers in Massachusetts met at Brookfield, June 27, 1837, and issued a Pastoral Letter to the churches under its care. The immediate occasion of it was the profound sensation produced by the recent public lecture in Massachusetts by Angelina and Sarah Grimke, two noble women from South Carolina, who bore […]

The Moral Warfare

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WHEN Freedom, on her natal day, Within her war-rocked cradle lay, An iron race around her stood, Baptized her infant brow in blood; And, through the storm which round her swept, Their constant ward and watching kept. Then, where our quiet herds repose, The roar of baleful battle rose, And brethren of a common tongue […]

Ritner

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Written on reading the Message of Governor Ritner, of Pennsylvania, 1836. The fact redounds to the credit and serves to perpetuate the memory of the independent farmer and high-souled statesman, that he alone of all the Governors of the Union in 1836 met the insulting demands and menaces of the South in a manner becoming […]

A Summons

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Written on the adoption of Pinckney’s Resolutions in the House of Representatives, and the passage of Calhoun’s “Bill for excluding Papers written or printed, touching the subject of Slavery, from the U. S. Post-office,” in the Senate of the United States. Mr. Pinckney’s resolutions were in brief that Congress had no authority to interfere in […]

Thomas Shipley of Philadelphia was a lifelong Christian philanthropist, and advocate of emancipation. At his funeral thousands of colored people came to take their last look at their friend and protector. He died September 17, 1836. GONE to thy Heavenly Father’s rest! The flowers of Eden round thee blowing, And on thine ear the murmurs […]

The “Times” referred to were those evil times of the pro-slavery meeting in Faneuil Hall, August 21, 1835, in which a demand was made for the suppression of free speech, lest it should endanger the foundation of commercial society. Is this the land our fathers loved, The freedom which they toiled to win? Is this […]

In the report of the celebrated pro-slavery meeting in Charleston, S.C., on the 4th of the ninth month, 1835, published in the Courier of that city, it is stated: “The clergy of all denominations attended in a body, lending their sanction to the proceedings, and adding by their presence to the impressive character of the […]

The Yankee Girl

Story type: Poetry

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SHE sings by her wheel at that low cottage-door, Which the long evening shadow is stretching before, With a music as sweet as the music which seems Breathed softly and faint in the ear of our dreams! How brilliant and mirthful the light of her eye, Like a star glancing out from the blue of […]

These lines were written when the orators of the American Colonization Society were demanding that the free blacks should be sent to Africa, and opposing Emancipation unless expatriation followed. See the report of the proceedings of the society at its annual meeting in 1834. HAVE ye heard of our hunting, o’er mountain and glen, Through […]

Written for the meeting of the Anti-Slavery Society, at Chatham Street Chapel, New York, held on the 4th of the seventh month, 1834. O THOU, whose presence went before Our fathers in their weary way, As with Thy chosen moved of yore The fire by night, the cloud by day! When from each temple of […]

Expostulation

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Dr. Charles Follen, a German patriot, who had come to America for the freedom which was denied him in his native land, allied himself with the abolitionists, and at a convention of delegates from all the anti- slavery organizations in New England, held at Boston in May, 1834, was chairman of a committee to prepare […]

Toussaint L’Ouverture, the black chieftain of Hayti, was a slave on the plantation “de Libertas,” belonging to M. Bayou. When the rising of the negroes took place, in 1791, Toussaint refused to join them until he had aided M. Bayou and his family to escape to Baltimore. The white man had discovered in Toussaint many […]

The Slave-Ships

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“That fatal, that perfidious bark, Built I’ the eclipse, and rigged with curses dark.” MILTON’S Lycidas. “The French ship Le Rodeur, with a crew of twenty-two men, and with one hundred and sixty negro slaves, sailed from Bonny, in Africa, April, 1819. On approaching the line, a terrible malady broke out,–an obstinate disease of the […]

CHAMPION of those who groan beneath Oppression’s iron hand In view of penury, hate, and death, I see thee fearless stand. Still bearing up thy lofty brow, In the steadfast strength of truth, In manhood sealing well the vow And promise of thy youth. Go on, for thou hast chosen well; On in the strength […]

Revelation

Story type: Poetry

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“And I went into the Vale of Beavor, and as I went I preached repentance to the people. And one morning, sitting by the fire, a great cloud came over me, and a temptation beset me. And it was said: All things come by Nature; and the Elements and the Stars came over me. And […]

I have attempted this paraphrase of the Hymns of the Brahmo Somaj of India, as I find them in Mozoomdar’s account of the devotional exercises of that remarkable religious development which has attracted far less attention and sympathy from the Christian world than it deserves, as a fresh revelation of the direct action of the […]

Adjustment

Story type: Poetry

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The tree of Faith its bare, dry boughs must shed That nearer heaven the living ones may climb; The false must fail, though from our shores of time The old lament be heard, “Great Pan is dead!” That wail is Error’s, from his high place hurled; This sharp recoil is Evil undertrod; Our time’s unrest, […]

The Two Loves

Story type: Poetry

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Smoothing soft the nestling head Of a maiden fancy-led, Thus a grave-eyed woman said: “Richest gifts are those we make, Dearer than the love we take That we give for love’s own sake. “Well I know the heart’s unrest; Mine has been the common quest, To be loved and therefore blest. “Favors undeserved were mine; […]

A tender child of summers three, Seeking her little bed at night, Paused on the dark stair timidly. “Oh, mother! Take my hand,” said she, “And then the dark will all be light.” We older children grope our way From dark behind to dark before; And only when our hands we lay, Dear Lord, in […]

Francesca Alexander, whose pen and pencil have so reverently transcribed the simple faith and life of the Italian peasantry, wrote the narrative published with John Ruskin’s introduction under the title, The Story of Ida. Weary of jangling noises never stilled, The skeptic’s sneer, the bigot’s hate, the din Of clashing texts, the webs of creed […]

The shadows grow and deepen round me, I feel the deffall in the air; The muezzin of the darkening thicket, I hear the night-thrush call to prayer. The evening wind is sad with farewells, And loving hands unclasp from mine; Alone I go to meet the darkness Across an awful boundary-line. As from the lighted […]

At Last

Story type: Poetry

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When on my day of life the night is falling, And, in the winds from unsunned spaces blown, I hear far voices out of darkness calling My feet to paths unknown, Thou who hast made my home of life so pleasant, Leave not its tenant when its walls decay; O Love Divine, O Helper ever […]

“All hail!” the bells of Christmas rang, “All hail!” the monks at Christmas sang, The merry monks who kept with cheer The gladdest day of all their year. But still apart, unmoved thereat, A pious elder brother sat Silent, in his accustomed place, With God’s sweet peace upon his face. “Why sitt’st thou thus?” his […]

O dearest bloom the seasons know, Flowers of the Resurrection blow, Our hope and faith restore; And through the bitterness of death And loss and sorrow, breathe a breath Of life forevermore! The thought of Love Immortal blends With fond remembrances of friends; In you, O sacred flowers, By human love made doubly sweet, The […]

Conduct

Story type: Poetry

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From the Mahabharata. Heed how thou livest. Do no act by day Which from the night shall drive thy peace away. In months of sun so live that months of rain Shall still be happy. Evermore restrain Evil and cherish good, so shall there be Another and a happier life for thee. 1881.

From the Mahabharata. Before the Ender comes, whose charioteer Is swift or slow Disease, lay up each year Thy harvests of well-doing, wealth that kings Nor thieves can take away. When all the things Thou tallest thine, goods, pleasures, honors fall, Thou in thy virtue shalt survive them all. 1881.

PARAPHRASE OF SANSCRIT TRANSLATIONS. From Institutes of Manu. The soul itself its awful witness is. Say not in evil doing, “No one sees,” And so offend the conscious One within, Whose ear can hear the silences of sin. Ere they find voice, whose eyes unsleeping see The secret motions of iniquity. Nor in thy folly […]

Utterance

Story type: Poetry

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But what avail inadequate words to reach The innermost of Truth? Who shall essay, Blinded and weak, to point and lead the way, Or solve the mystery in familiar speech? Yet, if it be that something not thy own, Some shadow of the Thought to which our schemes, Creeds, cult, and ritual are at best […]

Help

Story type: Poetry

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Dream not, O Soul, that easy is the task Thus set before thee. If it proves at length, As well it may, beyond thy natural strength, Faint not, despair not. As a child may ask A father, pray the Everlasting Good For light and guidance midst the subtle snares Of sin thick planted in life’s […]

Requirement

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We live by Faith; but Faith is not the slave Of text and legend. Reason’s voice and God’s, Nature’s and Duty’s, never are at odds. What asks our Father of His children, save Justice and mercy and humility, A reasonable service of good deeds, Pure living, tenderness to human needs, Reverence and trust, and prayer […]

The Book

Story type: Poetry

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Gallery of sacred pictures manifold, A minster rich in holy effigies, And bearing on entablature and frieze The hieroglyphic oracles of old. Along its transept aureoled martyrs sit; And the low chancel side-lights half acquaint The eye with shrines of prophet, bard, and saint, Their age-dimmed tablets traced in doubtful writ! But only when on […]

The Word

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Voice of the Holy Spirit, making known Man to himself, a witness swift and sure, Warning, approving, true and wise and pure, Counsel and guidance that misleadeth none! By thee the mystery of life is read; The picture-writing of the world’s gray seers, The myths and parables of the primal years, Whose letter kills, by […]

By Their Works

Story type: Poetry

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Call him not heretic whose works attest His faith in goodness by no creed confessed. Whatever in love’s name is truly done To free the bound and lift the fallen one Is done to Christ. Whoso in deed and word Is not against Him labors for our Lord. When He, who, sad and weary, longing […]

In the minister’s morning sermon He had told of the primal fall, And how thenceforth the wrath of God Rested on each and all. And how of His will and pleasure, All souls, save a chosen few, Were doomed to the quenchless burning, And held in the way thereto. Yet never by faith’s unreason A […]

On A Fountain

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FOR DOROTHEA L. DIX. Stranger and traveller, Drink freely and bestow A kindly thought on her Who bade this fountain flow, Yet hath no other claim Than as the minister Of blessing in God’s name. Drink, and in His peace go 1879

FOR DR. HENRY I. BOWDITCH. With warning hand I mark Time’s rapid flight From life’s glad morning to its solemn night; Yet, through the dear God’s love, I also show There’s Light above me by the Shade below. 1879.

The Benedictine Echard Sat by the wayside well, Where Marsberg sees the bridal Of the Sarre and the Moselle. Fair with its sloping vineyards And tawny chestnut bloom, The happy vale Ausonius sunk For holy Treves made room. On the shrine Helena builded To keep the Christ coat well, On minster tower and kloster cross, […]

Giving And Taking

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I have attempted to put in English verse a prose translation of a poem by Tinnevaluva, a Hindoo poet of the third century of our era. Who gives and hides the giving hand, Nor counts on favor, fame, or praise, Shall find his smallest gift outweighs The burden of the sea and land. Who gives […]

KLOSTER KEDAR, EPHRATA, PENNSYLVANIA (1738) SISTER MARIA CHRISTINA sings Wake, sisters, wake! the day-star shines; Above Ephrata’s eastern pines The dawn is breaking, cool and calm. Wake, sisters, wake to prayer and psalm! Praised be the Lord for shade and light, For toil by day, for rest by night! Praised be His name who deigns […]

Overruled

Story type: Poetry

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The threads our hands in blindness spin No self-determined plan weaves in; The shuttle of the unseen powers Works out a pattern not as ours. Ah! small the choice of him who sings What sound shall leave the smitten strings; Fate holds and guides the hand of art; The singer’s is the servant’s part. The […]

The Two Angels

Story type: Poetry

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God called the nearest angels who dwell with Him above: The tenderest one was Pity, the dearest one was Love. “Arise,” He said, “my angels! a wail of woe and sin Steals through the gates of heaven, and saddens all within. “My harps take up the mournful strain that from a lost world swells, The […]

The Healer

Story type: Poetry

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TO A YOUNG PHYSICIAN, WITH DORE’S PICTURE OF CHRIST HEALING THE SICK. So stood of old the holy Christ Amidst the suffering throng; With whom His lightest touch sufficed To make the weakest strong. That healing gift He lends to them Who use it in His name; The power that filled His garment’s hem Is […]

Child-Songs

Story type: Poetry

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Still linger in our noon of time And on our Saxon tongue The echoes of the home-born hymns The Aryan mothers sung. And childhood had its litanies In every age and clime; The earliest cradles of the race Were rocked to poet’s rhyme. Nor sky, nor wave, nor tree, nor flower, Nor green earth’s virgin […]

Invocation

Story type: Poetry

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Spare me, dread angel of reproof, And let the sunshine weave to-day Its gold-threads in the warp and woof Of life so poor and gray. Spare me awhile; the flesh is weak. These lingering feet, that fain would stray Among the flowers, shall some day seek The strait and narrow way. Take off thy ever-watchful […]

Vesta

Story type: Poetry

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O Christ of God! whose life and death Our own have reconciled, Most quietly, most tenderly Take home Thy star-named child! Thy grace is in her patient eyes, Thy words are on her tongue; The very silence round her seems As if the angels sung. Her smile is as a listening child’s Who hears its […]

I. Sound over all waters, reach out from all lands, The chorus of voices, the clasping of hands; Sing hymns that were sung by the stars of the morn, Sing songs of the angels when Jesus was born! With glad jubilations Bring hope to the nations The dark night is ending and dawn has begun […]

My thoughts are all in yonder town, Where, wept by many tears, To-day my mother’s friend lays down The burden of her years. True as in life, no poor disguise Of death with her is seen, And on her simple casket lies No wreath of bloom and green. Oh, not for her the florist’s art, […]

In Quest

Story type: Poetry

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Have I not voyaged, friend beloved, with thee On the great waters of the unsounded sea, Momently listening with suspended oar For the low rote of waves upon a shore Changeless as heaven, where never fog-cloud drifts Over its windless wood, nor mirage lifts The steadfast hills; where never birds of doubt Sing to mislead, […]

A Woman

Story type: Poetry

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Oh, dwarfed and wronged, and stained with ill, Behold! thou art a woman still! And, by that sacred name and dear, I bid thy better self appear. Still, through thy foul disguise, I see The rudimental purity, That, spite of change and loss, makes good Thy birthright-claim of womanhood; An inward loathing, deep, intense; A […]

The island of Penikese in Buzzard’s Bay was given by Mr. John Anderson to Agassiz for the uses of a summer school of natural history. A large barn was cleared and improvised as a lecture-room. Here, on the first morning of the school, all the company was gathered. “Agassiz had arranged no programme of exercises,” […]

“These libations mixed with milk have been prepared for Indra: offer Soma to the drinker of Soma.” –Vashista, translated by MAX MULLER. The fagots blazed, the caldron’s smoke Up through the green wood curled; “Bring honey from the hollow oak, Bring milky sap,” the brewers spoke, In the childhood of the world. And brewed they […]

Divine Compassion

Story type: Poetry

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Long since, a dream of heaven I had, And still the vision haunts me oft; I see the saints in white robes clad, The martyrs with their palms aloft; But hearing still, in middle song, The ceaseless dissonance of wrong; And shrinking, with hid faces, from the strain Of sad, beseeching eyes, full of remorse […]

The Prayer-Seeker

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Along the aisle where prayer was made, A woman, all in black arrayed, Close-veiled, between the kneeling host, With gliding motion of a ghost, Passed to the desk, and laid thereon A scroll which bore these words alone, Pray for me! Back from the place of worshipping She glided like a guilty thing The rustle […]

The Clear Vision

Story type: Poetry

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I did but dream. I never knew What charms our sternest season wore. Was never yet the sky so blue, Was never earth so white before. Till now I never saw the glow Of sunset on yon hills of snow, And never learned the bough’s designs Of beauty in its leafless lines. Did ever such […]

The Meeting

Story type: Poetry

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The two speakers in the meeting referred to in this poem were Avis Keene, whose very presence was a benediction, a woman lovely in spirit and person, whose words seemed a message of love and tender concern to her hearers; and Sibyl Jones, whose inspired eloquence and rare spirituality impressed all who knew her. In […]

Our Master

Story type: Poetry

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Immortal Love, forever full, Forever flowing free, Forever shared, forever whole, A never-ebbing sea! Our outward lips confess the name All other names above; Love only knoweth whence it came And comprehendeth love. Blow, winds of God, awake and blow The mists of earth away! Shine out, O Light Divine, and show How wide and […]

Behind us at our evening meal The gray bird ate his fill, Swung downward by a single claw, And wiped his hooked bill. He shook his wings and crimson tail, And set his head aslant, And, in his sharp, impatient way, Asked, “What does Charlie want?” “Fie, silly bird!” I answered, “tuck Your head beneath […]

Andrew Rykman’s dead and gone; You can see his leaning slate In the graveyard, and thereon Read his name and date. “Trust is truer than our fears,” Runs the legend through the moss, “Gain is not in added years, Nor in death is loss.” Still the feet that thither trod, All the friendly eyes are […]

“And I sought, whence is Evil: I set before the eye of my spirit the whole creation; whatsoever we see therein,–sea, earth, air, stars, trees, moral creatures,–yea, whatsoever there is we do not see,–angels and spiritual powers. Where is evil, and whence comes it, since God the Good hath created all things? Why made He […]

Lieutenant Herndon’s Report of the Exploration of the Amazon has a striking description of the peculiar and melancholy notes of a bird heard by night on the shores of the river. The Indian guides called it “The Cry of a Lost Soul”! Among the numerous translations of this poem is one by the Emperor of […]

The Over-Heart

Story type: Poetry

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“For of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever! “–PAUL. Above, below, in sky and sod, In leaf and spar, in star and man, Well might the wise Athenian scan The geometric signs of God, The measured order of His plan. And India’s mystics sang aright Of […]

Dead Petra in her hill-tomb sleeps, Her stones of emptiness remain; Around her sculptured mystery sweeps The lonely waste of Edom’s plain. From the doomed dwellers in the cleft The bow of vengeance turns not back; Of all her myriads none are left Along the Wady Mousa’s track. Clear in the hot Arabian day Her […]

Trinitas

Story type: Poetry

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At morn I prayed, “I fain would see How Three are One, and One is Three; Read the dark riddle unto me.” I wandered forth, the sun and air I saw bestowed with equal care On good and evil, foul and fair. No partial favor dropped the rain; Alike the righteous and profane Rejoiced above […]

Trust

Story type: Poetry

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The same old baffling questions! O my friend, I cannot answer them. In vain I send My soul into the dark, where never burn The lamps of science, nor the natural light Of Reason’s sun and stars! I cannot learn Their great and solemn meanings, nor discern The awful secrets of the eyes which turn […]

In calm and cool and silence, once again I find my old accustomed place among My brethren, where, perchance, no human tongue Shall utter words; where never hymn is sung, Nor deep-toned organ blown, nor censer swung, Nor dim light falling through the pictured pane! There, syllabled by silence, let me hear The still small […]

Questions Of Life

Story type: Poetry

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And the angel that was sent unto me, whose name was Uriel, gave me an answer and said, “Thy heart hath gone too far in this world, and thinkest thou to comprehend the way of the Most High?” Then said I, “Yea, my Lord.” Then said he unto me, “Go thy way, weigh me the […]

I ask not now for gold to gild With mocking shine a weary frame; The yearning of the mind is stilled, I ask not now for Fame. A rose-cloud, dimly seen above, Melting in heaven’s blue depths away; Oh, sweet, fond dream of human Love For thee I may not pray. But, bowed in lowliness […]

The Reward

Story type: Poetry

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Who, looking backward from his manhood’s prime, Sees not the spectre of his misspent time? And, through the shade Of funeral cypress planted thick behind, Hears no reproachful whisper on the wind From his loved dead? Who bears no trace of passion’s evil force? Who shuns thy sting, O terrible Remorse? Who does not cast […]

A Lament

Story type: Poetry

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“The parted spirit,Knoweth it not our sorrow? Answereth notIts blessing to our tears?” The circle is broken, one seat is forsaken,One bud from the tree of our friendship is shaken;One heart from among us no longer shall thrillWith joy in our gladness, or grief in our ill. Weep! lonely and lowly are slumbering nowThe light […]

Worship

Story type: Poetry

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“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this. To visit the fatherless and widows in, their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”–JAMES I. 27. The Pagan’s myths through marble lips are spoken,And ghosts of old Beliefs still flit and moanRound fane and altar overthrown and broken,O’er tree-grown barrow and […]

April

Story type: Poetry

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“The spring comes slowly up this way.”Christabel. ‘T is the noon of the spring-time, yet never a birdIn the wind-shaken elm or the maple is heard;For green meadow-grasses wide levels of snow,And blowing of drifts where the crocus should blow;Where wind-flower and violet, amber and white,On south-sloping brooksides should smile in the light,O’er the cold […]

My Dream

Story type: Poetry

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In my dream, methought I trod,Yesternight, a mountain road;Narrow as Al Sirat’s span,High as eagle’s flight, it ran. Overhead, a roof of cloudWith its weight of thunder bowed;Underneath, to left and right,Blankness and abysmal night. Here and there a wild-flower blushed,Now and then a bird-song gushed;Now and then, through rifts of shade,Stars shone out, and […]

Remembrance

Story type: Poetry

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WITH COPIES OF THE AUTHOR’S WRITINGS. Friend of mine! whose lot was castWith me in the distant past;Where, like shadows flitting fast, Fact and fancy, thought and theme,Word and work, begin to seemLike a half-remembered dream! Touched by change have all things been,Yet I think of thee as whenWe had speech of lip and pen. […]

The Robin

Story type: Poetry

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MY old Welsh neighbor over the wayCrept slowly out in the sun of spring,Pushed from her ears the locks of gray,And listened to hear the robin sing. Her grandson, playing at marbles, stopped,And, cruel in sport as boys will be,Tossed a stone at the bird, who hoppedFrom bough to bough in the apple-tree. “Nay!” said […]

The Sisters

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ANNIE and Rhoda, sisters twain,Woke in the night to the sound of rain, The rush of wind, the ramp and roarOf great waves climbing a rocky shore. Annie rose up in her bed-gown white,And looked out into the storm and night. “Hush, and hearken!” she cried in fear,“Hearest thou nothing, sister dear?” “I hear the […]

St. John

Story type: Poetry

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The fierce rivalry between Charles de La Tour, a Protestant, and D’Aulnay Charnasy, a Catholic, for the possession of Acadia, forms one of the most romantic passages in the history of the New World. La Tour received aid in several instances from the Puritan colony of Massachusetts. During one of his voyages for the purpose […]