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54 Works of Marietta Holley

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An Unmarried Female

Story type: Literature

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I suppose we are about as happy as the most of folks, but as I was sayin’ a few days ago to Betsey Bobbet, a neighborin’ female of ours–“Every station-house in life has its various skeletons. But we ort to try to be contented with that spear of life we are called on to handle.” […]

I turn the key in this idle hourOf an ivory box, and looking, lo–See only dust–the dust of a flower;The waters will ebb, the waters will flow,And dreams will come, and dreams will go,Forever. Oh, friend, if you and I should meetBeneath the boughs of the bending lime,Should you in the same low voice repeatThe […]

Our Bird

Story type: Poetry

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She lay asleep, and her face shone whiteAs under a snowy veil,And the waxen hands clasped on her breastWere full of snowdrops pale;But a holy calm touched the baby lips,The brow, and the sleeping eyes,The look of an angel pitying usFrom the peace of Paradise. And now though she lies ‘neath the coffin-lid,We cannot think […]

I am thinking of fern forests that once did towering stand,Crowning all the barren mountains, shading all the dreary land. Oh, the dreadful, quiet brooding, the solitude sublime,That reigned like shadowy spectres o’er the third great day of time. In long, low lines the tideless seas on dull gray shores did break,No song of bird, […]

Harry The First

Story type: Poetry

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In his arm-chair, warmly cushioned,In the quiet earned by labor,Life’s reposeful Indian summer,Grandpa sits; and lets the paperLie upon his knee unheeded.Shine his cheeks like winter apples,Gleams his smile like autumn sunshine,As he looks on little Harry,First-born of the house of Graham,Bravely cutting teeth in silence,Cutting teeth with looks heroic.Some deep thought seems moving Grandpa,Ponders […]

As on a waveless sea, a vessel strikesUpon a treacherous rock;Waking the sailors from their happy dreamsBy the swift, terrible shock. Dreaming of shaded village streets, and home,Forgetting the cruel seaTill the shock came–so woke I, yet I know‘Twas Love, I loved, not he. ‘Tis not the star the wave so wildly clasps,Only its form […]

Gone Before

Story type: Poetry

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Smooth the hair;Silken waves of sunny brownLay upon the white brow down,Crowned with the blossoms rare;Lilies on a golden stream,Ne’er to float in summer airWreathed with meadow daisies fair.Lay away the broken crownAnd your broken dream,With one shining tress of hair,Nevermore to need your care.

A Woman’s Heart

Story type: Poetry

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My heart sings like a bird to-nightThat flies to its nest in the soft twilight,And sings in its brooding bliss;Ah! I so low, and he so high,What could he find to love? I cry,Did ever love stoop so low as this? As a miser jealously counts his gold,I sit and dream of my wealth untold,From […]

Warning

Story type: Poetry

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When enwrapped in rosy pleasure,Our careless pulses beat,With a rhythm sweet, sweet,To the music’s merry measure. When world waves rise around us,With soft transparent weight,Light in seeming, yet so great,The liquid chains have bound us. Then softly downward falling,If we listen, we can hear,From a purer atmosphere,A warning and a calling. ‘Tis not uttered to […]

Aweary

Story type: Poetry

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The clouds that vex the upper deepStay not the white sail of the moon;And lips may moan, and hearts may weep,The sad old earth goes rolling on. O’er smiling vale, and sighing lake,One shadow cold is overthrown;And souls may faint, and hearts may break,The sad old earth goes rolling on.

Too Low

Story type: Poetry

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“My house is thatched with violet leavesAnd paved with daisies fine,Scarlet berries droop over its eaves,Tall grasses round it shine;With softest down I have lined my nest,Securely now will I sit and rest. “When their wings break from their silvery shell,Touched by my tender care,Here shall my little ones safely dwell,Little ones soft and fair;Some […]

The Fairest Land

Story type: Poetry

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‘Twas a bleak dull moor that stretched beforeThe low stone porch of the cottage door,And standing there was youth and maid,He for long journeying seemed arrayed,And the sunset flamed in the burnished west,And a proud throb beat in the young man’s breast,As he whispered, “Sweet, will you come to meIn that fairer land beyond the […]

Come, gentle sleep, with the holy night,Come with the stars and the white moonbeams,Come with your train of handmaids bright,Blessed and beautiful dreams. Bring the exile to his home again,Let him catch the gleam of its low white wall;Let his wife cling to his neck and weep,And his children come at their father’s call. Give […]

Oh, I am the siren, the siren of the sea,The sea, the wondrous sea, that lies forevermore before;I stand a fairy shape upon the shadow of a cliffWhere the water’s drowsy ripple laps the phantom of a shore,And, oh, so fair, so fair am I, I draw all hearts to me,For I am the siren, […]

I. There’s a tear in your eye, little Sybil,Gathering large and slow;Oh, Sybil, sweet little Sybil,What are you thinking of now? Push back the velvet curtainsThat darken the lonely room,For shadows peer out of the crimson depths,And the statues gleam white in the gloom. How the cannons’ thunder rolls along,And shakes the lattice and wall,Oh, […]

Magdalena

Story type: Poetry

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Who falsely called thee destroyer, still white Angel of Death?Oh not a destroyer here, but a kind restorer, thou,For the guilty look is gone, died out with her failing breath,And the sinless peace of a babe has come to lip and brow. Drowned in the heaving tide with her life, is her burden of woe,The […]

My Angel

Story type: Poetry

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Last night she came unto me,And kneeling by my side,Laid her head upon my bosom,My beautiful, my bride;My lost one, with her soft dark eyes,And waves of sunny hair.I smoothed the shining tresses,With tearful, fond caresses,And words of thankful prayer. And then a thrill of doubt and pain,My jealous heart swept o’er;We were parted–she was […]

Wild Oats

Story type: Poetry

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Oh gay young husbandmen would you be sure of a cropUpspringing rankly, an abundant and bountiful yield?Go forth in the morning, and sow on your life’s broad fieldThis pleasantly odorous seed, then smooth the ground on top,Or leave it rough, with the utmost undeceit,Never you fear, it will thriftily thrive and grow,Loading the harvest plain […]

How the sumac banners bent, dripping as if with blood,What a mournful presence brooded upon the slumbrous air;A mocking-bird screamed noisily in the depth of the silent wood,And in my heart was crying the raven of despair,Thrilling my being through with its bitter, bitter cry–“It were better to die, it were better to die.” For […]

The Lady Cecile

Story type: Poetry

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Sitting alone in the windy tower,While the waves leap high, or are low at rest,What does she think of, hour by hour,With her strange eyes bent on the distant west,And a fresh white rose on her withered breast,What does she think of, hour by hour?The Lady Cecile. Low under the lattice, day by day,White homeward […]

Steps We Climb

Story type: Poetry

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I. Like idle clouds our lives move on,By change and chance as idly blown;Our hopes like netted sparrows fly,And vainly beat their wings and die.Fate conquers all with stony will,Oh, heart, be still–be still! II. No! change and chance are slaves that waitOn Him who guides the clouds, not fate,But the High King rules seas […]

The Squire was none of your common menWhose ancestors nobody knows,But visible was his lineageIn the lines of his Roman nose,That turned in the true patrician curve–In the curl of his princely lips,In his slightly insolent eyelids,In his pointed finger-tips. Very erect and grand looked the SquireAs he walked o’er his broad estate,For he felt […]

Roses Of June

Story type: Poetry

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She sat in the cottage door, and the fair June moon looked downOn a face as pure as its own, an innocent face and sweetAs the roses dewy white that grow so thick at her feet,White royal roses, fit for a monarch’s crown. And one is clasped in her slender hand, and one on her […]

The Wages Of Sin

Story type: Poetry

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I am an outcast, sinful and vile I know,But what are you, my lady, so fair, and proud, and high?The fringe of your robe just touched me, me so low–Your feet defiled, I saw the scorn in your eye,And the jeweled hand, that drew back your garments fine.What should you say if I told you […]

Isabelle And I

Story type: Poetry

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Isabelle has gold, and lands,Fate gave her a fair lot;Like the white lilies of the fieldHer soft hands toil not.I gaze upon her splendorWithout an envious sigh;I have no wealth in lands and gold,And yet sweet peace have I. I know the blue sky smiles as brightOn the low field violet,As on the proud crest […]

Good-By

Story type: Poetry

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Again I see that May moon shine,Dost thou remember, soul of mine?I held your hand in mine, you know,And as I bent to whisper low,A tender light was in your eye,“Sweetheart, good-by, sweetheart, good-by.” There came a time my lips were whiteBeneath the pale and cold moonlight,And burning words I might not speak,You read, love, […]

Put the crown of your love on my forehead,Its sweet links clasped with a kiss,And all the great monarchs of EnglandNever wore such a gem as this.Give me your hand, little maiden,That sceptre so pearly white,And I’ll envy not the kingliest wandThat ever waved in might. I know ’tis like asking a morning cloudWith a […]

Summer Days

Story type: Poetry

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Like emerald lakes the meadows lie,And daisies dot the main;The sunbeams from the deep blue skyDrop down in golden rain,And gild the lily’s silver bell,And coax buds apart,But I miss the sunshine of my youth,The summer of my heart. The wild birds sing the same glad songThey sang in days of yore;The laughing rivulet glides […]

The Flight

Story type: Poetry

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Here in the silent doorway let me lingerOne moment, for the porch is still and lonely;That shadow’s but the rose vine in the moonlight;All are asleep in peace, I waken only,And he I wait, by my own heart’s beatingI know how slow to him the tide creeps by,Nor life, nor death, could bar our hearts […]

Jenny Allen

Story type: Poetry

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I never shall hear your voice again,Your voice so gentle and lowBut the thought of you, Jenny Allen,Will go with me where I go.Your sweet voice drowns the Atlantic waveAnd the rush of the Alpine snow. You were very fair, Jenny Allen,Fair as a woodland rose;Your heart was pure as an angel’s heart,Too good for […]

The Unseen City

Story type: Poetry

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Not far away does that bright city stand,‘Tis but the mist o’er its dividing stream,That wraps the glory of its glitt’ring strand,Its radiant skies, and mountains silvery gleam;Oh, often in the blindness of our fateWe wander very near the city’s gate. We love that unseen city, and we yearnEver within our earthly homes to seeIts […]

Motives

Story type: Poetry

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I said that I would seeHer once, to curse her fair, deceitful grace,To curse her for my life-long agony;But when I saw her face,I said, “Sweet Christ, forgive both her and me.” High swelled the chanted hymn,Low on the marble swept the velvet pall,I bent above, and my eyes grew dim,My sad heart saw it […]

Nightfall

Story type: Poetry

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Soft o’er the meadow, and murmuring mere,Falleth a shadow, near and more near;Day like a white dove floats down the sky,Cometh the night, love, darkness is nigh;So dies the happiest day. Slow in thy dark eye riseth a tear,Hear I thy sad sigh, Sorrow is near;Hope smiling bright, love, dies on my breast,As day like […]

His Place

Story type: Poetry

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So all things come to our mind at last,He is close by your side in the twilight gloom,And you two are alone in the dim old room,Yet he is mute, as you bade him be, time past. You bade him to weary you, never againWith his idle love, in truth he was wise,For he spake […]

A Dream Of Spring

Story type: Poetry

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The world is asleep! All hushed is Nature’s warm, sweet breath.The world is asleep, and dreaming the silent dream of snow,But through the silence that seems like the silence of death,Under their shroud of ermine, the souls of the roses glow. And forever the heart of the water throbs and beats,Though bound by a million […]

Oh! the day was dark and dreary,For clouds swept o’er the sun,The burden of life seemed heavy,And its warfare never done;But I heard a voice at twilight,It whispered in my ear,“Oh, doubting heart, look upward,Dear soul, be of good cheer.Oh, weary heart, look upward,Dear soul, be of good cheer.” And lo! on looking upwardThe stars […]

It stands alone on a haunted shore,With curious words of deathless loreOn its massive gate impearled;And its carefully guarded mystic keyLocks in its silent mysteryFrom the seeking eyes of the world. Oft do its stately walls repeatEchoes of music wildly sweetSwelling to gladness high–With mournful ballads of ancient time,And funeral hymns–and a nursery rhymeDying away […]

“I leave my child to Heaven.” And with these wordsUpon her lips, the Lady Mildred passedUnto the rest prepared for her pure soul;Words that meant only this: I cannot trustUnto her earthly parent my young child,So leave her to her heavenly Father’s care;And Heaven was gentle to the motherless,And fair and sweet the maiden, Gladys, […]

Clear shone the moon, my mansion wallsTowered white above the wood,Near, down the dark oak avenueAn humble cottage stood. My gardener’s cottage, small and brown,Yet precious unto me;For there she dwelt, who sat by meThat night beside the sea. So sweet, the white rose on her neckWas not more fair than she,As silently her soft […]

Sometime

Story type: Poetry

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On the shore I sit and gazeOut on the twilight sea,For my ship may come, though many daysI have waited patiently;With waiting trusting eyes,A lonely watch I keepFor its silver sails to riseLike a blossom out of the deep. It is built of a costly wood,Bearing the strange perfumeOf the gorgeous solitude,Where it grew in […]

Little Nell

Story type: Poetry

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Clasp your arms round her neck to-night,Little Nell,Arms so delicate, soft and white,And yet so strong in love’s strange might;Clasp them around the kneeling form,Fold them tenderly close and warm,And who can tellBut such slight links may draw her back,Away from the fatal, fatal track;Who can tell,Little Nell? Press your lips to the lips of […]

A long, low waste of yellow sandLay shining northward far as eye could reach,Southward a rocky bluff rose highBroken in wild, fantastic shapes.Near by, one jagged rock towered high,And o’er the waters leaned, like giant grim,Striving to peer into the mysteriesThe ocean whispers of continually,And covers with her soft, treacherous face.For the rest, the sun […]

Now while the crimson light fades in the west,And twilight drops her purple shadows low–We stand with Memory on the mountain’s crest,That overlooks the land of Long Ago. Unmoved and still the form beside us stands,While mournful tears our heavy eyes o’erflow,As silently he lifts his shadowy hands,And points us to the land of Long […]

Lemoine

Story type: Poetry

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In the unquiet night,With all her beauty bright,She walketh my silent chamber to and fro;Not twice of the same mind,Sometimes unkind–unkind,And again no cooing dove hath a voice so sweet and low. Such madness of mirth liesIn the haunting hazel eyes,When the melody of her laugh charms the listening night;Its glamour as of oldMy charmed […]

Come to me soft-eyed sleep,With your ermine sandalled feet;Press the pain from my troubled browWith your kisses cool and sweet;Lull me with slumbrous song,Song of your clime, the blest,While on my heavy eyelidsYour dewy fingers rest. Come with your native flowers,Heartsease and lotus bloom,Enwrap my weary sensesWith the cloud of their perfume;For the whispers of […]

The Lady Maud

Story type: Poetry

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I sit in the cloud and the darknessWhere I lost you, peerless one;Your bright face shines upon fairer lands,Like the dawning of the sun,And what to you is the rustic youth,You sometimes smiled upon. You have roamed through mighty cities,By the Orient’s gleaming sea,Down the glittering streets of Venice,And soft-skied Araby:Life to you has been […]

Oh, the days are growing longer;So rang the jubilant song of the swallow;I come a-bringing beauty into the land,The sky of the West grows warm and yellow,Oh, gladness comes with my light-winged band,And the days are growing longer. Oh, the days are growing longer,The wavy gleam of fluttering wings,Touching the silent earth so lightly,Will wake […]

You will journey many a weary day and long,Ere you will see so restful and sweet a place,As this, my home, my nest so downy and warm,The labor of many happy and hopeful days;But its low brown walls are laid and softly lined,And oh, full happily now my rest I take,And care not I when […]

Yes! yes! I dare say it is so,And you should be pitied, but how could I know,Watching alone by the moon-lit bay;But that is past for many a day,For the woman that loved, died years ago,Years ago. She had loving eyes, with a wistful lookIn their depths that day, and I know you tookHer face […]

The sky is dark and the air is full of snow,I go to a warmer clime afar and away;Though my heart is so tired I do not care for it now,But here in my empty nest I cannot stay;Thus cried the swallow,I go from the falling snow, oh, follow me–oh, follow. One night my mate […]

The years go by, but they little seemLike those within our dream;The years that stood in such luring guise,Beckoning us into Paradise,To jailers turn as time goes byGuarding that fair land, By-and-By,Where we thought to blissfully rest,The sound of whose forests’ balmy leavesSwaying to dream winds strangely sweet,We heard in our bed ‘neath the cottage […]

Gloria The True

Story type: Poetry

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Gayly a knight set forth against the foe,For a fair face had shone on him in dreams;A voice had stirred the silence of his sleep,“Go win the battle, and I will be thine.” So, for the love of those appealing eyes,Led by low accents of fair Gloria’s voice,He wound the bugle down his castle’s steep,And […]

The spare-room windows wide were raised,And you could look that summer dayOn pastures green, and sunny hills,And low rills wandering away.Near by, the square front yard was sweetWith rose and caraway. Upon a couch drawn near the light,The Deacon’s only daughter lay,Bending upon the distant hillsHer eyes of dark and thoughtful gray;The blue veins on […]

It is not the lark’s clear toneCleaving the morning air with a soaring cry,Nor the nightingale’s dulcet melody all the balmy night–Not these aloneMake the sweet sounds of summer;But the drone of beetle and bee, the murmurous hum of the flyAnd the chirp of the cricket hidden out of sight–These help to make the summer. […]