Enjoy this? Share it!

334 Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes

Search Amazon for related books, downloads and more Oliver Wendell Holmes

Having just returned from a visit to this admirable Institution in company with a friend who is one of the Directors, we propose giving a short account of what we saw and heard. The great success of the Asylum for Idiots and Feeble-minded Youth, several of the scholars from which have reached considerable distinction, one […]

One of the boys mentioned, the other evening, in the course of a very pleasant poem he read us, a little trick of the Commons table- boarders, which I, nourished at the parental board, had never heard of. Young fellows being always hungry—-Allow me to stop dead short, in order to utter an aphorism which […]

The Last Leaf

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

I saw him once before, As he passed by the door, And again The pavement stones resound, As he totters o’er the ground With his cane. They say that in his prime, Ere the pruning-knife of Time Cut him down, Not a better man was found, By the Crier on his round Through the town. […]

Old Ironsides

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

This was the popular name by which the frigate Constitution was known. The poem was first printed in the Boston Daily Advertiser, at the time when it was proposed to break up the old ship as unfit for service. I subjoin the paragraph which led to the writing of the poem. It is from the […]

My Aunt

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

My aunt! my dear unmarried aunt! Long years have o’er her flown; Yet still she strains the aching clasp That binds her virgin zone; I know it hurts her,–though she looks As cheerful as she can; Her waist is ampler than her life, For life is but a span. My aunt! my poor deluded aunt! […]

This is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign, Sails the unshadowed main,– The venturous bark that flings On the sweet summer wind its purpled wings In gulfs enchanted, where the Siren sings, And coral reefs lie bare, Where the cold sea-maids rise to sun their streaming hair. Its webs of living gauze no more […]

Contentment

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

“Man wants but little here below.” Little I ask; my wants are few; I only wish a hut of stone, (A very plain, brown stone’ will do,) That I may call my own; And close at hand is such a one, In yonder street that fronts the sun. Plain food is quite enough for me; […]

A Logical Story Have you heard of the wonderful one-horse shay, That was built in such a logical way It ran a hundred years to a day, And then, of a sudden, it–ah but stay, I’ll tell you what happened without delay, Scaring the parson into fits, Frightening people out of their wits, Have you […]

Parting Hymn

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

“DUNDEE” FATHER of Mercies, Heavenly Friend, We seek thy gracious throne; To Thee our faltering prayers ascend, Our fainting hearts are known. From blasts that chill, from suns that smite, From every plague that harms; In camp and march, in siege and fight, Protect our men-at-arms. Though from our darkened lives they take What makes […]

Memorial Verses

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

For The Services In Memory Of Abraham Lincoln City Of Boston, June 1, 1865 Choral: “Luther’s Judgment Hymn.” O THOU of soul and sense and breath The ever-present Giver, Unto thy mighty Angel, Death, All flesh thou dost deliver; What most we cherish we resign, For life and death alike are thine, Who reignest Lord […]

Stanzas

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

STRANGE! that one lightly whispered tone Is far, far sweeter unto me, Than all the sounds that kiss the earth, Or breathe along the sea; But, lady, when thy voice I greet, Not heavenly music seems so sweet. I look upon the fair blue skies, And naught but empty air I see; But when I […]

A Portrait

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

A STILL, sweet, placid, moonlight face, And slightly nonchalant, Which seems to claim a middle place Between one’s love and aunt, Where childhood’s star has left a ray In woman’s sunniest sky, As morning dew and blushing day On fruit and blossom lie. And yet,–and yet I cannot love Those lovely lines on steel; They […]

THE two proud sisters of the sea, In glory and in doom!– Well may the eternal waters be Their broad, unsculptured tomb! The wind that rings along the wave, The clear, unshadowed sun, Are torch and trumpet o’er the brave, Whose last green wreath is won! No stranger-hand their banners furled, No victor’s shout they […]

"Qui Vive?"

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

“Qui vive?” The sentry’s musket rings, The channelled bayonet gleams; High o’er him, like a raven’s wings The broad tricolored banner flings Its shadow, rustling as it swings Pale in the moonlight beams; Pass on! while steel-clad sentries keep Their vigil o’er the monarch’s sleep, Thy bare, unguarded breast Asks not the unbroken, bristling zone […]

WRITTEN AT SEA IF sometimes in the dark blue eye, Or in the deep red wine, Or soothed by gentlest melody, Still warms this heart of mine, Yet something colder in the blood, And calmer in the brain, Have whispered that my youth’s bright flood Ebbs, not to flow again. If by Helvetia’s azure lake, […]

The Hot Season

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

THE folks, that on the first of May Wore winter coats and hose, Began to say, the first of June, “Good Lord! how hot it grows!” At last two Fahrenheits blew up, And killed two children small, And one barometer shot dead A tutor with its ball! Now all day long the locusts sang Among […]

A Noontide Lyric

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

THE dinner-bell, the dinner-bell Is ringing loud and clear; Through hill and plain, through street and lane, It echoes far and near; From curtained hall and whitewashed stall, Wherever men can hide, Like bursting waves from ocean caves, They float upon the tide. I smell the smell of roasted meat! I hear the hissing fry […]

IT was a tall young oysterman lived by the river-side, His shop was just upon the bank, his boat was on the tide; The daughter of a fisherman, that was so straight and slim, Lived over on the other bank, right opposite to him. It was the pensive oysterman that saw a lovely maid, Upon […]

The Poet’s Lot

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

WHAT is a poet’s love?– To write a girl a sonnet, To get a ring, or some such thing, And fustianize upon it. What is a poet’s fame?– Sad hints about his reason, And sadder praise from garreteers, To be returned in season. Where go the poet’s lines?– Answer, ye evening tapers! Ye auburn locks, […]

WAN-VISAGED thing! thy virgin leaf To me looks more than deadly pale, Unknowing what may stain thee yet,– A poem or a tale. Who can thy unborn meaning scan? Can Seer or Sibyl read thee now? No,–seek to trace the fate of man Writ on his infant brow. Love may light on thy snowy cheek, […]

IN THE ATHENIEUM GALLERY IT may be so,–perhaps thou hast A warm and loving heart; I will not blame thee for thy face, Poor devil as thou art. That thing thou fondly deem’st a nose, Unsightly though it be,– In spite of all the cold world’s scorn, It may be much to thee. Those eyes,–among […]

Lines By A Clerk

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

OH! I did love her dearly, And gave her toys and rings, And I thought she meant sincerely, When she took my pretty things. But her heart has grown as icy As a fountain in the fall, And her love, that was so spicy, It did not last at all. I gave her once a […]

DEAREST, a look is but a ray Reflected in a certain way; A word, whatever tone it wear, Is but a trembling wave of air; A touch, obedience to a clause In nature’s pure material laws. The very flowers that bend and meet, In sweetening others, grow more sweet; The clouds by day, the stars […]

L’inconnue

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Is thy name Mary, maiden fair? Such should, methinks, its music be; The sweetest name that mortals bear Were best befitting thee; And she to whom it once was given, Was half of earth and half of heaven. I hear thy voice, I see thy smile, I look upon thy folded hair; Ah! while we […]

Our Yankee Girls

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

LET greener lands and bluer skies, If such the wide earth shows, With fairer cheeks and brighter eyes, Match us the star and rose; The winds that lift the Georgian’s veil, Or wave Circassia’s curls, Waft to their shores the sultan’s sail,– Who buys our Yankee girls? The gay grisette, whose fingers touch Love’s thousand […]

SWEET Mary, I have never breathed The love it were in vain to name; Though round my heart a serpent wreathed, I smiled, or strove to smile, the same. Once more the pulse of Nature glows With faster throb and fresher fire, While music round her pathway flows, Like echoes from a hidden lyre. And […]

La Grisette

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

As Clemence! when I saw thee last Trip down the Rue de Seine, And turning, when thy form had past, I said, “We meet again,”– I dreamed not in that idle glance Thy latest image came, And only left to memory’s trance A shadow and a name. The few strange words my lips had taught […]

SHE twirled the string of golden beads, That round her neck was hung,— My grandsire’s gift; the good old man Loved girls when he was young; And, bending lightly o’er the cord, And turning half away, With something like a youthful sigh, Thus spoke the maiden gray:– “Well, one may trail her silken robe, And […]

A Roman Aqueduct

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

THE sun-browned girl, whose limbs recline When noon her languid hand has laid Hot on the green flakes of the pine, Beneath its narrow disk of shade; As, through the flickering noontide glare, She gazes on the rainbow chain Of arches, lifting once in air The rivers of the Roman’s plain;– Say, does her wandering […]

THE sun stepped down from his golden throne. And lay in the silent sea, And the Lily had folded her satin leaves, For a sleepy thing was she; What is the Lily dreaming of? Why crisp the waters blue? See, see, she is lifting her varnished lid! Her white leaves are glistening through! The Rose […]

The Spectre Pig

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

A BALLAD IT was the stalwart butcher man, That knit his swarthy brow, And said the gentle Pig must die, And sealed it with a vow. And oh! it was the gentle Pig Lay stretched upon the ground, And ah! it was the cruel knife His little heart that found. They took him then, those […]

To A Caged Lion

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Poor conquered monarch! though that haughty glance Still speaks thy courage unsubdued by time, And in the grandeur of thy sullen tread Lives the proud spirit of thy burning clime;– Fettered by things that shudder at thy roar, Torn from thy pathless wilds to pace this narrow floor! Thou wast the victor, and all nature […]

THERE was a sound of hurrying feet, A tramp on echoing stairs, There was a rush along the aisles,– It was the hour of prayers. And on, like Ocean’s midnight wave, The current rolled along, When, suddenly, a stranger form Was seen amidst the throng. He was a dark and swarthy man, That uninvited guest; […]

The Toadstool

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

THERE ‘s a thing that grows by the fainting flower, And springs in the shade of the lady’s bower; The lily shrinks, and the rose turns pale, When they feel its breath in the summer gale, And the tulip curls its leaves in pride, And the blue-eyed violet starts aside; But the lily may flaunt, […]

FROM THE “COLLEGIAN,” 1830, ILLUSTRATED ANNUALS, ETC. Nescit vox missa reverti.–Horat. Ars Poetica. Ab lis qua non adjuvant quam mollissime oportet pedem referre.– Quintillian, L. VI. C. 4. These verses have always been printed in my collected poems, and as the best of them may bear a single reading, I allow them to appear, but […]

Written after a general pruning of the trees around Harvard College. A little poem, on a similar occasion, may be found in the works of Swift, from which, perhaps, the idea was borrowed; although I was as much surprised as amused to meet with it some time after writing the following lines. IT was not […]

Is man’s the only throbbing heart that hides The silent spring that feeds its whispering tides? Speak from thy caverns, mystery-breeding Earth, Tell the half-hinted story of thy birth, And calm the noisy champions who have thrown The book of types against the book of stone! Have ye not secrets, ye refulgent spheres, No sleepless […]

How sweet the sacred legend–if unblamed In my slight verse such holy things are named– Of Mary’s secret hours of hidden joy, Silent, but pondering on her wondrous boy! Ave, Maria! Pardon, if I wrong Those heavenly words that shame my earthly song! The choral host had closed the Angel’s strain Sung to the listening […]

WHO of all statesmen is his country’s pride, Her councils’ prompter and her leaders’ guide? He speaks; the nation holds its breath to hear; He nods, and shakes the sunset hemisphere. Born where the primal fount of Nature springs By the rude cradles of her throneless kings, In his proud eye her royal signet flames, […]

WHAT ailed young Lucius? Art had vainly tried To guess his ill, and found herself defied. The Augur plied his legendary skill; Useless; the fair young Roman languished still. His chariot took him every cloudless day Along the Pincian Hill or Appian Way; They rubbed his wasted limbs with sulphurous oil, Oozed from the far-off […]

THE Banker’s dinner is the stateliest feast The town has heard of for a year, at least; The sparry lustres shed their broadest blaze, Damask and silver catch and spread the rays; The florist’s triumphs crown the daintier spoil Won from the sea, the forest, or the soil; The steaming hot-house yields its largest pines, […]

In Vita Minerva

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

VEX not the Muse with idle prayers,– She will not hear thy call; She steals upon thee unawares, Or seeks thee not at all. Soft as the moonbeams when they sought Endymion’s fragrant bower, She parts the whispering leaves of thought To show her full-blown flower. For thee her wooing hour has passed, The singing […]

To My Old Readers

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

You know “The Teacups,” that congenial set Which round the Teapot you have often met; The grave DICTATOR, him you knew of old,– Knew as the shepherd of another fold Grayer he looks, less youthful, but the same As when you called him by a different name. Near him the MISTRESS, whose experienced skill Has […]

Tartarus

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

WHILE in my simple gospel creed That “God is Love” so plain I read, Shall dreams of heathen birth affright My pathway through the coming night? Ah, Lord of life, though spectres pale Fill with their threats the shadowy vale, With Thee my faltering steps to aid, How can I dare to be afraid? Shall […]

THE glory has passed from the goldenrod’s plume, The purple-hued asters still linger in bloom The birch is bright yellow, the sumachs are red, The maples like torches aflame overhead. But what if the joy of the summer is past, And winter’s wild herald is blowing his blast? For me dull November is sweeter than […]

LOOK out! Look out, boys! Clear the track! The witches are here! They’ve all come back! They hanged them high,–No use! No use! What cares a witch for a hangman’s noose? They buried them deep, but they wouldn’t lie still, For cats and witches are hard to kill; They swore they shouldn’t and wouldn’t die,– […]

Too young for love? Ah, say not so! Tell reddening rose-buds not to blow Wait not for spring to pass away,– Love’s summer months begin with May! Too young for love? Ah, say not so! Too young? Too young? Ah, no! no! no! Too young for love? Ah, say not so, To practise all love […]

FROM this fair home behold on either side The restful mountains or the restless sea So the warm sheltering walls of life divide Time and its tides from still eternity. Look on the waves: their stormy voices teach That not on earth may toil and struggle cease. Look on the mountains: better far than speech […]

I LIKE YOU Met I LOVE You, face to face; The path was narrow, and they could not pass. I LIKE YOU smiled; I LOVE YOU cried, Alas! And so they halted for a little space. “Turn thou and go before,” I LOVE YOU said, “Down the green pathway, bright with many a flower; Deep […]

LADY, life’s sweetest lesson wouldst thou learn, Come thou with me to Love’s enchanted bower High overhead the trellised roses burn; Beneath thy feet behold the feathery fern,– A leaf without a flower. What though the rose leaves fall? They still are sweet, And have been lovely in their beauteous prime, While the bare frond […]

IF all the trees in all the woods were men; And each and every blade of grass a pen; If every leaf on every shrub and tree Turned to a sheet of foolscap; every sea Were changed to ink, and all earth’s living tribes Had nothing else to do but act as scribes, And for […]

How beauteous is the bond In the manifold array Of its promises to pay, While the eight per cent it gives And the rate at which one lives Correspond! But at last the bough is bare Where the coupons one by one Through their ripening days have run, And the bond, a beggar now, Seeks […]

THOU shouldst have sung the swan-song for the choir That filled our groves with music till the day Lit the last hilltop with its reddening fire, And evening listened for thy lingering lay. But thou hast found thy voice in realms afar Where strains celestial blend their notes with thine; Some cloudless sphere beneath a […]

WHO PRESENTED ME WITH A SILVER LOVING CUP ON THE TWENTY-NINTH OF AUGUST, M DCCC LXXXIX “WHO gave this cup?” The secret thou wouldst steal Its brimming flood forbids it to reveal: No mortal’s eye shall read it till he first Cool the red throat of thirst. If on the golden floor one draught remain, […]

PRESENTED BY GEORGE W. CHILDS, OF PHILADELPHIA WELCOME, thrice welcome is thy silvery gleam, Thou long-imprisoned stream! Welcome the tinkle of thy crystal beads As plashing raindrops to the flowery meads, As summer’s breath to Avon’s whispering reeds! From rock-walled channels, drowned in rayless night, Leap forth to life and light; Wake from the darkness […]

WHEN evening’s shadowy fingers fold The flowers of every hue, Some shy, half-opened bud will hold Its drop of morning’s dew. Sweeter with every sunlit hour The trembling sphere has grown, Till all the fragrance of the flower Becomes at last its own. We that have sung perchance may find Our little meed of praise, […]

PROUDLY, beneath her glittering dome, Our three-hilled city greets the morn; Here Freedom found her virgin home,– The Bethlehem where her babe was born. The lordly roofs of traffic rise Amid the smoke of household fires; High o’er them in the peaceful skies Faith points to heaven her clustering spires. Can Freedom breathe if ignorance […]

Hail, Columbia!

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

1798 THE FIRST VERSE OF THE SONG BY JOSEPH HOPKINSON “HAIL, Columbia! Happy land! Hail, ye heroes, heaven-born band, Who fought and bled in Freedom’s cause, Who fought and bled in Freedom’s cause, And when the storm of war was gone Enjoy’d the peace your valor won. Let independence be our boast, Ever mindful what […]

ADDITIONAL VERSES WRITTEN AT THE REQUEST OF THE COMMITTEE FOR THE CONSTITUTIONAL CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION AT PHILADELPHIA 1887 LOOK our ransomed shores around, Peace and safety we have found! Welcome, friends who once were foes! Welcome, friends who once were foes, To all the conquering years have gained,– A nation’s rights, a race unchained! Children of […]

I. FALLEN with autumn’s falling leaf Ere yet his summer’s noon was past, Our friend, our guide, our trusted chief,– What words can match a woe so vast! And whose the chartered claim to speak The sacred grief where all have part, Where sorrow saddens every cheek And broods in every aching heart? Yet Nature […]

The Golden Flower

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

WHEN Advent dawns with lessening days, While earth awaits the angels’ hymn; When bare as branching coral sways In whistling winds each leafless limb; When spring is but a spendthrift’s dream, And summer’s wealth a wasted dower, Nor dews nor sunshine may redeem,– Then autumn coins his Golden Flower. Soft was the violet’s vernal hue, […]

HUDSON, WISCONSIN JUNE 7, 1877 ANGEL of love, for every grief Its soothing balm thy mercy brings, For every pang its healing leaf, For homeless want, thine outspread, wings. Enough for thee the pleading eye, The knitted brow of silent pain; The portals open to a sigh Without the clank of bolt or chain. Who […]

(by supposition) An Hymn set forth to be sung by the Great Assembly at Newtown, [Mass.] Mo. 12. 1. 1636. [Written by OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, eldest son of Rev. ABIEL HOLMES, eighth Pastor of the First Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts.] LORD, Thou hast led us as of old Thine Arm led forth the chosen Race […]

King’s Chapel

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

READ AT THE TWO HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY Is it a weanling’s weakness for the past That in the stormy, rebel-breeding town, Swept clean of relics by the levelling blast, Still keeps our gray old chapel’s name of “King’s,” Still to its outworn symbols fondly clings,– Its unchurched mitres and its empty crown? Poor harmless emblems! All […]

SUNG BY THE CONGREGATION TO THE TUNE OF TALLIS’S EVENING HYMN O’ERSHADOWED by the walls that climb, Piled up in air by living hands, A rock amid the waves of time, Our gray old house of worship stands. High o’er the pillared aisles we love The symbols of the past look down; Unharmed, unharming, throned […]

Ave

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

PRELUDE TO “ILLUSTRATED POEMS” FULL well I know the frozen hand has come That smites the songs of grove and garden dumb, And chills sad autumn’s last chrysanthemum; Yet would I find one blossom, if I might, Ere the dark loom that weaves the robe of white Hides all the wrecks of summer out of […]

The Flaneur

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

BOSTON COMMON, DECEMBER 6, 1882 DURING THE TRANSIT OF VENUS I LOVE all sights of earth and skies, From flowers that glow to stars that shine; The comet and the penny show, All curious things, above, below, Hold each in turn my wandering eyes: I claim the Christian Pagan’s line, Humani nihil,–even so,– And is […]

Post-Prandial

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

PHI BETA KAPPA WENDELL PHILLIPS, ORATOR; CHARLES GODFREY LELAND, POET 1881 “THE Dutch have taken Holland,”–so the schoolboys used to say; The Dutch have taken Harvard,–no doubt of that to-day! For the Wendells were low Dutchmen, and all their vrows were Vans; And the Breitmanns are high Dutchmen, and here is honest Hans. Mynheers, you […]

TWICE had the mellowing sun of autumn crowned The hundredth circle of his yearly round, When, as we meet to-day, our fathers met: That joyous gathering who can e’er forget, When Harvard’s nurslings, scattered far and wide, Through mart and village, lake’s and ocean’s side, Came, with one impulse, one fraternal throng, And crowned the […]

Sent to “The Philological Circle” of Florence for its meeting in commemoration of Dante, January 27, 1881, the anniversary of his first condemnation. PROUD of her clustering spires, her new-built towers, Our Venice, stolen from the slumbering sea, A sister’s kindliest greeting wafts to thee, Rose of Val d’ Arno, queen of all its flowers! […]

MARCH 8, 1882 THE waves unbuild the wasting shore; Where mountains towered the billows sweep, Yet still their borrowed spoils restore, And build new empires from the deep. So while the floods of thought lay waste The proud domain of priestly creeds, Its heaven-appointed tides will haste To plant new homes for human needs. Be […]

ON HIS EIGHTIETH BIRTHDAY 1887 FRIEND, whom thy fourscore winters leave more dear Than when life’s roseate summer on thy cheek Burned in the flush of manhood’s manliest year, Lonely, how lonely! is the snowy peak Thy feet have reached, and mine have climbed so near! Close on thy footsteps ‘mid the landscape drear I […]

DEAR friends, left darkling in the long eclipse That veils the noonday,–you whose finger-tips A meaning in these ridgy leaves can find Where ours go stumbling, senseless, helpless, blind. This wreath of verse how dare I offer you To whom the garden’s choicest gifts are due? The hues of all its glowing beds are ours, […]

THIS is your month, the month of “perfect days,” Birds in full song and blossoms all ablaze. Nature herself your earliest welcome breathes, Spreads every leaflet, every bower inwreathes; Carpets her paths for your returning feet, Puts forth her best your coming steps to greet; And Heaven must surely find the earth in tune When […]

AT A DINNER GIVEN HIM ON HIS EIGHTIETH BIRTHDAY, DECEMBER 12, 1885 With a bronze statuette of John of Bologna’s Mercury, presented by a few friends. FIT emblem for the altar’s side, And him who serves its daily need, The stay, the solace, and the guide Of mortal men, whate’er his creed! Flamen or Auspex, […]

ON HIS RETURN FROM SOUTH AMERICA AFTER FIFTEEN YEARS DEVOTED TO CATALOGUING THE STARS OF THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE Read at the Dinner given at the Hotel Vendome, May 6,1885. ONCE more Orion and the sister Seven Look on thee from the skies that hailed thy birth,– How shall we welcome thee, whose home was heaven, […]

ON HER SEVENTIETH BIRTHDAY, JUNE 14, 1882 I. AT THE SUMMIT SISTER, we bid you welcome,–we who stand On the high table-land; We who have climbed life’s slippery Alpine slope, And rest, still leaning on the staff of hope, Looking along the silent Mer de Glace, Leading our footsteps where the dark crevasse Yawns in […]

PRIDE of the sister realm so long our own, We claim with her that spotless fame of thine, White as her snow and fragrant as her pine! Ours was thy birthplace, but in every zone Some wreath of song thy liberal hand has thrown Breathes perfume from its blossoms, that entwine Where’er the dewdrops fall, […]

ALONE, beneath the darkened sky, With saddened heart and unstrung lyre, I heap the spoils of years gone by, And leave them with a long-drawn sigh, Like drift-wood brands that glimmering lie, Before the ashes hide the fire. Let not these slow declining days The rosy light of dawn outlast; Still round my lonely hearth […]

THIS is our place of meeting; opposite That towered and pillared building: look at it; King’s Chapel in the Second George’s day, Rebellion stole its regal name away,– Stone Chapel sounded better; but at last The poisoned name of our provincial past Had lost its ancient venom; then once more Stone Chapel was King’s Chapel […]

FROM the first gleam of morning to the gray Of peaceful evening, lo, a life unrolled! In woven pictures all its changes told, Its lights, its shadows, every flitting ray, Till the long curtain, falling, dims the day, Steals from the dial’s disk the sunlight’s gold, And all the graven hours grow dark and cold […]

For The Semi-Centennial Celebration Of The Settlement Of Cambridge, Mass., December 28, 1880 YOUR home was mine,–kind Nature’s gift; My love no years can chill; In vain their flakes the storm-winds sift, The snow-drop hides beneath the drift, A living blossom still. Mute are a hundred long-famed lyres, Hushed all their golden strings; One lay […]

At The Centennial Anniversary Dinner Of The Massachusetts Medical Society, June 8, 1881 THREE paths there be where Learning’s favored sons, Trained in the schools which hold her favored ones, Follow their several stars with separate aim; Each has its honors, each its special claim. Bred in the fruitful cradle of the East, First, as […]

The Silent Melody

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

“BRING me my broken harp,” he said; “We both are wrecks,–but as ye will,– Though all its ringing tones have fled, Their echoes linger round it still; It had some golden strings, I know, But that was long–how long!–ago. “I cannot see its tarnished gold, I cannot hear its vanished tone, Scarce can my trembling […]

MAY 26, 1880 SIRE, son, and grandson; so the century glides; Three lives, three strides, three foot-prints in the sand; Silent as midnight’s falling meteor slides Into the stillness of the far-off land; How dim the space its little arc has spanned! See on this opening page the names renowned Tombed in these records on […]

The School-Boy

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Read at the Centennial Celebration of the foundation of Phillips Academy, Andover. 1778-1878 THESE hallowed precincts, long to memory dear, Smile with fresh welcome as our feet draw near; With softer gales the opening leaves are fanned, With fairer hues the kindling flowers expand, The rose-bush reddens with the blush of June, The groves are […]

January 14, 1880 CHICAGO sounds rough to the maker of verse; One comfort we have–Cincinnati sounds worse; If we only were licensed to say Chicago! But Worcester and Webster won’t let us, you know. No matter, we songsters must sing as we can; We can make some nice couplets with Lake Michigan, And what more […]

APRIL 4, 1880 I BRING the simplest pledge of love, Friend of my earlier days; Mine is the hand without the glove, The heart-beat, not the phrase. How few still breathe this mortal air We called by school-boy names! You still, whatever robe you wear, To me are always James. That name the kind apostle […]

In Response

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Breakfast at the Century Club, New York, May, 1879. SUCH kindness! the scowl of a cynic would soften, His pulse beat its way to some eloquent words, Alas! my poor accents have echoed too often, Like that Pinafore music you’ve some of you heard. Do you know me, dear strangers–the hundredth time comer At banquets […]

MAY 28, 1879. ENCHANTER of Erin, whose magic has bound us, Thy wand for one moment we fondly would claim, Entranced while it summons the phantoms around us That blush into life at the sound of thy name. The tell-tales of memory wake from their slumbers,– I hear the old song with its tender refrain,– […]

The Coming Era

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

THEY tell us that the Muse is soon to fly hence, Leaving the bowers of song that once were dear, Her robes bequeathing to her sister, Science, The groves of Pindus for the axe to clear. Optics will claim the wandering eye of fancy, Physics will grasp imagination’s wings, Plain fact exorcise fiction’s necromancy, The […]

At the meeting of the New York Harvard Club, February 21, 1878. “CHRISTO ET ECCLESLE.” 1700 To GOD’S ANOINTED AND HIS CHOSEN FLOCK So ran the phrase the black-robed conclave chose To guard the sacred cloisters that arose Like David’s altar on Moriah’s rock. Unshaken still those ancient arches mock The ram’s-horn summons of the […]

A LOVELY show for eyes to see I looked upon this morning,– A bright-hued, feathered company Of nature’s own adorning; But ah! those minstrels would not sing A listening ear while I lent,– The lark sat still and preened his wing, The nightingale was silent; I longed for what they gave me not– Their warblings […]

DECEMBER 17, 1877 I BELIEVE that the copies of verses I’ve spun, Like Scheherezade’s tales, are a thousand and one; You remember the story,–those mornings in bed,– ‘T was the turn of a copper,–a tale or a head. A doom like Scheherezade’s falls upon me In a mandate as stern as the Sultan’s decree I’m […]

On The Threshold

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Introduction To A Collection Of Poems By Different Authors AN usher standing at the door I show my white rosette; A smile of welcome, nothing more, Will pay my trifling debt; Why should I bid you idly wait Like lovers at the swinging gate? Can I forget the wedding guest? The veteran of the sea? […]

To George Peabody

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

DANVERS, 1866 BANKRUPT! our pockets inside out! Empty of words to speak his praises! Worcester and Webster up the spout! Dead broke of laudatory phrases! Yet why with flowery speeches tease, With vain superlatives distress him? Has language better words than these? THE FRIEND OF ALL HIS RACE, GOD BLESS HIM! A simple prayer–but words […]

My Aviary

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Through my north window, in the wintry weather,– My airy oriel on the river shore,– I watch the sea-fowl as they flock together Where late the boatman flashed his dripping oar. The gull, high floating, like a sloop unladen, Lets the loose water waft him as it will; The duck, round-breasted as a rustic maiden, […]

AN ACADEMIC POEM 1829-1879 Read at the Commencement Dinner of the Alumni of Harvard University, June 25, 1879. WHILE fond, sad memories all around us throng, Silence were sweeter than the sweetest song; Yet when the leaves are green and heaven is blue, The choral tribute of the grove is due, And when the lengthening […]

The Iron Gate

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

AND OTHER POEMS 1877-1881 THE IRON GATE Read at the Breakfast given in honor of Dr. Holmes’s Seventieth Birthday by the publishers of the “Atlantic Monthly,” Boston, December 3, 1879. WHERE is this patriarch you are kindly greeting? Not unfamiliar to my ear his name, Nor yet unknown to many a joyous meeting In days […]

The Ship Of State

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

A SENTIMENT This “sentiment” was read on the same occasion as the “Family Record,” which immediately follows it. The latter poem is the dutiful tribute of a son to his father and his father’s ancestors, residents of Woodstock from its first settlement. THE Ship of State! above her skies are blue, But still she rocks […]

A Family Record

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

WOODSTOCK, CONN., JULY 4, 1877 NOT to myself this breath of vesper song, Not to these patient friends, this kindly throng, Not to this hallowed morning, though it be Our summer Christmas, Freedom’s jubilee, When every summit, topmast, steeple, tower, That owns her empire spreads her starry flower, Its blood-streaked leaves in heaven’s benignant dew […]

To R. B. H

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

AT THE DINNER TO THE PRESIDENT, BOSTON, JUNE 26, 1877 How to address him? awkward, it is true Call him “Great Father,” as the Red Men do? Borrow some title? this is not the place That christens men Your Highness and Your Grace; We tried such names as these awhile, you know, But left them […]

The First Fan

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

READ AT A MEETING OF THE BOSTON BRIC-A-BRAC CLUB, FEBRUARY 21, 1877 WHEN rose the cry “Great Pan is dead!” And Jove’s high palace closed its portal, The fallen gods, before they fled, Sold out their frippery to a mortal. “To whom?” you ask. I ask of you. The answer hardly needs suggestion; Of course […]

“While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall stand; When falls the Coliseum, Rome shall fall.” FULL sevenscore years our city’s pride– The comely Southern spire– Has cast its shadow, and defied The storm, the foe, the fire; Sad is the sight our eyes behold; Woe to the three-hilled town, When through the land the tale is […]

DEDICATED BY A CONTRIBUTOR TO THE COLLEGIAN, 1830, TO THE EDITORS OF THE HARVARD ADVOCATE, 1876. ‘T WAS on the famous trotting-ground, The betting men were gathered round From far and near; the “cracks” were there Whose deeds the sporting prints declare The swift g. m., Old Hiram’s nag, The fleet s. h., Dan Pfeiffer’s […]

Unsatisfied

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

“ONLY a housemaid!” She looked from the kitchen,– Neat was the kitchen and tidy was she; There at her window a sempstress sat stitching; “Were I a sempstress, how happy I’d be!” “Only a Queen!” She looked over the waters,– Fair was her kingdom and mighty was she; There sat an Empress, with Queens for […]

A Familiar Letter

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

TO SEVERAL CORRESPONDENTS YES, write, if you want to, there’s nothing like trying; Who knows what a treasure your casket may hold? I’ll show you that rhyming’s as easy as lying, If you’ll listen to me while the art I unfold. Here’s a book full of words; one can choose as he fancies, As a […]

PHILADELPHIA, JULY 4, 1876 BRIGHT on the banners of lily and rose Lo! the last sun of our century sets! Wreathe the black cannon that scowled on our foes, All but her friendships the nation forgets All but her friends and their welcome forgets! These are around her; but where are her foes? Lo, while […]

Old Cambridge

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

JULY 3, 1875 AND can it be you’ve found a place Within this consecrated space, That makes so fine a show, For one of Rip Van Winkle’s race? And is it really so? Who wants an old receipted bill? Who fishes in the Frog-pond still? Who digs last year’s potato hill?– That’s what he’d like […]

TRAINED in the holy art whose lifted shield Wards off the darts a never-slumbering foe, By hearth and wayside lurking, waits to throw, Oppression taught his helpful arm to wield The slayer’s weapon: on the murderous field The fiery bolt he challenged laid him low, Seeking its noblest victim. Even so The charter of a […]

READ AT THE MEETING HELD AT MUSIC HALL, FEBRUARY 8, 1876, IN MEMORY OF DR. SAMUEL G. HOWE I. LEADER of armies, Israel’s God, Thy soldier’s fight is won! Master, whose lowly path he trod, Thy servant’s work is done! No voice is heard from Sinai’s steep Our wandering feet to guide; From Horeb’s rock […]

HINGHAM, OCTOBER 7, 1875 BEHOLD the shape our eyes have known! It lives once more in changeless stone; So looked in mortal face and form Our guide through peril’s deadly storm. But hushed the beating heart we knew, That heart so tender, brave, and true, Firm as the rooted mountain rock, Pure as the quarry’s […]

OCTOBER 18, 1875 “Lucy.”–The old familiar name Is now, as always, pleasant, Its liquid melody the same Alike in past or present; Let others call you what they will, I know you’ll let me use it; To me your name is Lucy still, I cannot bear to lose it. What visions of the past return […]

DECEMBER 15, 1874 I SUPPOSE it’s myself that you’re making allusion to And bringing the sense of dismay and confusion to. Of course some must speak,–they are always selected to, But pray what’s the reason that I am expected to? I’m not fond of wasting my breath as those fellows do; That want to be […]

SUNG AT THE “JUBILEE,” JUNE 15, 1869, ANGEL of Peace, thou hast wandered too long! Spread thy white wings to the sunshine of love! Come while our voices are blended in song,– Fly to our ark like the storm-beaten dove! Fly to our ark on the wings of the dove,– Speed o’er the far-sounding billows […]

THERE is no time like the old time, when you and I were young, When the buds of April blossomed, and the birds of spring-time sung! The garden’s brightest glories by summer suns are nursed, But oh, the sweet, sweet violets, the flowers that opened first! There is no place like the old place, where […]

READ AT THE MEETING OF THE HARVARD ALUMNI ASSOCIATION, JUNE 25, 1873 THE fount the Spaniard sought in vain Through all the land of flowers Leaps glittering from the sandy plain Our classic grove embowers; Here youth, unchanging, blooms and smiles, Here dwells eternal spring, And warm from Hope’s elysian isles The winds their perfume […]

PHI BETA KAPPA, JUNE 26, 1873 THE Caliph ordered up his cook, And, scowling with a fearful look That meant,–We stand no gammon,– “To-morrow, just at two,” he said, “Hassan, our cook, will lose his head, Or serve us up a salmon.” “Great sire,” the trembling chef replied, “Lord of the Earth and all beside, […]

FOR THE CENTENNIAL DINNER OF THE PROPRIETORS OF BOSTON PIER, OR THE LONG WHARF APRIL 16, 1873 DEAR friends, we are strangers; we never before Have suspected what love to each other we bore; But each of us all to his neighbor is dear, Whose heart has a throb for our time-honored pier. As I […]

A Sea Dialogue

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Cabin Passenger. Man at Wheel. CABIN PASSENGER. FRIEND, you seem thoughtful. I not wonder much That he who sails the ocean should be sad. I am myself reflective. When I think Of all this wallowing beast, the Sea, has sucked Between his sharp, thin lips, the wedgy waves, What heaps of diamonds, rubies, emeralds, pearls; […]

BY THE PROFESSOR EMERITUS OF DEAD AND LIVE LANGUAGES PHI BETA KAPPA.–CAMBRIDGE, 1867 You bid me sing,–can I forget The classic ode of days gone by,– How belle Fifine and jeune Lisette Exclaimed, “Anacreon, geron ei”? “Regardez done,” those ladies said,– “You’re getting bald and wrinkled too When summer’s roses all are shed, Love ‘s […]

Rhymes Of An Hour

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

ADDRESS FOR THE OPENING OF THE FIFTH AVENUE THEATRE, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 3, 1873 HANG out our banners on the stately tower It dawns at last–the long-expected hour I The steep is climbed, the star-lit summit won, The builder’s task, the artist’s labor done; Before the finished work the herald stands, And asks the verdict […]

JUNE 23, 1874 WHERE, girt around by savage foes, Our nurturing Mother’s shelter rose, Behold, the lofty temple stands, Reared by her children’s grateful hands! Firm are the pillars that defy The volleyed thunders of the sky; Sweet are the summer wreaths that twine With bud and flower our martyrs’ shrine. The hues their tattered […]

APRIL 29, 1874 SUNG BY MALE VOICES TO A NATIONAL AIR OF HOLLAND ONCE more, ye sacred towers, Your solemn dirges sound; Strew, loving hands, the April flowers, Once more to deck his mound. A nation mourns its dead, Its sorrowing voices one, As Israel’s monarch bowed his head And cried, “My son! My son!” […]

Cambridge, Oct 6, 1870 NOT with the anguish of hearts that are breaking Come we as mourners to weep for our dead; Grief in our breasts has grown weary of aching, Green is the turf where our tears we have shed. While o’er their marbles the mosses are creeping, Stealing each name and its legend […]

JULY 8, 1869 SAY not the Poet dies! Though in the dust he lies, He cannot forfeit his melodious breath, Unsphered by envious death! Life drops the voiceless myriads from its roll; Their fate he cannot share, Who, in the enchanted air Sweet with the lingering strains that Echo stole, Has left his dearer self, […]

CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION, SEPTEMBER 14, 1869 BONAPARTE, AUGUST 15, 1769.-HUMBOLDT, SEPTEMBER 14, 1769 ERE yet the warning chimes of midnight sound, Set back the flaming index of the year, Track the swift-shifting seasons in their round Through fivescore circles of the swinging sphere! Lo, in yon islet of the midland sea That cleaves the storm-cloud with […]

Read at the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Medical Society, May 25, 1864. No mystic charm, no mortal art, Can bid our loved companions stay; The bands that clasp them to our heart Snap in death’s frost and fall apart; Like shadows fading with the day, They pass away. The young are stricken in their […]

Edward Everett

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

“OUR FIRST CITIZEN” Read at the meeting of the Massachusetts Historical Society, January 30, 1865. WINTER’S cold drift lies glistening o’er his breast; For him no spring shall bid the leaf unfold What Love could speak, by sudden grief oppressed, What swiftly summoned Memory tell, is told. Even as the bells, in one consenting chime, […]

APRIL 23, 1864 “Who claims our Shakespeare from that realm unknown, Beyond the storm-vexed islands of the deep, Where Genoa’s roving mariner was blown? Her twofold Saint’s-day let our England keep; Shall warring aliens share her holy task?” The Old World echoes ask. O land of Shakespeare! ours with all thy past, Till these last […]

CAMBRIDGE, JULY 21, 1865 FOUR summers coined their golden light in leaves, Four wasteful autumns flung them to the gale, Four winters wore the shroud the tempest weaves, The fourth wan April weeps o’er hill and vale; And still the war-clouds scowl on sea and land, With the red gleams of battle staining through, When […]

FEBRUARY 16, 1874 THE painter’s and the poet’s fame Shed their twinned lustre round his name, To gild our story-teller’s art, Where each in turn must play his part. What scenes from Wilkie’s pencil sprung, The minstrel saw but left unsung! What shapes the pen of Collins drew, No painter clad in living hue! But […]

FOR HIS “JUBILAEUM” AT BERLIN, NOVEMBER 5, 1868 This poem was written at the suggestion of Mr. George Bancroft, the historian. THOU who hast taught the teachers of mankind How from the least of things the mightiest grow, What marvel jealous Nature made thee blind, Lest man should learn what angels long to know? Thou […]

BEFORE HIS DEPARTURE FOR EUROPE, MAY 27, 1868 OUR Poet, who has taught the Western breeze To waft his songs before him o’er the seas, Will find them wheresoe’er his wanderings reach Borne on the spreading tide of English speech Twin with the rhythmic waves that kiss the farthest beach. Where shall the singing bird […]

JULY 31, 1865 WHEN treason first began the strife That crimsoned sea and shore, The Nation poured her hoarded life On Freedom’s threshing-floor; From field and prairie, east and west, From coast and hill and plain, The sheaves of ripening manhood pressed Thick as the bearded grain. Rich was the harvest; souls as true As […]

JULY 6, 1865 Now, smiling friends and shipmates all, Since half our battle ‘s won, A broadside for our Admiral! Load every crystal gun Stand ready till I give the word,– You won’t have time to tire,– And when that glorious name is heard, Then hip! hurrah! and fire! Bow foremost sinks the rebel craft,– […]

How the mountains talked together, Looking down upon the weather, When they heard our friend had planned his Little trip among the Andes! How they’ll bare their snowy scalps To the climber of the Alps When the cry goes through their passes, “Here comes the great Agassiz!” “Yes, I’m tall,” says Chimborazo, “But I wait […]

NOVEMBER 3, 1864 O EVEN-HANDED Nature! we confess This life that men so honor, love, and bless Has filled thine olden measure. Not the less. We count the precious seasons that remain; Strike not the level of the golden grain, But heap it high with years, that earth may gain. What heaven can lose,–for heaven […]

AUGUST 2, 1872 WE welcome you, Lords of the Land of the Sun! The voice of the many sounds feebly through one; Ah! would ‘t were a voice of more musical tone, But the dog-star is here, and the song-birds have flown. And what shall I sing that can cheat you of smiles, Ye heralds […]

AUGUST 21, 1868 BROTHERS, whom we may not reach Through the veil of alien speech, Welcome! welcome! eyes can tell What the lips in vain would spell,– Words that hearts can understand, Brothers from the Flowery Land! We, the evening’s latest born, Hail the children of the morn! We, the new creation’s birth, Greet the […]

DECEMBER 9, 1871 ONE word to the guest we have gathered to greet! The echoes are longing that word to repeat,– It springs to the lips that are waiting to part, For its syllables spell themselves first in the heart. Its accents may vary, its sound may be strange, But it bears a kind message […]

MUSIC HALL, DECEMBER 6, 1871 Sung to the Russian national air by the children of the public schools. SHADOWED so long by the storm-cloud of danger, Thou whom the prayers of an empire defend, Welcome, thrice welcome! but not as a stranger, Come to the nation that calls thee its friend! Bleak are our shores […]

Union And Liberty

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

FLAG of the heroes who left us their glory, Borne through their battle-fields’ thunder and flame, Blazoned in song and illumined in story, Wave o’er us all who inherit their fame! Up with our banner bright, Sprinkled with starry light, Spread its fair emblems from mountain to shore, While through the sounding sky Loud rings […]

AMERICA TO RUSSIA AUGUST 5, 1866 Read by Hon. G. V. Fox at a dinner given to the Mission from the United States, St. Petersburg. THOUGH watery deserts hold apart The worlds of East and West, Still beats the selfsame human heart In each proud Nation’s breast. Our floating turret tempts the main And dares […]

DEDICATED TO THE STAY-AT-HOME RANGERS Now, while our soldiers are fighting our battles, Each at his post to do all that he can, Down among rebels and contraband chattels, What are you doing, my sweet little man? All the brave boys under canvas are sleeping, All of them pressing to march with the van, Far […]

WHAT flower is this that greets the morn, Its hues from Heaven so freshly born? With burning star and flaming band It kindles all the sunset land Oh tell us what its name may be,– Is this the Flower of Liberty? It is the banner of the free, The starry Flower of Liberty! In savage […]

A Sentiment

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

THE pledge of Friendship! it is still divine, Though watery floods have quenched its burning wine; Whatever vase the sacred drops may hold, The gourd, the shell, the cup of beaten gold, Around its brim the hand of Nature throws A garland sweeter than the banquet’s rose. Bright are the blushes of the vine-wreathed bowl, […]

FOR A TEMPERANCE DINNER TO WHICH LADIES WERE INVITED (NEW YORK MERCANTILE LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, NOVEMBER, 1842) A HEALTH to dear woman! She bids us untwine, From the cup it encircles, the fast-clinging vine; But her cheek in its crystal with pleasure will glow, And mirror its bloom in the bright wave below. A health to […]

The Parting Word

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

I MUST leave thee, lady sweet Months shall waste before we meet; Winds are fair and sails are spread, Anchors leave their ocean bed; Ere this shining day grow dark, Skies shall gird my shoreless bark. Through thy tears, O lady mine, Read thy lover’s parting line. When the first sad sun shall set, Thou […]

As o’er the glacier’s frozen sheet Breathes soft the Alpine rose, So through life’s desert springing sweet The flower of friendship grows; And as where’er the roses grow Some rain or dew descends, ‘T is nature’s law that wine should flow To wet the lips of friends. Then once again, before we part, My empty […]

PHI BETA KAPPA SOCIETY, 1844 I WAS thinking last night, as I sat in the cars, With the charmingest prospect of cinders and stars, Next Thursday is–bless me!–how hard it will be, If that cannibal president calls upon me! There is nothing on earth that he will not devour, From a tutor in seed to […]

A Modest Request

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

COMPLIED WITH AFTER THE DINNER AT PRESIDENT EVERETT’S INAUGURATION SCENE,–a back parlor in a certain square, Or court, or lane,–in short, no matter where; Time,–early morning, dear to simple souls Who love its sunshine and its fresh-baked rolls; Persons,–take pity on this telltale blush, That, like the AEthiop, whispers, “Hush, oh hush!” Delightful scene! where […]

Recited At The Berkshire Jubilee, PITTSFIELD, MASS., AUGUST 23, 1844 COME back to your mother, ye children, for shame, Who have wandered like truants for riches or fame! With a smile on her face, and a sprig in her cap, She calls you to feast from her bountiful lap. Come out from your alleys, your […]

Nux Postcoenatica

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

I WAS sitting with my microscope, upon my parlor rug, With a very heavy quarto and a very lively bug; The true bug had been organized with only two antennae, But the humbug in the copperplate would have them twice as many. And I thought, like Dr. Faustus, of the emptiness of art, How we […]

WRITTEN FOR THE DINNER GIVEN TO CHARLES DICKENS BY THE YOUNG MEN OF BOSTON, FEBRUARY 1, 1842 THE stars their early vigils keep, The silent hours are near, When drooping eyes forget to weep,– Yet still we linger here; And what–the passing churl may ask– Can claim such wondrous power, That Toil forgets his wonted […]

The Only Daughter

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

ILLUSTRATION OF A PICTURE THEY bid me strike the idle strings, As if my summer days Had shaken sunbeams from their wings To warm my autumn lays; They bring to me their painted urn, As if it were not time To lift my gauntlet and to spurn The lists of boyish rhyme; And were it […]

The island referred to is a domain of princely proportions, which has long been the seat of a generous hospitality. Naushon is its old Indian name. William Swain, Esq., commonly known as “the Governor,” was the proprietor of it at the time when this song was written. Mr. John M. Forbes is his worthy successor […]

Departed Days

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

YES, dear departed, cherished days, Could Memory’s hand restore Your morning light, your evening rays, From Time’s gray urn once more, Then might this restless heart be still, This straining eye might close, And Hope her fainting pinions fold, While the fair phantoms rose. But, like a child in ocean’s arms, We strive against the […]

For The Centennial Celebration Of Harvard College, 1836 This song, which I had the temerity to sing myself (felix auda-cia, Mr. Franklin Dexter had the goodness to call it), was sent in a little too late to be printed with the official account of the celebration. It was written at the suggestion of Dr. Jacob […]

This “punch-bowl” was, according to old family tradition, a caudle-cup. It is a massive piece of silver, its cherubs and other ornaments of coarse repousse work, and has two handles like a loving-cup, by which it was held, or passed from guest to guest. THIS ancient silver bowl of mine, it tells of good old […]

The Steamboat

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

SEE how yon flaming herald treads The ridged and rolling waves, As, crashing o’er their crested heads, She bows her surly slaves! With foam before and fire behind, She rends the clinging sea, That flies before the roaring wind, Beneath her hissing lee. The morning spray, like sea-born flowers, With heaped and glistening bells, Falls […]

Lexington

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

SLOWLY the mist o’er the meadow was creeping, Bright on the dewy buds glistened the sun, When from his couch, while his children were sleeping, Rose the bold rebel and shouldered his gun. Waving her golden veil Over the silent dale, Blithe looked the morning on cottage and spire; Hushed was his parting sigh, While […]

IN the hour of twilight shadows The Pilgrim sire looked out; He thought of the “bloudy Salvages” That lurked all round about, Of Wituwamet’s pictured knife And Pecksuot’s whooping shout; For the baby’s limbs were feeble, Though his father’s arms were stout. His home was a freezing cabin, Too bare for the hungry rat; Its […]

A METRICAL ESSAY, READ BEFORE THE PHI BETA KAPPA SOCIETY, HARVARD UNIVERSITY, AUGUST, 1836 TO CHARLES WENTWORTH UPHAM, THE FOLLOWING METRICAL ESSAY IS AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED. This Academic Poem presents the simple and partial views of a young person trained after the schools of classical English verse as represented by Pope, Goldsmith, and Campbell, with whose […]

I WROTE some lines once on a time In wondrous merry mood, And thought, as usual, men would say They were exceeding good. They were so queer, so very queer, I laughed as I would die; Albeit, in the general way, A sober man am I. I called my servant, and he came; How kind […]

The Last Reader

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

I SOMETIMES sit beneath a tree And read my own sweet songs; Though naught they may to others be, Each humble line prolongs A tone that might have passed away But for that scarce remembered lay. I keep them like a lock or leaf That some dear girl has given; Frail record of an hour, […]

This tremendous hurricane occurred on the 23d of September, 1815. I remember it well, being then seven years old. A full account of it was published, I think, in the records of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Some of my recollections are given in The Seasons, an article to be found in a […]

THE stars are rolling in the sky, The earth rolls on below, And we can feel the rattling wheel Revolving as we go. Then tread away, my gallant boys, And make the axle fly; Why should not wheels go round about, Like planets in the sky? Wake up, wake up, my duck-legged man, And stir […]

The Comet

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

THE Comet! He is on his way, And singing as he flies; The whizzing planets shrink before The spectre of the skies; Ah! well may regal orbs burn blue, And satellites turn pale, Ten million cubic miles of head, Ten billion leagues of tail! On, on by whistling spheres of light He flashes and he […]

THERE are three ways in which men take One’s money from his purse, And very hard it is to tell Which of the three is worse; But all of them are bad enough To make a body curse. You’re riding out some pleasant day, And counting up your gains; A fellow jumps from out a […]

IN THE ATHENAEUM GALLERY WELL, Miss, I wonder where you live, I wonder what’s your name, I wonder how you came to be In such a stylish frame; Perhaps you were a favorite child, Perhaps an only one; Perhaps your friends were not aware You had your portrait done. Yet you must be a harmless […]

The “pudding-stone” is a remarkable conglomerate found very abundantly in the towns mentioned, all of which are in the neighborhood of Boston. We used in those primitive days to ask friends to ride with us when we meant to take them to drive with us. THERE was a giant in time of old, A mighty […]

Daily Trials

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

BY A SENSITIVE MAN OH, there are times When all this fret and tumult that we hear Do seem more stale than to the sexton’s ear His own dull chimes. Ding dong! ding dong! The world is in a simmer like a sea Over a pent volcano,–woe is me All the day long! From crib […]

I SAW the curl of his waving lash, And the glance of his knowing eye, And I knew that he thought he was cutting a dash, As his steed went thundering by. And he may ride in the rattling gig, Or flourish the Stanhope gay, And dream that he looks exceeding big To the people […]

The Dilemma

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Now, by the blessed Paphian queen, Who heaves the breast of sweet sixteen; By every name I cut on bark Before my morning star grew dark; By Hymen’s torch, by Cupid’s dart, By all that thrills the beating heart; The bright black eye, the melting blue,– I cannot choose between the two. I had a […]

To An Insect

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

The Katydid is “a species of grasshopper found in the United States, so called from the sound which it makes.”–Worcester. I used to hear this insect in Providence, Rhode Island, but I do not remember hearing it in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where I passed my boyhood. It is well known in other towns in the neighborhood […]

OUR ancient church! its lowly tower, Beneath the loftier spire, Is shadowed when the sunset hour Clothes the tall shaft in fire; It sinks beyond the distant eye Long ere the glittering vane, High wheeling in the western sky, Has faded o’er the plain. Like Sentinel and Nun, they keep Their vigil on the green; […]

To My Readers

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

NAY, blame me not; I might have spared Your patience many a trivial verse, Yet these my earlier welcome shared, So, let the better shield the worse. And some might say, “Those ruder songs Had freshness which the new have lost; To spring the opening leaf belongs, The chestnut-burs await the frost.” When those I […]

‘T is like stirring living embers when, at eighty, one remembers All the achings and the quakings of “the times that tried men’s souls;” When I talk of Whig and Tory, when I tell the Rebel story, To you the words are ashes, but to me they’re burning coals. I had heard the muskets’ rattle […]

LAND where the banners wave last in the sun, Blazoned with star-clusters, many in one, Floating o’er prairie and mountain and sea; Hark! ‘t is the voice of thy children to thee! Here at thine altar our vows we renew Still in thy cause to be loyal and true,– True to thy flag on the […]

Army Hymn

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

“OLD HUNDRED” O LORD of Hosts! Almighty King! Behold the sacrifice we bring To every arm thy strength impart, Thy spirit shed through every heart! Wake in our breasts the living fires, The holy faith that warmed our sires; Thy hand hath made our Nation free; To die for her is serving Thee. Be Thou […]

GIVER of all that crowns our days, With grateful hearts we sing thy praise; Through deep and desert led by Thee, Our promised land at last we see. Ruler of Nations, judge our cause! If we have kept thy holy laws, The sons of Belial curse in vain The day that rends the captive’s chain. […]

O GOD! in danger’s darkest hour, In battle’s deadliest field, Thy name has been our Nation’s tower, Thy truth her help and shield. Our lips should fill the air with praise, Nor pay the debt we owe, So high above the songs we raise The floods of mercy flow. Yet Thou wilt hear the prayer […]

APRIL 27,1861 EIGHTY years have passed, and more, Since under the brave old tree Our fathers gathered in arms, and swore They would follow the sign their banners bore, And fight till the land was free. Half of their work was done, Half is left to do,– Cambridge, and Concord, and Lexington! When the battle […]

One Country

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

ONE country! Treason’s writhing asp Struck madly at her girdle’s clasp, And Hatred wrenched with might and main To rend its welded links in twain, While Mammon hugged his golden calf Content to take one broken half, While thankless churls stood idly by And heard unmoved a nation’s cry! One country! “Nay,”–the tyrant crew Shrieked […]

God Save The Flag

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

WASHED in the blood of the brave and the blooming, Snatched from the altars of insolent foes, Burning with star-fires, but never consuming, Flash its broad ribbons of lily and rose. Vainly the prophets of Baal would rend it, Vainly his worshippers pray for its fall; Thousands have died for it, millions defend it, Emblem […]

This poem, published anonymously in the Boston Evening Transcript, was claimed by several persons, three, if I remember correctly, whose names I have or have had, but never thought it worth while to publish. WHERE are you going, soldiers, With banner, gun, and sword? We ‘re marching South to Canaan To battle for the Lord […]

IN poisonous dens, where traitors hide Like bats that fear the day, While all the land our charters claim Is sweating blood and breathing flame, Dead to their country’s woe and shame, The recreants whisper STAY! In peaceful homes, where patriot fires On Love’s own altars glow, The mother hides her trembling fear, The wife, […]

Never Or Now

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

AN APPEAL LISTEN, young heroes! your country is calling! Time strikes the hour for the brave and the true! Now, while the foremost are fighting and falling, Fill up the ranks that have opened for you! You whom the fathers made free and defended, Stain not the scroll that emblazons their fame You whose fair […]

After The Fire

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

WHILE far along the eastern sky I saw the flags of Havoc fly, As if his forces would assault The sovereign of the starry vault And hurl Him back the burning rain That seared the cities of the plain, I read as on a crimson page The words of Israel’s sceptred sage:– For riches make […]

Read at a meeting of the Massachusetts Historical Society. No! never such a draught was poured Since Hebe served with nectar The bright Olympians and their Lord, Her over-kind protector,– Since Father Noah squeezed the grape And took to such behaving As would have shamed our grandsire ape Before the days of shaving,– No! ne’er […]

SLOW toiling upward from’ the misty vale, I leave the bright enamelled zones below; No more for me their beauteous bloom shall glow, Their lingering sweetness load the morning gale; Few are the slender flowerets, scentless, pale, That on their ice-clad stems all trembling blow Along the margin of unmelting snow; Yet with unsaddened voice […]

At The Pantomime

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

THE house was crammed from roof to floor, Heads piled on heads at every door; Half dead with August’s seething heat I crowded on and found my seat, My patience slightly out of joint, My temper short of boiling-point, Not quite at Hate mankind as such, Nor yet at Love them overmuch. Amidst the throng […]

The Organ-Blower

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

DEVOUTEST of My Sunday friends, The patient Organ-blower bends; I see his figure sink and rise, (Forgive me, Heaven, my wandering eyes!) A moment lost, the next half seen, His head above the scanty screen, Still measuring out his deep salaams Through quavering hymns and panting psalms. No priest that prays in gilded stole, To […]

As through the forest, disarrayed By chill November, late I strayed, A lonely minstrel of the wood Was singing to the solitude I loved thy music, thus I said, When o’er thy perch the leaves were spread Sweet was thy song, but sweeter now Thy carol on the leafless bough. Sing, little bird! thy note […]

I cannot tell the story of Dorothy Q. more simply in prose than I have told it in verse, but I can add something to it. Dorothy was the daughter of Judge Edmund Quincy, and the niece of Josiah Quincy, junior, the young patriot and orator who died just before the American Revolution, of which […]

AUTOCRAT-PROFESSOR-POET AT A BOOKSTORE Anno Domini 1972 A CRAZY bookcase, placed before A low-price dealer’s open door; Therein arrayed in broken rows A ragged crew of rhyme and prose, The homeless vagrants, waifs, and strays Whose low estate this line betrays (Set forth the lesser birds to lime) YOUR CHOICE AMONG THESE BOORS 1 DIME! […]

THUS I lift the sash, so long Shut against the flight of song; All too late for vain excuse,– Lo, my captive rhymes are loose. Rhymes that, flitting through my brain, Beat against my window-pane, Some with gayly colored wings, Some, alas! with venomed stings. Shall they bask in sunny rays? Shall they feed on […]

Programme

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

READER–gentle–if so be Such still live, and live for me, Will it please you to be told What my tenscore pages hold? Here are verses that in spite Of myself I needs must write, Like the wine that oozes first When the unsqueezed grapes have burst. Here are angry lines, “too hard!” Says the soldier, […]

Truths

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

THE time is racked with birth-pangs; every hour Brings forth some gasping truth, and truth newborn Looks a misshapen and untimely growth, The terror of the household and its shame, A monster coiling in its nurse’s lap That some would strangle, some would only starve; But still it breathes, and passed from hand to hand, […]

Idols

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

BUT what is this? The sacred beetle, bound upon the breast Of the blind heathen! Snatch the curious prize, Give it a place among thy treasured spoils, Fossil and relic,–corals, encrinites, The fly in amber and the fish in stone, The twisted circlet of Etruscan gold, Medal, intaglio, poniard, poison-ring,– Place for the Memphian beetle […]

Manhood

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

I CLAIM the right of knowing whom I serve, Else is my service idle; He that asks My homage asks it from a reasoning soul. To crawl is not to worship; we have learned A drill of eyelids, bended neck and knee, Hanging our prayers on hinges, till we ape The flexures of the many-jointed […]

Rights

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

WHAT am I but the creature Thou hast made? What have I save the blessings Thou hast lent? What hope I but thy mercy and thy love? Who but myself shall cloud my soul with fear? Whose hand protect me from myself but thine? I claim the rights of weakness, I, the babe, Call on […]

Questioning

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

I AM not humble; I was shown my place, Clad in such robes as Nature had at hand; Took what she gave, not chose; I know no shame, No fear for being simply what I am. I am not proud, I hold my every breath At Nature’s mercy. I am as a babe Borne in […]

LET me retrace the record of the years That made me what I am. A man most wise, But overworn with toil and bent with age, Sought me to be his scholar,-me, run wild From books and teachers,-kindled in my soul The love of knowledge; led me to his tower, Showed me the wonders of […]

Alone

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

ALONE! no climber of an Alpine cliff, No Arctic venturer on the waveless sea, Feels the dread stillness round him as it chills The heart of him who leaves the slumbering earth To watch the silent worlds that crowd the sky. Alone! And as the shepherd leaves his flock To feed upon the hillside, he […]

Regrets

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

BRIEF glimpses of the bright celestial spheres, False lights, false shadows, vague, uncertain gleams, Pale vaporous mists, wan streaks of lurid flame, The climbing of the upward-sailing cloud, The sinking of the downward-falling star,– All these are pictures of the changing moods Borne through the midnight stillness of my soul. Here am I, bound upon […]

Sympathies

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

THE snows that glittered on the disk of Mars Have melted, and the planet’s fiery orb Rolls in the crimson summer of its year; But what to me the summer or the snow Of worlds that throb with life in forms unknown, If life indeed be theirs; I heed not these. My heart is simply […]

Aunt Tabitha

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

THE YOUNG GIRL’S POEM WHATEVER I do, and whatever I say, Aunt Tabitha tells me that is n’t the way; When she was a girl (forty summers ago) Aunt Tabitha tells me they never did so. Dear aunt! If I only would take her advice! But I like my own way, and I find it […]

Ambition

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

ANOTHER clouded night; the stars are hid, The orb that waits my search is hid with them. Patience! Why grudge an hour, a month, a year, To plant my ladder and to gain the round That leads my footsteps to the heaven of fame, Where waits the wreath my sleepless midnights won? Not the stained […]

Fantasia

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

THE YOUNG GIRL’S POEM KISS mine eyelids, beauteous Morn, Blushing into life new-born! Lend me violets for my hair, And thy russet robe to wear, And thy ring of rosiest hue Set in drops of diamond dew! Kiss my cheek, thou noontide ray, From my Love so far away Let thy splendor streaming down Turn […]

De Sauty

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

AN ELECTRO-CHEMICAL ECLOGUE The first messages received through the submarine cable were sent by an electrical expert, a mysterious personage who signed himself De Sauty. Professor Blue-Nose PROFESSOR TELL me, O Provincial! speak, Ceruleo-Nasal! Lives there one De Sauty extant now among you, Whispering Boanerges, son of silent thunder, Holding talk with nations? Is there […]

THE DIVINE VOICE Go seek thine earth-born sisters,–thus the Voice That all obey,–the sad and silent three; These only, while the hosts of Heaven rejoice, Smile never; ask them what their sorrows be; And when the secret of their griefs they tell, Look on them with thy mild, half-human eyes; Say what thou wast on […]

IN the little southern parlor of the house you may have seen With the gambrel-roof, and the gable looking westward to the green, At the side toward the sunset, with the window on its right, Stood the London-made piano I am dreaming of to-night! Ah me I how I remember the evening when it came! […]

Midsummer

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

HERE! sweep these foolish leaves away, I will not crush my brains to-day! Look! are the southern curtains drawn? Fetch me a fan, and so begone! Not that,–the palm-tree’s rustling leaf Brought from a parching coral-reef Its breath is heated;–I would swing The broad gray plumes,–the eagle’s wing. I hate these roses’ feverish blood! Pluck […]

HE sleeps not here; in hope and prayer His wandering flock had gone before, But he, the shepherd, might not share Their sorrows on the wintry shore. Before the Speedwell’s anchor swung, Ere yet the Mayflower’s sail was spread, While round his feet the Pilgrims clung, The pastor spake, and thus he said:– “Men, brethren, […]

HIS TEMPTATION No fear lest praise should make us proud! We know how cheaply that is won; The idle homage of the crowd Is proof of tasks as idly done. A surface-smile may pay the toil That follows still the conquering Right, With soft, white hands to dress the spoil That sun-browned valor clutched in […]

AH, here it is! the sliding rail That marks the old remembered spot,– The gap that struck our school-boy trail,– The crooked path across the lot. It left the road by school and church, A pencilled shadow, nothing more, That parted from the silver-birch And ended at the farm-house door. No line or compass traced […]

Iris, Her Book

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

I PRAY thee by the soul of her that bore thee, By thine own sister’s spirit I implore thee, Deal gently with the leaves that lie before thee! For Iris had no mother to infold her, Nor ever leaned upon a sister’s shoulder, Telling the twilight thoughts that Nature told her. She had not learned […]

Under The Violets

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

HER hands are cold; her face is white; No more her pulses come and go; Her eyes are shut to life and light;– Fold the white vesture, snow on snow, And lay her where the violets blow. But not beneath a graven stone, To plead for tears with alien eyes; A slender cross of wood […]

Hymn Of Trust

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

O Love Divine, that stooped to share Our sharpest pang, our bitterest tear, On Thee we cast each earth-born care, We smile at pain while Thou art near! Though long the weary way we tread, And sorrow crown each lingering year, No path we shun, no darkness dread, Our hearts still whispering, Thou art near! […]

A Sun-Day Hymn

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

LORD of all being! throned afar, Thy glory flames from sun and star; Centre and soul of every sphere, Yet to each loving heart how near! Sun of our life, thy quickening ray Sheds on our path the glow of day; Star of our hope, thy softened light Cheers the long watches of the night. […]

WITH SLIGHT ALTERATIONS BY A TEETOTALER–(…) COME! fill a fresh bumper, for why should we go While the nectar (logwood) still reddens our cups as they flow? Pour out the rich juices (decoction) still bright with the sun, Till o’er the brimmed crystal the rubies (dye-stuff) shall run. The purple-globed clusters (half-ripened apples) their life-dews […]

A MATHEMATICAL STORY FACTS respecting an old arm-chair. At Cambridge. Is kept in the College there. Seems but little the worse for wear. That ‘s remarkable when I say It was old in President Holyoke’s day. (One of his boys, perhaps you know, Died, at one hundred, years ago.) He took lodgings for rain or […]

The Last Blossom

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

THOUGH young no more, we still would dream Of beauty’s dear deluding wiles; The leagues of life to graybeards seem Shorter than boyhood’s lingering miles. Who knows a woman’s wild caprice? ‘It played with Goethe’s silvered hair, And many a Holy Father’s “niece” Has softly smoothed the papal chair. When sixty bids us sigh in […]

Aestivation

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

AN UNPUBLISHED POEM, BY MY LATE LATIN TUTOR IN candent ire the solar splendor flames; The foles, langueseent, pend from arid rames; His humid front the Give, anheling, wipes, And dreams of erring on ventiferous riper. How dulce to vive occult to mortal eyes, Dorm on the herb with none to supervise, Carp the suave […]

BRAVE singer of the coming time, Sweet minstrel of the joyous present, Crowned with the noblest wreath of rhyme, The holly-leaf of Ayrshire’s peasant, Good by! Good by!–Our hearts and hands, Our lips in honest Saxon phrases, Cry, God be with him, till he stands His feet among the English daisies! ‘T is here we […]

WHEN legislators keep the law, When banks dispense with bolts and looks, When berries–whortle, rasp, and straw– Grow bigger downwards through the box,– When he that selleth house or land Shows leak in roof or flaw in right,– When haberdashers choose the stand Whose window hath the broadest light,– When preachers tell us all they […]

Album Verses

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

WHEN Eve had led her lord away, And Cain had killed his brother, The stars and flowers, the poets say, Agreed with one another. To cheat the cunning tempter’s art, And teach the race its duty, By keeping on its wicked heart Their eyes of light and beauty. A million sleepless lids, they say, Will […]

Prologue

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

A PROLOGUE? Well, of course the ladies know,– I have my doubts. No matter,–here we go! What is a Prologue? Let our Tutor teach: Pro means beforehand; logos stands for speech. ‘T is like the harper’s prelude on the strings, The prima donna’s courtesy ere she sings; Prologues in metre are to other pros As […]

What We All Think

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

THAT age was older once than now, In spite of locks untimely shed, Or silvered on the youthful brow; That babes make love and children wed. That sunshine had a heavenly glow, Which faded with those “good old days” When winters came with deeper snow, And autumns with a softer haze. That–mother, sister, wife, or […]

Spring Has Come

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

INTRA MUROS THE sunbeams, lost for half a year, Slant through my pane their morning rays; For dry northwesters cold and clear, The east blows in its thin blue haze. And first the snowdrop’s bells are seen, Then close against the sheltering wall The tulip’s horn of dusky green, The peony’s dark unfolding ball. The […]

Musa

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

O MY lost beauty!–hast thou folded quite Thy wings of morning light Beyond those iron gates Where Life crowds hurrying to the haggard Fates, And Age upon his mound of ashes waits To chill our fiery dreams, Hot from the heart of youth plunged in his icy streams? Leave me not fading in these weeds […]

YES, we knew we must lose him,–though friendship may claim To blend her green leaves with the laurels of fame; Though fondly, at parting, we call him our own, ‘T is the whisper of love when the bugle has blown. As the rider that rests with the spur on his heel, As the guardsman that […]

After The Curfew

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

1889 THE Play is over. While the light Yet lingers in the darkening hall, I come to say a last Good-night Before the final Exeunt all. We gathered once, a joyous throng: The jovial toasts went gayly round; With jest, and laugh, and shout, and song, We made the floors and walls resound. We come […]

As I look from the isle, o’er its billows of green, To the billows of foam-crested blue, Yon bark, that afar in the distance is seen, Half dreaming, my eyes will pursue Now dark in the shadow, she scatters the spray As the chaff in the stroke of the flail; Now white as the sea-gull, […]

The Angel-Thief

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

1888 TIME is a thief who leaves his tools behind him; He comes by night, he vanishes at dawn; We track his footsteps, but we never find him Strong locks are broken, massive bolts are drawn, And all around are left the bars and borers, The splitting wedges and the prying keys, Such aids as […]

The Old Tune

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

THIRTY-SIXTH VARIATION 1886 THIS shred of song you bid me bring Is snatched from fancy’s embers; Ah, when the lips forget to sing, The faithful heart remembers! Too swift the wings of envious Time To wait for dallying phrases, Or woven strands of labored rhyme To thread their cunning mazes. A word, a sigh, and […]

The Broken Circle

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

1887 I STOOD On Sarum’s treeless plain, The waste that careless Nature owns; Lone tenants of her bleak domain, Loomed huge and gray the Druid stones. Upheaved in many a billowy mound The sea-like, naked turf arose, Where wandering flocks went nibbling round The mingled graves of friends and foes. The Briton, Roman, Saxon, Dane, […]

1884 SHE gathered at her slender waist The beauteous robe she wore; Its folds a golden belt embraced, One rose-hued gem it bore. The girdle shrank; its lessening round Still kept the shining gem, But now her flowing locks it bound, A lustrous diadem. And narrower still the circlet grew; Behold! a glittering band, Its […]

1885 THE minstrel of the classic lay Of love and wine who sings Still found the fingers run astray That touched the rebel strings. Of Cadmus he would fain have sung, Of Atreus and his line; But all the jocund echoes rung With songs of love and wine. Ah, brothers! I would fain have caught […]

A Loving-cup Song

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

1883 COME, heap the fagots! Ere we go Again the cheerful hearth shall glow; We ‘ll have another blaze, my boys! When clouds are black and snows are white, Then Christmas logs lend ruddy light They stole from summer days, my boys, They stole from summer days. And let the Loving-Cup go round, The Cup […]

Benjamin Peirce

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

ASTRONOMER, MATHEMATICIAN. 1809-1890 1881 FOR him the Architect of all Unroofed our planet’s starlit hall; Through voids unknown to worlds unseen His clearer vision rose serene. With us on earth he walked by day, His midnight path how far away! We knew him not so well who knew The patient eyes his soul looked through; […]

In The Twilight

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

1882 NOT bed-time yet! The night-winds blow, The stars are out,–full well we know The nurse is on the stair, With hand of ice and cheek of snow, And frozen lips that whisper low, “Come, children, it is time to go My peaceful couch to share.” No years a wakeful heart can tire; Not bed-time […]

A MODERNIZED VERSION 1879 I DON’T think I feel much older; I’m aware I’m rather gray, But so are many young folks; I meet ’em every day. I confess I ‘m more particular in what I eat and drink, But one’s taste improves with culture; that is all it means, I think. Can you read […]

The Shadows

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

1880 “How many have gone?” was the question of old Ere Time our bright ring of its jewels bereft; Alas! for too often the death-bell has tolled, And the question we ask is, “How many are left?” Bright sparkled the wine; there were fifty that quaffed; For a decade had slipped and had taken but […]

1877 I LIKE, at times, to hear the steeples’ chimes With sober thoughts impressively that mingle; But sometimes, too, I rather like–don’t you?– To hear the music of the sleigh bells’ jingle. I like full well the deep resounding swell Of mighty symphonies with chords inwoven; But sometimes, too, a song of Burns–don’t you? After […]

The Last Survivor

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

1878 YES! the vacant chairs tell sadly we are going, going fast, And the thought comes strangely o’er me, who will live to be the last? When the twentieth century’s sunbeams climb the far-off eastern hill, With his ninety winters burdened, will he greet the morning still? Will he stand with Harvard’s nurslings when they […]

For Class Meeting

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

1875 IT is a pity and a shame–alas! alas! I know it is, To tread the trodden grapes again, but so it has been, so it is; The purple vintage long is past, with ripened clusters bursting so They filled the wine-vats to the brim,-‘t is strange you will be thirsting so! Too well our […]

"Ad Amicos"

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

1876 “Dumque virent genua Et decet, obducta solvatur fonte senectus.” THE muse of boyhood’s fervid hour Grows tame as skies get chill and hazy; Where once she sought a passion-flower, She only hopes to find a daisy. Well, who the changing world bewails? Who asks to have it stay unaltered? Shall grown-up kittens chase their […]

1873 I HAVE come with my verses–I think I may claim It is not the first time I have tried on the same. They were puckered in rhyme, they were wrinkled in wit; But your hearts were so large that they made them a fit. I have come–not to tease you with more of my […]

Our Banker

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

1874 OLD TIME, in whose bank we deposit our notes, Is a miser who always wants guineas for groats; He keeps all his customers still in arrears By lending them minutes and charging them years. The twelvemonth rolls round and we never forget On the counter before us to pay him our debt. We reckon […]

1871 PRECISELY. I see it. You all want to say That a tear is too sad and a laugh is too gay; You could stand a faint smile, you could manage a sigh, But you value your ribs, and you don’t want to cry. And why at our feast of the clasping of hands Need […]

1872 ONE memory trembles on our lips; It throbs in every breast; In tear-dimmed eyes, in mirth’s eclipse, The shadow stands confessed. O silent voice, that cheered so long Our manhood’s marching day, Without thy breath of heavenly song, How weary seems the way! Vain every pictured phrase to tell Our sorrowing heart’s desire,– The […]

1869 THOU Gracious Power, whose mercy lends The light of home, the smile of friends, Our gathered flock thine arms infold As in the peaceful days of old. Wilt thou not hear us while we raise, In sweet accord of solemn praise, The voices that have mingled long In joyous flow of mirth and song? […]

1873 THE dirge is played, the throbbing death-peal rung, The sad-voiced requiem sung; On each white urn where memory dwells The wreath of rustling immortelles Our loving hands have hung, And balmiest leaves have strown and tenderest blossoms flung. The birds that filled the air with songs have flown, The wintry blasts have blown, And […]

Even-Song

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

1870 IT may be, yes, it must be, Time that brings An end to mortal things, That sends the beggar Winter in the train Of Autumn’s burdened wain,– Time, that is heir of all our earthly state, And knoweth well to wait Till sea hath turned to shore and shore to sea, If so it […]

Once More

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

1868 “Will I come?” That is pleasant! I beg to inquire If the gun that I carry has ever missed fire? And which was the muster-roll-mention but one– That missed your old comrade who carries the gun? You see me as always, my hand on the lock, The cap on the nipple, the hammer full […]

The Old Cruiser

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

1869 HERE ‘s the old cruiser, ‘Twenty-nine, Forty times she ‘s crossed the line; Same old masts and sails and crew, Tight and tough and as good as new. Into the harbor she bravely steers Just as she ‘s done for these forty years, Over her anchor goes, splash and clang! Down her sails drop, […]

So the gray Boatswain of ‘Twenty-nine Piped to “The Boys” as they crossed the line; Round the cabin sat thirty guests, Babes of the nurse with a thousand breasts. There were the judges, grave and grand, Flanked by the priests on either hand; There was the lord of wealth untold, And the dear good fellow […]

My Annual

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

1866 How long will this harp which you once loved to hear Cheat your lips of a smile or your eyes of a tear? How long stir the echoes it wakened of old, While its strings were unbroken, untarnished its gold? Dear friends of my boyhood, my words do you wrong; The heart, the heart […]

All Here

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

1867 IT is not what we say or sing, That keeps our charm so long unbroken, Though every lightest leaf we bring May touch the heart as friendship’s token; Not what we sing or what we say Can make us dearer to each other; We love the singer and his lay, But love as well […]

The Last Charge

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

1864 Now, men of the North! will you join in the strife For country, for freedom, for honor, for life? The giant grows blind in his fury and spite,– One blow on his forehead will settle the fight! Flash full in his eyes the blue lightning of steel, And stun him with cannon-bolts, peal upon […]

Our Oldest Friend

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

1865 I GIVE you the health of the oldest friend That, short of eternity, earth can lend,– A friend so faithful and tried and true That nothing can wean him from me and you. When first we screeched in the sudden blaze Of the daylight’s blinding and blasting rays, And gulped at the gaseous, groggy […]

A HALF-RHYMED IMPROMPTU 1865 LIKE the tribes of Israel, Fed on quails and manna, Sherman and his glorious band Journeyed through the rebel land, Fed from Heaven’s all-bounteous hand, Marching on Savannah! As the moving pillar shone, Streamed the starry banner All day long in rosy light, Flaming splendor all the night, Till it swooped […]

1862 ‘T is midnight: through my troubled dream Loud wails the tempest’s cry; Before the gale, with tattered sail, A ship goes plunging by. What name? Where bound?–The rocks around Repeat the loud halloo. –The good ship Union, Southward bound: God help her and her crew! And is the old flag flying still That o’er […]

1863 YES, tyrants, you hate us, and fear while you hate The self-ruling, chain-breaking, throne-shaking State! The night-birds dread morning,–your instinct is true,– The day-star of Freedom brings midnight for you! Why plead with the deaf for the cause of mankind? The owl hoots at noon that the eagle is blind! We ask not your […]

F. W. C

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

1864 FAST as the rolling seasons bring The hour of fate to those we love, Each pearl that leaves the broken string Is set in Friendship’s crown above. As narrower grows the earthly chain, The circle widens in the sky; These are our treasures that remain, But those are stars that beam on high. We […]

1861 JANUARY THIRD WE sing “Our Country’s” song to-night With saddened voice and eye; Her banner droops in clouded light Beneath the wintry sky. We’ll pledge her once in golden wine Before her stars have set Though dim one reddening orb may shine, We have a Country yet. ‘T were vain to sigh o’er errors […]

J. D. R

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

1862 THE friends that are, and friends that were, What shallow waves divide! I miss the form for many a year Still seated at my side. I miss him, yet I feel him still Amidst our faithful band, As if not death itself could chill The warmth of friendship’s hand. His story other lips may […]

The Boys

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

1859 HAS there any old fellow got mixed with the boys? If there has, take him out, without making a noise. Hang the Almanac’s cheat and the Catalogue’s spite! Old Time is a liar! We’re twenty to-night! We’re twenty! We’re twenty! Who says we are more? He’s tipsy,–young jackanapes!–show him the door! “Gray temples at […]

Our Indian Summer

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

1856 You ‘ll believe me, dear boys, ‘t is a pleasure to rise, With a welcome like this in your darling old eyes; To meet the same smiles and to hear the same tone Which have greeted me oft in the years that have flown. Were I gray as the grayest old rat in the […]

Mare Rubrum

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

1858 FLASH out a stream of blood-red wine, For I would drink to other days, And brighter shall their memory shine, Seen flaming through its crimson blaze! The roses die, the summers fade, But every ghost of boyhood’s dream By nature’s magic power is laid To sleep beneath this blood-red stream! It filled the purple […]

1854 OH for one hour of youthful joy! Give back my twentieth spring! I’d rather laugh, a bright-haired boy, Than reign, a gray-beard king. Off with the spoils of wrinkled age! Away with Learning’s crown! Tear out life’s Wisdom-written page, And dash its trophies down! One moment let my life-blood stream From boyhood’s fount of […]

Remember–Forget

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

1855 AND what shall be the song to-night, If song there needs must be? If every year that brings us here Must steal an hour from me? Say, shall it ring a merry peal, Or heave a mourning sigh O’er shadows cast, by years long past, On moments flitting by? Nay, take the first unbidden […]

1852 WHERE, oh where are the visions of morning, Fresh as the dews of our prime? Gone, like tenants that quit without warning, Down the back entry of time. Where, oh where are life’s lilies and roses, Nursed in the golden dawn’s smile? Dead as the bulrushes round little Moses, On the old banks of […]

An Impromptu

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

Not premeditated 1853 THE clock has struck noon; ere it thrice tell the hours We shall meet round the table that blushes with flowers, And I shall blush deeper with shame-driven blood That I came to the banquet and brought not a bud. Who cares that his verse is a beggar in art If you […]

Bill And Joe

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

COME, dear old comrade, you and I Will steal an hour from days gone by, The shining days when life was new, And all was bright with morning dew, The lusty days of long ago, When you were Bill and I was Joe. Your name may flaunt a titled trail Proud as a cockerel’s rainbow […]

1851 THE summer dawn is breaking On Auburn’s tangled bowers, The golden light is waking On Harvard’s ancient towers; The sun is in the sky That must see us do or die, Ere it shine on the line Of the CLASS OF ’29. At last the day is ended, The tutor screws no more, By […]

Vive La France

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

A SENTIMENT OFFERED AT THE DINNER TO H. I. H THE PRINCE NAPOLEON, AT THE REVERE HOUSE, SEPTEMBER 25,1861 THE land of sunshine and of song! Her name your hearts divine; To her the banquet’s vows belong Whose breasts have poured its wine; Our trusty friend, our true ally Through varied change and chance So, […]

SHE has gone,–she has left us in passion and pride,– Our stormy-browed sister, so long at our side! She has torn her own star from our firmament’s glow, And turned on her brother the face of a foe! Oh, Caroline, Caroline, child of the sun, We can never forget that our hearts have been one,– […]

A NIGHTMARE DREAM BY DAYLIGHT Do you know the Old Man of the Sea, of the Sea? Have you met with that dreadful old man? If you have n’t been caught, you will be, you will be; For catch you he must and he can. He does n’t hold on by your throat, by your […]

GOD bless our Fathers’ Land! Keep her in heart and hand One with our own! From all her foes defend, Be her brave People’s Friend, On all her realms descend, Protect her Throne! Father, with loving care Guard Thou her kingdom’s Heir, Guide all his ways Thine arm his shelter be, From him by land […]

AUGUST 29, 1859 I REMEMBER–why, yes! God bless me! and was it so long ago? I fear I’m growing forgetful, as old folks do, you know; It must have been in ‘forty–I would say ‘thirty-nine– We talked this matter over, I and a friend of mine. He said, “Well now, old fellow, I’m thinking that […]

FOR THE FAIR IN AID OF THE FUND TO PROCURE BALL’S STATUE OF WASHINGTON 1630 ALL overgrown with bush and fern, And straggling clumps of tangled trees, With trunks that lean and boughs that turn, Bent eastward by the mastering breeze,– With spongy bogs that drip and fill A yellow pond with muddy rain, Beneath […]

1860 WHAT makes the Healing Art divine? The bitter drug we buy and sell, The brands that scorch, the blades that shine, The scars we leave, the “cures” we tell? Are these thy glories, holiest Art,– The trophies that adorn thee best,– Or but thy triumph’s meanest part,– Where mortal weakness stands confessed? We take […]

JANUARY 25, 1859 His birthday.–Nay, we need not speak The name each heart is beating,– Each glistening eye and flushing cheek In light and flame repeating! We come in one tumultuous tide,– One surge of wild emotion,– As crowding through the Frith of Clyde Rolls in the Western Ocean; As when yon cloudless, quartered moon […]

1857 I THANK you, MR. PRESIDENT, you’ve kindly broke the ice; Virtue should always be the first,–I ‘m only SECOND VICE– (A vice is something with a screw that’s made to hold its jaw Till some old file has played away upon an ancient saw). Sweet brothers by the Mother’s side, the babes of days […]

The Parting Song

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

FESTIVAL OF THE ALUMNI, 1857 THE noon of summer sheds its ray On Harvard’s holy ground; The Matron calls, the sons obey, And gather smiling round. CHORUS. Then old and young together stand, The sunshine and the snow, As heart to heart, and hand in hand, We sing before we go! Her hundred opening doors […]

HE was all sunshine; in his face The very soul of sweetness shone; Fairest and gentlest of his race; None like him we can call our own. Something there was of one that died In her fresh spring-time long ago, Our first dear Mary, angel-eyed, Whose smile it was a bliss to know. Something of […]

Martha

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

DIED JANUARY 7, 1861 SEXTON! Martha’s dead and gone; Toll the bell! toll the bell! Her weary hands their labor cease; Good night, poor Martha,–sleep in peace! Toll the bell! Sexton! Martha’s dead and gone; Toll the bell! toll the bell! For many a year has Martha said, “I’m old and poor,–would I were dead!” […]

The Gray Chief

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

FOR THE MEETING OF THE MASSACHUSETTS MEDICAL SOCIETY, 1859 ‘T is sweet to fight our battles o’er, And crown with honest praise The gray old chief, who strikes no more The blow of better days. Before the true and trusted sage With willing hearts we bend, When years have touched with hallowing age Our Master, […]

BEHOLD–not him we knew! This was the prison which his soul looked through, Tender, and brave, and true. His voice no more is heard; And his dead name–that dear familiar word– Lies on our lips unstirred. He spake with poet’s tongue; Living, for him the minstrel’s lyre was strung: He shall not die unsung. Grief […]

WE will not speak of years to-night,– For what have years to bring But larger floods of love and light, And sweeter songs to sing? We will not drown in wordy praise The kindly thoughts that rise; If Friendship own one tender phrase, He reads it in our eyes. We need not waste our school-boy […]

WHO is the shepherd sent to lead, Through pastures green, the Master’s sheep? What guileless “Israelite indeed” The folded flock may watch and keep? He who with manliest spirit joins The heart of gentlest human mould, With burning light and girded loins, To guide the flock, or watch the fold; True to all Truth the […]

Avis

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

I MAY not rightly call thy name,– Alas! thy forehead never knew The kiss that happier children claim, Nor glistened with baptismal dew. Daughter of want and wrong and woe, I saw thee with thy sister-band, Snatched from the whirlpool’s narrowing flow By Mercy’s strong yet trembling hand. “Avis!”–With Saxon eye and cheek, At once […]

The Living Temple

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

NOT in the world of light alone, Where God has built his blazing throne, Nor yet alone in earth below, With belted seas that come and go, And endless isles of sunlit green, Is all thy Maker’s glory seen: Look in upon thy wondrous frame,– Eternal wisdom still the same! The smooth, soft air with […]

The Two Streams

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

BEHOLD the rocky wall That down its sloping sides Pours the swift rain-drops, blending, as they fall, In rushing river-tides! Yon stream, whose sources run Turned by a pebble’s edge, Is Athabasca, rolling toward the sun Through the cleft mountain-ledge. The slender rill had strayed, But for the slanting stone, To evening’s ocean, with the […]

The Promise

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

NOT charity we ask, Nor yet thy gift refuse; Please thy light fancy with the easy task Only to look and choose. The little-heeded toy That wins thy treasured gold May be the dearest memory, holiest joy, Of coming years untold. Heaven rains on every heart, But there its showers divide, The drops of mercy […]

JANUARY 18, 1856 WHEN life hath run its largest round Of toil and triumph, joy and woe, How brief a storied page is found To compass all its outward show! The world-tried sailor tires and droops; His flag is rent, his keel forgot; His farthest voyages seem but loops That float from life’s entangled knot. […]

The Voiceless

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

WE count the broken lyres that rest Where the sweet wailing singers slumber, But o’er their silent sister’s breast The wild-flowers who will stoop to number? A few can touch the magic string, And noisy Fame is proud to win them:– Alas for those that never sing, But die with all their music in them! […]

THE mountains glitter in the snow A thousand leagues asunder; Yet here, amid the banquet’s glow, I hear their voice of thunder; Each giant’s ice-bound goblet clinks; A flowing stream is summoned; Wachusett to Ben Nevis drinks; Monadnock to Ben Lomond! Though years have clipped the eagle’s plume That crowned the chieftain’s bonnet, The sun […]

CELEBRATION OF THE MERCANTILE LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, FEBRUARY 22, 1856 WELCOME to the day returning, Dearer still as ages flow, While the torch of Faith is burning, Long as Freedom’s altars glow! See the hero whom it gave us Slumbering on a mother’s breast; For the arm he stretched to save us, Be its morn forever […]

NEW YORK, DECEMBER 22, 1855 NEW ENGLAND, we love thee; no time can erase From the hearts of thy children the smile on thy face. ‘T is the mother’s fond look of affection and pride, As she gives her fair son to the arms of his bride. His bride may be fresher in beauty’s young […]

FAREWELL, for the bark has her breast to the tide, And the rough arms of Ocean are stretched for his bride; The winds from the mountain stream over the bay; One clasp of the hand, then away and away! I see the tall mast as it rocks by the shore; The sun is declining, I […]

The Hudson

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

AFTER A LECTURE AT ALBANY ‘T WAS a vision of childhood that came with its dawn, Ere the curtain that covered life’s day-star was drawn; The nurse told the tale when the shadows grew long, And the mother’s soft lullaby breathed it in song. “There flows a fair stream by the hills of the West,”– […]

The New Eden

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

MEETING OF THE BERKSHIRE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY, AT STOCKBRIDGE, SEPTEMBER 13,1854 SCARCE could the parting ocean close, Seamed by the Mayflower’s cleaving bow, When o’er the rugged desert rose The waves that tracked the Pilgrim’s plough. Then sprang from many a rock-strewn field The rippling grass, the nodding grain, Such growths as English meadows yield To […]

ONE broad, white sail in Spezzia’s treacherous bay On comes the blast; too daring bark, beware I The cloud has clasped her; to! it melts away; The wide, waste waters, but no sail is there. Morning: a woman looking on the sea; Midnight: with lamps the long veranda burns; Come, wandering sail, they watch, they […]

As the voice of the watch to the mariner’s dream, As the footstep of Spring on the ice-girdled stream, There comes a soft footstep, a whisper, to me,– The vision is over,–the rivulet free. We have trod from the threshold of turbulent March, Till the green scarf of April is hung on the larch, And […]

“Purpureos spargam flores.” THE wreath that star-crowned Shelley gave Is lying on thy Roman grave, Yet on its turf young April sets Her store of slender violets; Though all the Gods their garlands shower, I too may bring one purple flower. Alas! what blossom shall I bring, That opens in my Northern spring? The garden […]

COME, spread your wings, as I spread mine, And leave the crowded hall For where the eyes of twilight shine O’er evening’s western wall. These are the pleasant Berkshire hills, Each with its leafy crown; Hark! from their sides a thousand rills Come singing sweetly down. A thousand rills; they leap and shine, Strained through […]

SHINE soft, ye trembling tears of light That strew the mourning skies; Hushed in the silent dews of night The harp of Erin lies. What though her thousand years have past Of poets, saints, and kings,– Her echoes only hear the last That swept those golden strings. Fling o’er his mound, ye star-lit bowers, The […]

THE seed that wasteful autumn cast To waver on its stormy blast, Long o’er the wintry desert tost, Its living germ has never lost. Dropped by the weary tempest’s wing, It feels the kindling ray of spring, And, starting from its dream of death, Pours on the air its perfumed breath. So, parted by the […]

September 9, 1850 ANGEL of Death! extend thy silent reign! Stretch thy dark sceptre o’er this new domain No sable car along the winding road Has borne to earth its unresisting load; No sudden mound has risen yet to show Where the pale slumberer folds his arms below; No marble gleams to bid his memory […]

To Governor Swain

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

DEAR GOVERNOR, if my skiff might brave The winds that lift the ocean wave, The mountain stream that loops and swerves Through my broad meadow’s channelled curves Should waft me on from bound to bound To where the River weds the Sound, The Sound should give me to the Sea, That to the Bay, the […]

Our Limitations

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

WE trust and fear, we question and believe, From life’s dark threads a trembling faith to weave, Frail as the web that misty night has spun, Whose dew-gemmed awnings glitter in the sun. While the calm centuries spell their lessons out, Each truth we conquer spreads the realm of doubt; When Sinai’s summit was Jehovah’s […]

The Old Player

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

THE curtain rose; in thunders long and loud The galleries rung; the veteran actor bowed. In flaming line the telltales of the stage Showed on his brow the autograph of age; Pale, hueless waves amid his clustered hair, And umbered shadows, prints of toil and care; Round the wide circle glanced his vacant eye,– He […]

The Moral Bully

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

YON whey-faced brother, who delights to wear A weedy flux of ill-conditioned hair, Seems of the sort that in a crowded place One elbows freely into smallest space; A timid creature, lax of knee and hip, Whom small disturbance whitens round the lip; One of those harmless spectacled machines, The Holy-Week of Protestants convenes; Whom […]

The Mind’s Diet

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

No life worth naming ever comes to good If always nourished on the selfsame food; The creeping mite may live so if he please, And feed on Stilton till he turns to cheese, But cool Magendie proves beyond a doubt, If mammals try it, that their eyes drop out. No reasoning natures find it safe […]

Non-Resistance

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

PERHAPS too far in these considerate days Has patience carried her submissive ways; Wisdom has taught us to be calm and meek, To take one blow, and turn the other cheek; It is not written what a man shall do, If the rude caitiff smite the other too! Land of our fathers, in thine hour […]

The Bells

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

WHEN o’er the street the morning peal is flung From yon tall belfry with the brazen tongue, Its wide vibrations, wafted by the gale, To each far listener tell a different tale. The sexton, stooping to the quivering floor Till the great caldron spills its brassy roar, Whirls the hot axle, counting, one by one, […]

The Ploughman

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

ANNIVERSARY OF THE BERKSHIRE AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY, OCTOBER 4, 1849 CLEAR the brown path, to meet his coulter’s gleam! Lo! on he comes, behind his smoking team, With toil’s bright dew-drops on his sunburnt brow, The lord of earth, the hero of the plough! First in the field before the reddening sun, Last in the shadows […]

The Study

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

YET in the darksome crypt I left so late, Whose only altar is its rusted grate,– Sepulchral, rayless, joyless as it seems, Shamed by the glare of May’s refulgent beams,– While the dim seasons dragged their shrouded train, Its paler splendors were not quite in vain. From these dull bars the cheerful firelight’s glow Streamed […]

1849-1861 THE piping of our slender, peaceful reeds Whispers uncared for while the trumpets bray; Song is thin air; our hearts’ exulting play Beats time but to the tread of marching deeds, Following the mighty van that Freedom leads, Her glorious standard flaming to the day! The crimsoned pavement where a hero bleeds Breathes nobler […]

Agnes

Story type: Poetry

Read this story.

The story of Sir Harry Frankland and Agnes Surriage is told in the ballad with a very strict adhesion to the facts. These were obtained from information afforded me by the Rev. Mr. Webster, of Hopkinton, in company with whom I visited the Frankland Mansion in that town, then standing; from a very interesting Memoir, […]

AN AFTER-DINNER PRESCRIPTION TAKEN BY THE MASSACHUSETTS MEDICAL SOCIETY, AT THEIR MEETING HELD MAY 25, 1870 CANTO FIRST OLD Rip Van Winkle had a grandson, Rip, Of the paternal block a genuine chip,– A lazy, sleepy, curious kind of chap; He, like his grandsire, took a mighty nap, Whereof the story I propose to tell […]

O Bios Bpaxus,–life is but a song; H rexvn uakpn,–art is wondrous long; Yet to the wise her paths are ever fair, And Patience smiles, though Genius may despair. Give us but knowledge, though by slow degrees, And blend our toil with moments bright as these; Let Friendship’s accents cheer our doubtful way, And Love’s […]

FOR THE MEETING OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION AT NEW YORK, MAY 5, 1853 I HOLD a letter in my hand,– A flattering letter, more’s the pity,– By some contriving junto planned, And signed per order of Committee. It touches every tenderest spot,– My patriotic predilections, My well-known-something–don’t ask what,– My poor old songs, my […]

A PROFESSIONAL BALLAD THERE was a young man in Boston town, He bought him a stethoscope nice and new, All mounted and finished and polished down, With an ivory cap and a stopper too. It happened a spider within did crawl, And spun him a web of ample size, Wherein there chanced one day to […]

Thoughtful in youth, but not austere in age; Calm, but not cold, and cheerful though a sage; Too true to flatter and too kind to sneer, And only just when seemingly severe; So gently blending courtesy and art That wisdom’s lips seemed borrowing friendship’s heart. Taught by the sorrows that his age had known In […]

(TERPSICHORE) Read at the Annual Dinner of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, at Cambridge, August 24, 1843. IN narrowest girdle, O reluctant Muse, In closest frock and Cinderella shoes, Bound to the foot-lights for thy brief display, One zephyr step, and then dissolve away! . . . . . . . . . . Short […]

A sick man’s chamber, though it often boast The grateful presence of a literal toast, Can hardly claim, amidst its various wealth, The right unchallenged to propose a health; Yet though its tenant is denied the feast, Friendship must launch his sentiment at least, As prisoned damsels, locked from lovers’ lips, Toss them a kiss […]

As Life’s unending column pours, Two marshalled hosts are seen,– Two armies on the trampled shores That Death flows black between. One marches to the drum-beat’s roll, The wide-mouthed clarion’s bray, And bears upon a crimson scroll, “Our glory is to slay.” One moves in silence by the stream, With sad, yet watchful eyes, Calm […]

This poem was delivered before the Boston Mercantile Library Association, October 14, 1846. YES, dear Enchantress,–wandering far and long, In realms unperfumed by the breath of song, Where flowers ill-flavored shed their sweets around, And bitterest roots invade the ungenial ground, Whose gems are crystals from the Epsom mine, Whose vineyards flow with antimonial wine, […]