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107 Works of William Cullen Bryant

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The Mosquito

Story type: Poetry

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Fair insect! that with threadlike legs spread out And blood-extracting bill and filmy wing, Dost murmur, as thou slowly sail’st about, In pitiless ears, full many a plaintive thing, And tell how little our large veins should bleed, Would we but yield them to thy bitter need? Unwillingly I own, and, what is worse, Full […]

‘Tis sweet, in the green Spring, To gaze upon the wakening fields around; Birds in the thicket sing, Winds whisper, waters prattle from the ground; A thousand odours rise, Breathed up from blossoms of a thousand dyes. Shadowy, and close, and cool, The pine and poplar keep their quiet nook; For ever fresh and full, […]

The Arctic Lover

Story type: Poetry

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Gone is the long, long winter night; Look, my beloved one! How glorious, through his depths of light, Rolls the majestic sun! The willows, waked from winter’s death, Give out a fragrance like thy breath– The summer is begun! Ay, ’tis the long bright summer day: Hark, to that mighty crash! The loosened ice-ridge breaks […]

Beneath the waning moon I walk at night, And muse on human life–for all around Are dim uncertain shapes that cheat the sight, And pitfalls lurk in shade along the ground, And broken gleams of brightness, here and there, Glance through, and leave unwarmed the death-like air. The trampled earth returns a sound of fear– […]

The night winds howled–the billows dashed Against the tossing chest; And Danae to her broken heart Her slumbering infant pressed. “My little child”–in tears she said– “To wake and weep is mine, But thou canst sleep–thou dost not know Thy mother’s lot, and thine. “The moon is up, the moonbeams smile– They tremble on the […]

Wild was the day; the wintry sea Moaned sadly on New-England’s strand, When first the thoughtful and the free, Our fathers, trod the desert land. They little thought how pure a light, With years, should gather round that day; How love should keep their memories bright, How wide a realm their sons should sway. Green […]

Hymn Of The City

Story type: Poetry

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Not in the solitude Alone may man commune with Heaven, or see Only in savage wood And sunny vale, the present Deity; Or only hear his voice Where the winds whisper and the waves rejoice. Even here do I behold Thy steps, Almighty!–here, amidst the crowd, Through the great city rolled, With everlasting murmur deep […]

The Prairies

Story type: Poetry

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These are the gardens of the Desert, these The unshorn fields, boundless and beautiful, For which the speech of England has no name– The Prairies. I behold them for the first, And my heart swells, while the dilated sight Takes in the encircling vastness. Lo! they stretch In airy undulations, far away, As if the […]

To The River Arve

Story type: Poetry

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(Supposed to Be Written At a Hamlet Near the Foot of Mont Blanc) Not from the sands or cloven rocks, Thou rapid Arve! thy waters flow; Nor earth, within her bosom, locks Thy dark unfathomed wells below. Thy springs are in the cloud, thy stream Begins to move and murmur first Where ice-peaks feel the […]

Thine eyes shall see the light of distant skies: Yet, COLE! thy heart shall bear to Europe’s strand A living image of thy native land, Such as on thine own glorious canvas lies; Lone lakes–savannas where the bison roves– Rocks rich with summer garlands–solemn streams– Skies, where the desert eagle wheels and screams– Spring bloom […]

The Evening Wind

Story type: Poetry

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Spirit that breathest through my lattice, thou That cool’st the twilight of the sultry day, Gratefully flows thy freshness round my brow: Thou hast been out upon the deep at play, Riding all day the wild blue waves till now, Roughening their crests, and scattering high their spray And swelling the white sail. I welcome […]

When the firmament quivers with daylight’s young beam, And the woodlands awaking burst into a hymn, And the glow of the sky blazes back from the stream, How the bright ones of heaven in the brightness grow dim. Oh! ’tis sad, in that moment of glory and song, To see, while the hill-tops are waiting […]

Innocent child and snow-white flower! Well are ye paired in your opening hour. Thus should the pure and the lovely meet, Stainless with stainless, and sweet with sweet. White as those leaves, just blown apart, Are the folds of thy own young heart; Guilty passion and cankering care Never have left their traces there. Artless […]

Thy bower is finished, fairest! Fit bower for hunter’s bride– Where old woods overshadow The green savanna’s side. I’ve wandered long, and wandered far, And never have I met, In all this lovely western land, A spot so lovely yet. But I shall think it fairer, When thou art come to bless, With thy sweet […]

Upon the mountain’s distant head, With trackless snows for ever white, Where all is still, and cold, and dead, Late shines the day’s departing light. But far below those icy rocks, The vales, in summer bloom arrayed, Woods full of birds, and fields of flocks, Are dim with mist and dark with shade. ‘Tis thus, […]

Cool shades and dews are round my way, And silence of the early day; Mid the dark rocks that watch his bed, Glitters the mighty Hudson spread, Unrippled, save by drops that fall From shrubs that fringe his mountain wall; And o’er the clear still water swells The music of the Sabbath bells. All, save […]

The Hurricane

Story type: Poetry

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Lord of the winds! I feel thee nigh, I know thy breath in the burning sky! And I wait, with a thrill in every vein, For the coming of the hurricane! And lo! on the wing of the heavy gales, Through the boundless arch of heaven he sails; Silent and slow, and terribly strong, The […]

Chains may subdue the feeble spirit, but thee, Tell, of the iron heart! they could not tame! For thou wert of the mountains; they proclaim The everlasting creed of liberty. That creed is written on the untrampled snow, Thundered by torrents which no power can hold, Save that of God, when he sends forth his […]

I would not always reason. The straight path Wearies us with its never-varying lines, And we grow melancholy. I would make Reason my guide, but she should sometimes sit Patiently by the way-side, while I traced The mazes of the pleasant wilderness Around me. She should be my counsellor, But not my tyrant. For the […]

A Summer Ramble

Story type: Poetry

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The quiet August noon has come, A slumberous silence fills the sky, The fields are still, the woods are dumb, In glassy sleep the waters lie. And mark yon soft white clouds that rest Above our vale, a moveless throng; The cattle on the mountain’s breast Enjoy the grateful shadow long. Oh, how unlike those […]

A power is on the earth and in the air, From which the vital spirit shrinks afraid, And shelters him, in nooks of deepest shade, From the hot steam and from the fiery glare. Look forth upon the earth–her thousand plants Are smitten; even the dark sun-loving maize Faints in the field beneath the torrid […]

Our free flag is dancing In the free mountain air, And burnished arms are glancing, And warriors gathering there; And fearless is the little train Whose gallant bosoms shield it; The blood that warms their hearts shall stain That banner, ere they yield it. –Each dark eye is fixed on earth, And brief each solemn […]

The Two Graves

Story type: Poetry

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‘Tis a bleak wild hill,–but green and bright In the summer warmth and the mid-day light; There’s the hum of the bee and the chirp of the wren, And the dash of the brook from the alder glen; There’s the sound of a bell from the scattered flock, And the shade of the beech lies […]

Is this a time to be cloudy and sad, When our mother Nature laughs around; When even the deep blue heavens look glad, And gladness breathes from the blossoming ground? There are notes of joy from the hang-bird and wren, And the gossip of swallows through all the sky; The ground-squirrel gayly chirps by his […]

Gather him to his grave again, And solemnly and softly lay, Beneath the verdure of the plain, The warrior’s scattered bones away. Pay the deep reverence, taught of old, The homage of man’s heart to death; Nor dare to trifle with the mould Once hallowed by the Almighty’s breath. The soul hath quickened every part– […]

The African Chief

Story type: Poetry

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Chained in the market-place he stood, A man of giant frame, Amid the gathering multitude That shrunk to hear his name– All stern of look and strong of limb, His dark eye on the ground:– And silently they gazed on him, As on a lion bound. Vainly, but well, that chief had fought, He was […]

Spring In Town

Story type: Poetry

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The country ever has a lagging Spring, Waiting for May to call its violets forth, And June its roses–showers and sunshine bring, Slowly, the deepening verdure o’er the earth; To put their foliage out, the woods are slack, And one by one the singing-birds come back. Within the city’s bounds the time of flowers Comes […]

Decolor, obscuris, vilis, non ille repexam Cesariem regum, non candida virginis ornat Colla, nec insigni splendet per cingula morsu. Sed nova si nigri videas miracula saxi, Tunc superat pulchros cultus et quicquid Eois Indus litoribus rubra scrutatur in alga. CLAUDIAN. I sat beside the glowing grate, fresh heaped With Newport coal, and as the flame […]

Ay, thou art welcome, heaven’s delicious breath, When woods begin to wear the crimson leaf, And suns grow meek, and the meek suns grow brief, And the year smiles as it draws near its death. Wind of the sunny south! oh still delay In the gay woods and in the golden air, Like to a […]

Where olive leaves were twinkling in every wind that blew, There sat beneath the pleasant shade a damsel of Peru. Betwixt the slender boughs, as they opened to the air, Came glimpses of her ivory neck and of her glossy hair; And sweetly rang her silver voice, within that shady nook, As from the shrubby […]

I cannot forget with what fervid devotion I worshipped the vision of verse and of fame. Each gaze at the glories of earth, sky, and ocean, To my kindled emotions, was wind over flame. And deep were my musings in life’s early blossom, Mid the twilight of mountain groves wandering long; How thrilled my young […]

I stand upon my native hills again, Broad, round, and green, that in the summer sky With garniture of waving grass and grain, Orchards, and beechen forests, basking lie, While deep the sunless glens are scooped between, Where brawl o’er shallow beds the streams unseen. A lisping voice and glancing eyes are near, And ever […]

The Romero

Story type: Poetry

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When freedom, from the land of Spain, By Spain’s degenerate sons was driven, Who gave their willing limbs again To wear the chain so lately riven; Romero broke the sword he wore– “Go, faithful brand,” the warrior said, “Go, undishonoured, never more The blood of man shall make thee red: I grieve for that already […]

Come take our boy, and we will go Before our cabin door; The winds shall bring us, as they blow, The murmurs of the shore; And we will kiss his young blue eyes, And I will sing him, as he lies, Songs that were made of yore: I’ll sing, in his delighted ear, The island […]

The Skies

Story type: Poetry

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Ay! gloriously thou standest there, Beautiful, boundles firmament! That, swelling wide o’er earth and air, And round the horizon bent, With thy bright vault, and sapphire wall, Dost overhang and circle all. Far, far below thee, tall old trees Arise, and piles built up of old, And hills, whose ancient summits freeze In the fierce […]

Oh fairest of the rural maids! Thy birth was in the forest shades; Green boughs, and glimpses of the sky, Were all that met thy infant eye. Thy sports, thy wanderings, when a child, Were ever in the sylvan wild; And all the beauty of the place Is in thy heart and on thy face. […]

The sad and solemn night Hath yet her multitude of cheerful fires; The glorious host of light Walk the dark hemisphere till she retires; All through her silent watches, gliding slow, Her constellations come, and climb the heavens, and go. Day, too, hath many a star To grace his gorgeous reign, as bright as they: […]

The Lapse Of Time

Story type: Poetry

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Lament who will, in fruitless tears, The speed with which our moments fly; I sigh not over vanished years, But watch the years that hasten by. Look, how they come,–a mingled crowd Of bright and dark, but rapid days; Beneath them, like a summer cloud, The wide world changes as I gaze. What! grieve that […]

Song Of The Stars

Story type: Poetry

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When the radiant morn of creation broke, And the world in the smile of God awoke, And the empty realms of darkness and death Were moved through their depths by his mighty breath, And orbs of beauty and spheres of flame From the void abyss by myriads came,– In the joy of youth as they […]

They talk of short-lived pleasure–be it so– Pain dies as quickly: stern, hard-featured pain Expires, and lets her weary prisoner go. The fiercest agonies have shortest reign; And after dreams of horror, comes again The welcome morning with its rays of peace; Oblivion, softly wiping out the stain, Makes the strong secret pangs of shame […]

Autumn Woods

Story type: Poetry

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Ere, in the northern gale, The summer tresses of the trees are gone, The woods of Autumn, all around our vale, Have put their glory on. The mountains that infold, In their wide sweep, the coloured landscape round, Seem groups of giant kings, in purple and gold, That guard the enchanted ground. I roam the […]

When spring, to woods and wastes around, Brought bloom and joy again, The murdered traveller’s bones were found, Far down a narrow glen. The fragrant birch, above him, hung Her tassels in the sky; And many a vernal blossom sprung, And nodded careless by. The red-bird warbled, as he wrought His hanging nest o’erhead, And […]

I buckle to my slender side The pistol and the scimitar, And in my maiden flower and pride Am come to share the tasks of war. And yonder stands my fiery steed, That paws the ground and neighs to go, My charger of the Arab breed,– I took him from the routed foe. My mirror […]

Yet one smile more, departing, distant sun! One mellow smile through the soft vapoury air, Ere, o’er the frozen earth, the loud winds run, Or snows are sifted o’er the meadows bare. One smile on the brown hills and naked trees, And the dark rocks whose summer wreaths are cast, And the blue gentian flower, […]

Monument Mountain

Story type: Poetry

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Thou who wouldst see the lovely and the wild Mingled in harmony on Nature’s face, Ascend our rocky mountains. Let thy foot Fail not with weariness, for on their tops The beauty and the majesty of earth, Spread wide beneath, shall make thee to forget The steep and toilsome way. There, as thou stand’st, The […]

After A Tempest

Story type: Poetry

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The day had been a day of wind and storm;– The wind was laid, the storm was overpast,– And stooping from the zenith bright and warm Shone the great sun on the wide earth at last. I stood upon the upland slope, and cast My eye upon a broad and beauteous scene, Where the vast […]

To A Cloud

Story type: Poetry

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Beautiful cloud! with folds so soft and fair, Swimming in the pure quiet air! Thy fleeces bathed in sunlight, while below Thy shadow o’er the vale moves slow; Where, midst their labour, pause the reaper train As cool it comes along the grain. Beautiful cloud! I would I were with thee In thy calm way […]

March

Story type: Poetry

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The stormy March is come at last, With wind, and cloud, and changing skies, I hear the rushing of the blast, That through the snowy valley flies. Ah, passing few are they who speak, Wild stormy month! in praise of thee; Yet, though thy winds are loud and bleak, Thou art a welcome month to […]

The Rivulet

Story type: Poetry

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This little rill, that from the springs Of yonder grove its current brings, Plays on the slope a while, and then Goes prattling into groves again, Oft to its warbling waters drew My little feet, when life was new, When woods in early green were dressed, And from the chambers of the west The warmer […]

I saw an aged man upon his bier, His hair was thin and white, and on his brow A record of the cares of many a year;– Cares that were ended and forgotten now. And there was sadness round, and faces bowed, And woman’s tears fell fast, and children wailed aloud. Then rose another hoary […]

An Indian Story

Story type: Poetry

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“I know where the timid fawn abides In the depths of the shaded dell, Where the leaves are broad and the thicket hides, With its many stems and its tangled sides, From the eye of the hunter well. “I know where the young May violet grows, In its lone and lowly nook, On the mossy […]

Ay, thou art for the grave; thy glances shine Too brightly to shine long; another Spring Shall deck her for men’s eyes,–but not for thine– Sealed in a sleep which knows no wakening. The fields for thee have no medicinal leaf, And the vexed ore no mineral of power; And they who love thee wait […]

It is the spot I came to seek,– My fathers’ ancient burial-place Ere from these vales, ashamed and weak, Withdrew our wasted race. It is the spot–I know it well– Of which our old traditions tell. For here the upland bank sends out A ridge toward the river-side; I know the shaggy hills about, The […]

Summer Wind

Story type: Poetry

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It is a sultry day; the sun has drunk The dew that lay upon the morning grass; There is no rustling in the lofty elm That canopies my dwelling, and its shade Scarce cools me. All is silent, save the faint And interrupted murmur of the bee, Settling on the sick flowers, and then again […]

Rizpah

Story type: Poetry

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And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the Lord; and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of the harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley-harvest. And Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah, took sackcloth, and […]

Hear, Father, hear thy faint afflicted flock Cry to thee, from the desert and the rock; While those, who seek to slay thy children, hold Blasphemous worship under roofs of gold; And the broad goodly lands, with pleasant airs That nurse the grape and wave the grain, are theirs. Yet better were this mountain wilderness, […]

Dost thou idly ask to hear At what gentle seasons Nymphs relent, when lovers near Press the tenderest reasons? Ah, they give their faith too oft To the careless wooer; Maidens’ hearts are always soft: Would that men’s were truer! Woo the fair one, when around Early birds are singing; When, o’er all the fragrant […]

Oh, deem not they are blest alone Whose lives a peaceful tenor keep; The Power who pities man, has shown A blessing for the eyes that weep. The light of smiles shall fill again The lids that overflow with tears; And weary hours of woe and pain Are promises of happier years. There is a […]

An Indian girl was sitting where Her lover, slain in battle, slept; Her maiden veil, her own black hair, Came down o’er eyes that wept; And wildly, in her woodland tongue, This sad and simple lay she sung: “I’ve pulled away the shrubs that grew Too close above thy sleeping head, And broke the forest […]

Soon as the glazed and gleaming snow Reflects the day-dawn cold and clear, The hunter of the west must go In depth of woods to seek the deer. His rifle on his shoulder placed, His stores of death arranged with skill, His moccasins and snow-shoes laced,– Why lingers he beside the hill? Far, in the […]

A Winter Piece

Story type: Poetry

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The time has been that these wild solitudes, Yet beautiful as wild, were trod by me Oftener than now; and when the ills of life Had chafed my spirit–when the unsteady pulse Beat with strange flutterings–I would wander forth And seek the woods. The sunshine on my path Was to me as a friend. The […]

Erewhile, on England’s pleasant shores, our sires Left not their churchyards unadorned with shades Or blossoms; and indulgent to the strong And natural dread of man’s last home, the grave, Its frost and silence–they disposed around, To soothe the melancholy spirit that dwelt Too sadly on life’s close, the forms and hues Of vegetable beauty.–There […]

Stranger, if thou hast learned a truth which needs No school of long experience, that the world Is full of guilt and misery, and hast seen Enough of all its sorrows, crimes, and cares, To tire thee of it, enter this wild wood And view the haunts of Nature. The calm shade Shall bring a […]

The Ages

Story type: Poetry

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I. When to the common rest that crowns our days, Called in the noon of life, the good man goes, Or full of years, and ripe in wisdom, lays His silver temples in their last repose; When, o’er the buds of youth, the death-wind blows, And blights the fairest; when our bitter tears Stream, as […]

My friend, thou sorrowest for thy golden prime,For thy fair youthful years too swift of flight;Thou musest, with wet eyes, upon the timeOf cheerful hopes that filled the world with light,–Years when thy heart was bold, thy hand was strong,And quick the thought that moved thy tongue to speak,And willing faith was thine, and scorn […]

Seven long years has the desert rainDropped on the clods that hide thy face;Seven long years of sorrow and painI have thought of thy burial-place. Thought of thy fate in the distant west,Dying with none that loved thee near;They who flung the earth on thy breastTurned from the spot williout a tear. There, I think, […]

Noon

Story type: Poetry

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FROM AN UNFINISHED POEM. ‘Tis noon. At noon the Hebrew bowed the kneeAnd worshipped, while the husbandmen withdrewFrom the scorched field, and the wayfaring manGrew faint, and turned aside by bubbling fount,Or rested in the shadow of the palm. I, too, amid the overflow of day,Behold the power which wields and cherishesThe frame of Nature. […]

A Hymn Of The Sea

Story type: Poetry

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The sea is mighty, but a mightier swaysHis restless billows. Thou, whose hands have scoopedHis boundless gulfs and built his shore, thy breath,That moved in the beginning o’er his face,Moves o’er it evermore. The obedient wavesTo its strong motion roll, and rise and fall.Still from that realm of rain thy cloud goes up,As at the […]

It was a hundred years ago,When, by the woodland ways,The traveller saw the wild deer drink,Or crop the birchen sprays. Beneath a hill, whose rocky sideO’erbrowed a grassy mead,And fenced a cottage from the wind,A deer was wont to feed. She only came when on the cliffsThe evening moonlight lay,And no man knew the secret […]

Oh silvery streamlet of the fields,That flowest full and free!For thee the rains of spring return,The summer dews for thee;And when thy latest blossoms dieIn autumn’s chilly showers,The winter fountains gush for thee,Till May brings back the flowers. Oh Stream of Life! the violet springsBut once beside thy bed;But one brief summer, on thy path,The […]

The Winds

Story type: Poetry

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I. Ye winds, ye unseen currents of the air,Softly ye played a few brief hours ago;Ye bore the murmuring bee; ye tossed the hairO’er maiden cheeks, that took a fresher glow;Ye rolled the round white cloud through depths of blue;Ye shook from shaded flowers the lingering dew;Before you the catalpa’s blossoms flew,Light blossoms, dropping on […]

Among our hills and valleys, I have knownWise and grave men, who, while their diligent handsTended or gathered in the fruits of earth,Were reverent learners in the solemn schoolOf nature. Not in vain to them were sentSeed-time and harvest, or the vernal showerThat darkened the brown tilth, or snow that beatOn the white winter hills. […]

The earth may ring, from shore to shore,With echoes of a glorious name,But he, whose loss our tears deplore,Has left behind him more than fame. For when the death-frost came to lieOn Leggett’s warm and mighty heart,And quenched his bold and friendly eye,His spirit did not all depart. The words of fire that from his […]

The Painted Cup

Story type: Poetry

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The fresh savannas of the SangamonHere rise in gentle swells, and the long grassIs mixed with rustling hazels. Scarlet tuftsAre glowing in the green, like flakes of fire;The wanderers of the prairie know them well,And call that brilliant flower the Painted Cup. Now, if thou art a poet, tell me notThat these bright chalices were […]

An Evening Revery

Story type: Poetry

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[from an Unfinished Poem] The summer day is closed–the sun is set:Well they have done their office, those bright hours,The latest of whose train goes softly outIn the red West. The green blade of the groundHas risen, and herds have cropped it; the young twigHas spread its plaited tissues to the sun;Flowers of the garden […]

Here are old trees, tall oaks and gnarled pines,That stream with gray-green mosses; here the groundWas never trenched by spade, and flowers spring upUnsown, and die ungathered. It is sweetTo linger here, among the flitting birdsAnd leaping squirrels, wandering brooks, and windsThat shake the leaves, and scatter, as they pass,A fragrance from the cedars, thickly […]

A Presentiment

Story type: Poetry

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“Oh father, let us hence–for hark,A fearful murmur shakes the air.The clouds are coming swift and dark:–What horrid shapes they wear!A winged giant sails the sky;Oh father, father, let us fly!” “Hush, child; it is a grateful sound,That beating of the summer shower;Here, where the boughs hang close around,We’ll pass a pleasant hour,Till the fresh […]

I. Here we halt our march, and pitch our tentOn the rugged forest ground,And light our fire with the branches rentBy winds from the beeches round.Wild storms have torn this ancient wood,But a wilder is at hand,With hail of iron and rain of blood,To sweep and waste the land. II. How the dark wood rings […]

The Battle-Field

Story type: Poetry

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Once this soft turf, this rivulet’s sands,Were trampled by a hurrying crowd,And fiery hearts and armed handsEncountered in the battle cloud. Ah! I never shall the land forgetHow gushed the life-blood of her brave–Gushed, warm with hope and courage yet,Upon the soil they fought to save. Now all is calm, and fresh, and still,Alone the […]

Fair is thy site, Sorrento, green thy shore,Black crags behind thee pierce the clear blue skies;The sea, whose borderers ruled the world of yore,As clear and bluer still before thee lies. Vesuvius smokes in sight, whose fount of fire,Outgushing, drowned the cities on his steeps;And murmuring Naples, spire o’ertopping spire,Sits on the slope beyond where […]

‘Tis said, when Schiller’s death drew nigh,The wish possessed his mighty mind,To wander forth wherever lieThe homes and haunts of human-kind. Then strayed the poet, in his dreams,By Rome and Egypt’s ancient graves;Went up the New World’s forest streams,Stood in the Hindoo’s temple-caves; Walked with the Pawnee, fierce and stark,The sallow Tartar, midst his herds,The […]

The Future Life

Story type: Poetry

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How shall I know thee in the sphere which keepsThe disembodied spirits of the dead,When all of thee that time could wither sleepsAnd perishes among the dust we tread? For I shall feel the sting of ceaseless painIf there I meet thy gentle presence not;Nor hear the voice I love, nor read againIn thy serenest […]

The Living Lost

Story type: Poetry

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Matron! the children of whose love,Each to his grave, in youth hath passed,And now the mould is heaped aboveThe dearest and the last!Bride! who dost wear the widow’s veilBefore the wedding flowers are pale!Ye deem the human heart enduresNo deeper, bitterer grief than yours. Yet there are pangs of keener wo,Of which the sufferers never […]

The Strange Lady

Story type: Poetry

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The summer morn is bright and fresh, the birds are darting by,As if they loved to breast the breeze that sweeps the cool clear sky;Young Albert, in the forest’s edge, has heard a rustling sound,An arrow slightly strikes his hand and falls upon the ground. A dark-haired woman from the wood comes suddenly in sight;Her […]

Catterskill Falls

Story type: Poetry

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Midst greens and shades the Catterskill leaps,From cliffs where the wood-flower clings;All summer he moistens his verdant steepsWith the sweet light spray of the mountain springs;And he shakes the woods on the mountain side,When they drip with the rains of autumn-tide. But when, in the forest bare and old,The blast of December calls,He builds, in […]

Earth’s children cleave to Earth–her frailDecaying children dread decay.Yon wreath of mist that leaves the vale,And lessens in the morning ray:Look, how, by mountain rivulet,It lingers as it upward creeps,And clings to fern and copsewood setAlong the green and dewy steeps:Clings to the fragrant kalmia, clingsTo precipices fringed with grass,Dark maples where the wood-thrush sings,And […]

Upon a rock that, high and sheer,Rose from the mountain’s breast,A weary hunter of the deerHad sat him down to rest,And bared to the soft summer airHis hot red brow and sweaty hair. All dim in haze the mountains lay,With dimmer vales between;And rivers glimmered on their way,By forests faintly seen;While ever rose a murmuring […]

[from the German of Uhland] There sits a lovely maiden,The ocean murmuring nigh;She throws the hook, and watches;The fishes pass it by. A ring, with a red jewel,Is sparkling on her hand;Upon the hook she binds it,And flings it from the land. Uprises from the waterA hand like ivory fair.What gleams upon its finger?The golden […]

If slumber, sweet Lisena!Have stolen o’er thine eyes,As night steals o’er the gloryOf spring’s transparent skies; Wake, in thy scorn and beauty,And listen to the strainThat murmurs my devotion,That mourns for thy disdain. Here by thy door at midnight,I pass the dreary hour,With plaintive sounds profaningThe silence of thy bower; A tale of sorrow cherishedToo […]

To The Apennines

Story type: Poetry

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Your peaks are beautiful, ye Apennines!In the soft light of these serenest skies;From the broad highland region, black with pines,Fair as the hills of Paradise they rise,Bathed in the tint Peruvian slaves beholdIn rosy flushes on the virgin gold. There, rooted to the aerial shelves that wearThe glory of a brighter world, might springSweet flowers […]

Earth

Story type: Poetry

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A midnight black with clouds is in the sky;I seem to feel, upon my limbs, the weightOf its vast brooding shadow. All in vainTurns the tired eye in search of form; no starPierces the pitchy veil; no ruddy blaze,From dwellings lighted by the cheerful hearth,Tinges the flowering summits of the grass.No sound of life is […]

Ay, this is freedom!–these pure skiesWere never stained with village smoke:The fragrant wind, that through them flies,Is breathed from wastes by plough unbroke.Here, with my rifle and my steed,And her who left the world for me,I plant me, where the red deer feedIn the green desert–and am free. For here the fair savannas knowNo barriers […]

This is the church which Pisa, great and free,Reared to St. Catharine. How the time-stained walls,That earthquakes shook not from their poise, appearTo shiver in the deep and voluble tonesRolled from the organ! Underneath my feetThere lies the lid of a sepulchral vault.The image of an armed knight is gravenUpon it, clad in perfect panoply–Cuishes, […]

Seventy-Six

Story type: Poetry

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What heroes from the woodland sprung,When, through the fresh awakened land,The thrilling cry of freedom rung,And to the work of warfare strungThe yeoman’s iron hand! Hills flung the cry to hills around,And ocean-mart replied to mart,And streams whose springs were yet unfound,Pealed far away the startling soundInto the forest’s heart. Then marched the brave from […]

FROM THE SPANISH. To the town of Atienza, Molina’s brave Alcayde,The courteous and the valorous, led forth his bold brigade.The Moor came back in triumph, he came without a wound,With many a Christian standard, and Christian captive bound.He passed the city portals, with swelling heart and vein,And towards his lady’s dwelling he rode with slackened […]

FROM THE SPANISH. ‘Tis not with gilded sabresThat gleam in baldricks blue,Nor nodding plumes in caps of Fez,Of gay and gaudy hue–But, habited in mourning weeds,Come marching from afar,By four and four, the valiant menWho fought with Aliatar.All mournfully and slowlyThe afflicted warriors come,To the deep wail of the trumpet,And beat of muffled drum. The […]

All things that are on earth shall wholly pass away,Except the love of God, which shall live and last for aye.The forms of men shall be as they had never been;The blasted groves shall lose their fresh and tender green;The birds of the thicket shall end their pleasant song,And the nigthingale* shall cease to chant […]

FROM PEYRE VIDAL, THE TROUBADOUR. The earth was sown with early flowers,The heavens were blue and bright–I met a youthful cavalierAs lovely as the light.I knew him not–but in my heartHis graceful image lies,And well I marked his open brow,His sweet and tender eyes,His ruddy lips that ever smiled,His glittering teeth betwixt,And flowing robe embroidered […]

Stay, rivulet, nor haste to leaveThe lovely vale that lies around thee.Why wouldst thou be a sea at eve,When but a fount the morning found thee? Born when the skies began to glow,Humblest of all the rock’s cold daughters,No blossom bowed its stalk to showWhere stole thy still and scanty waters. Now on thy stream […]

(from The Portuguese Of Semedo) It is a fearful night; a feeble glareStreams from the sick moon in the o’erclouded sky;The ridgy billows, with a mighty cry,Rush on the foamy beaches wild and bare;No bark the madness of the waves will dare;The sailors sleep; the winds are loud and high;Ah, peerless Laura! for whose love […]

[From the German of Uhland] At morn the Count of Greiers before his castle stands;He sees afar the glory that lights the mountain lands;The horned crags are shining, and in the shade betweenA pleasant Alpine valley lies beautifully green. “Oh, greenest of the valleys, how shall I come to thee!Thy herdsmen and thy maidens, how […]

[From the Spanish of Iglesias] Alexis calls me cruel;The rifted crags that holdThe gathered ice of winter,He says, are not more cold. When even the very blossomsAround the fountain’s brim,And forest walks, can witnessThe love I bear to him. I would that I could utterMy feelings without shame;And tell him how I love him,Nor wrong […]

FROM THE SPANISH OF LUIS PONCE DE LEON. Region of life and light!Land of the good whose earthly toils are o’er!Nor frost nor heat may blightThy vernal beauty, fertile shore,Yielding thy blessed fruits for evermore! There without crook or sling,Walks the good shepherd; blossoms white and redRound his meek temples cling;And to sweet pastures led,His […]

Mary Magdalen

Story type: Poetry

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FROM THE SPANISH OF BARTOLOME LEONARDO DE ARGENSOLA. Blessed, yet sinful one, and broken-hearted!The crowd are pointing at the thing forlorn,In wonder and in scorn!Thou weepest days of innocence departed;Thou weepest, and thy tears have power to moveThe Lord to pity and love. The greatest of thy follies is forgiven,Even for the least of all […]

Love’s worshippers alone can knowThe thousand mysteries that are his;His blazing torch, his twanging bow,His blooming age are mysteries.A charming science–but the dayWere all too short to con it o’er;So take of me this little lay,A sample of its boundless lore. As once, beneath the fragrant shadeOf myrtles breathing heaven’s own air,The children, Love and […]

Fatima And Raduan

Story type: Poetry

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FROM THE SPANISH. Diamante falso y fingido,Engastado en pedernal, etc. “False diamond set in flint! the caverns of the mineAre warmer than the breast that holds that faithless heart of thine;Thou art fickle as the sea, thou art wandering as the wind,And the restless ever-mounting flame is not more hard to bind.If the tears I […]

The Siesta

Story type: Poetry

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FROM THE SPANISH. Vientecico murmurador,Que lo gozas y andas todo, etc. Airs, that wander and murmur round,Bearing delight where’er ye blow!Make in the elms a lulling sound,While my lady sleeps in the shade below. Lighten and lengthen her noonday rest,Till the heat of the noonday sun is o’er.Sweet be her slumbers! though in my breastThe […]