William Cullen Bryant

William Cullen

American Poet, Critic, Editor

Author Quotes

Oh; not yet may'st thou unbrace thy corslet, nor lay by thy sword, nor yet, o freedom! Close thy lids in slumber; for thine enemy never sleeps. And thou must watch and combat, till the day of the new earth and heaven.

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 kindred calm, and the sweet breeze That makes the green leaves dance, shall waft a balm To thy sick heart.

The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within.

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.

There is no glory in star or blossom till looked upon by a loving eye; There is no fragrance in April breezes till breathed with joy as they wander by.

A breeze came wandering from the sky, light as the whispers of a dream; he put the o'erhanging grasses by, and softly stooped to kiss the stream, the pretty stream, the flattered stream, the shy, yet unreluctant stream.

And the blue gentian-flower, that, in the breeze, Nods lonely, of her beauteous race the last.

Childhood, with all its mirth, youth, manhood, age that draws us to the ground, and last, man's life on earth, glide to thy dim dominions, and are bound.

Glorious are the woods in their latest gold and crimson, yet our full-leaved willows are in the freshest green. Such a kindly autumn, so mercifully dealing with the growths of summer, i never yet have seen.

Look! the massy trunks Are cased in the pure crystal; each light spray, Nodding and tinkling in the breath of heaven, Is studded with its trembling water-drops, That glimmer with an amethystine light.

Old ocean's gray and melancholy waste.

Summer wanes; the children are grown; fun and frolic no more he knows.

The fiercest agonies have shortest reign; And after dreams of horror, comes again The welcome morning with its rays of peace.

The shad-bush, white with flowers, brightened the glens; the new leaved butternut and quivering poplar to the roving breeze gave a balsamic fragrance.

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.

A melancholy sound is in the air, A deep sigh in the distance, a shrill wail Around my dwelling. 'Tis the wind of night.

And the yellow sunflower by the brook, in autumn beauty stood.

Come when the rains have glazed the snow and clothed the trees with ice, while the slant sun of February pours into the bowers a flood of light. Approach! The incrusted surface shall upbear thy steps and the broad arching portals of the grove welcome thy entering.

Go forth under the open sky, and list to Nature's teachings.

Love and cowardice are really the same thing.

On my cornice linger the ripe black grapes ungathered; children fill the groves with the echoes of their glee, gathering tawny chestnuts, and shouting when beside them drops the heavy fruit of the tall black-walnut tree.

Sustained and soothed by an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave, like one who wraps the drapery of his couch about him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.

The gay will laugh when thou art gone, the solemn brood of care plod on, and each one as before will chase his favourite phantom; yet all these shall leave their mirth and their employments, and shall come, and make their bed with thee.

The sounds I had heard seemed worthy to mingle with this bright and perfumed atmosphere, and to thrill the beautiful scenery around me.

These shades are still the abodes of gladness; the thick roof of green and stirring branches is alive and musical with birds, that sing and sport in wantonness of spirit; while below the squirrel, with raised paws and form erect, chirps merrily.

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William Cullen
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American Poet, Critic, Editor