William Cullen Bryant

William Cullen

American Poet, Critic, Editor

Author Quotes

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.

A sculptor wields the chisel, and the stricken marble grows to beauty.

And then I think of one who in her youthful beauty died, the fair meek blossom that grew up and faded by my side.

Death should come gently to one of gentle mold, like thee, as light winds, wandering through groves of bloom, detach the delicate blossoms from the tree, close thy sweet eyes calmly, and without pain, and we will trust in god to see thee yet again.

Hark to that shrill, sudden shout, the cry of an applauding multitude, swayed by some loud-voiced orator who wields the living mass as if he were its soul!

Loveliest of lovely things are they on earth that soonest pass away. The rose that lives its little hour is prized beyond the sculptured flower.

On rolls the stream with a perpetual sigh; the rocks moan wildly as it passes by; hyssop and wormwood border all the strand, and not a flower adorns the dreary land.

Tender pauses speak the overflow of gladness, when words are all too weak.

The gentle race of flowers Are lying in their lowly beds.

The south wind searches for the flowers whose fragrance late he bore, and sighs to find them in the wood and by the stream no more.

These struggling tides of life that seem in wayward, aimless course to tend, are eddies of the mighty stream that rolls to its appointed end.

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William Cullen
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American Poet, Critic, Editor