William Cullen Bryant

William Cullen

American Poet, Critic, Editor

Author Quotes

Thou shalt lie down with patriarchs of the infant world,?with kings, the powerful of the earth,?the wise, the good,

All things that are on earth shall wholly pass away, Except the love of God, which shall live and last for aye.

Beautiful isles! beneath the sunset skies tall, silver-shafted palm-trees rise, between full orange-trees that shade the living colonade.

Eternal love doth keep in his complacent arms, the earth, the air, the deep.

I grieve for life's bright promise, just shown and then withdrawn.

Nor heed the shaft too surely cast, the foul and hissing bolt of scorn; for with thy side shall dwell, at last, the victory of endurance born.

Robert of Lincoln's Quaker wife, Pretty and quiet, with plain brown wings, Passing at home a patient life, Broods in the grass while her husband sings.

The breath of springtime at this twilight hour comes through the gathering glooms, and bears the stolen sweets of many a flower into my silent rooms.

The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year, of wailing winds and naked woods and meadows brown and sere. Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the autumn leaves lie dead; they rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbit's tread. The robin and the wren are flown, and from the shrub the jay, and from the wood-top calls crow, through all the gloomy day.

The victory of endurance born.

Thou unrelenting past! Strong are the barriers round thy dark domain, and fetters, sure and fast, hold all that enter thy unbreathing reign.

And at my silent window-sill the jessamine peeps in.

But I behold a fearful sign, to which the white men's eyes are blind; their race may vanish hence, like mine, and leave no trace behind, save ruins o'er the region spread, and the white stones above the dead.

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 would bleed, would we but yield them to thy bitter need.

I hear the howl of the wind that brings the long drear storm on its heavy wings.

Of columbines, in purple dressed nod o'er the ground-bird's hidden nest.

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.

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 mighty rain holds the vast empire of the sky alone.

The visions of my youth are past too bright, too beautiful to last.

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.

And kind the voice and glad the eyes that welcome my return at night.

But if, around my place of sleep, the friends I love should come to weep, they might not haste to go. Soft airs, and song, and light, and bloom should keep them lingering by my tomb.

Fairest of all that earth beholds, the hues that live among the clouds, and flush the air, lingering, and deepening at the hour of dews.

I shall see the hour of death draw near to me, hope, blossoming within my heart.

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William Cullen
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American Poet, Critic, Editor