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THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH
American poet, novelist and essayist
(1836 - 1907)
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A mighty wind, like a leviathan,
  Ploughed through the brine, and from these solitudes
    Sent Silence frightened.
      - [Storms]

All the panes are hung with frost
  Wild wizard-work of silver lace.
      - [Frost]

All's one to her; above her fan she'd make sweet eyes to Caliban.
      - [Coquette]

For the poplars showed
  The white of their leaves, the amber grain
    Shrunk in the wind--and the lightning now
      Is tangled in tremulous skeins of rain.
      - [Electricity]

Sorrow itself is not so hard to bear as the thought of sorrow coming. Airy ghosts that work no harm do terrify us more than men in steel with woody purpose.
      - [Sorrow]

The air is full of hints of grief,
  Strange voices touched with pain--
    The pathos of the falling leaf
      And rustling of the rain.
      - [Twilight]

The poplars showed
  The white of their leaves, the amber grain
    Shrunk in the wind,--and the lightning now
      Is tangled in tremulous skeins of rain!
      - [Storms]

The Summer comes and the Summer goes;
  Wild-flowers are fringing the dusty lanes,
    The shallows go darting through fragrant rains,
      Then, all of a sudden--it snows.
      - [Seasons]

The unchecked thought
  Wanders at will upon enchanted ground,
    Making no sound
      In all the corridors * * *
        The bell sleeps in the belfry--from its tongue
          A drowsy murmur floats into the air,
            Like thistle-down. Slumber is everywhere.
              The rook's asleep, and, in its dreaming, caws;
                And silence mopes where nightingales have sung;
                  The Sirens lie in grottos cool and deep,
                    The Naiads in the streams.
      - [Sleep]

There is a sadness in sweet sound
  That quickens tears.
      - [Music]

They fail, and they alone, who have not striven.
      - [Failure]

True art selects and paraphrases, but seldom gives a verbatim translation.
      - [Art]

What is a day to an immortal soul!
  A breath, no more.
      - [Day]

What thought is folded in thy leaves!
  What tender thought, what speechless pain!
    I hold thy faded lips to mine,
      Thou darling of the April rain.
      - [Violets]

But when the sun in all his state,
  Illumed the eastern skies,
    She passed through glory's morning gate,
      And walked in Paradise.
      - A Death Bed [Death]

What is lovely never dies,
  But passes into other loveliness,
    Star-dust, or sea-foam, flower or winged air.
      - A Shadow of the Night [Beauty]

Have you not heard the poets tell
  How came the dainty Baby Bell
    Into this world of ours?
      - Baby Bell [Babyhood]

We knew it would rain, for the poplars showed
  The white of their leaves, the amber grain
    Shrunk in the wind,--and the lightning now
      Is tangled in tremulous skeins of rain.
      - Before the Rain [Rain]

Upon the cunning loom of thought
  We weave our fancies, so and so.
      - Cloth of Gold--Prelude [Thought]

Day is a snow-white Dove of heaven
  That from the East glad message brings.
      - Day and Night [Day]

Night is a stealthy, evil Raven,
  Wrapt to the eyes in his black wings.
      - Day and Night [Night]

Only the sea intoning,
  Only the wainscot-mouse,
    Only the wild wind moaning
      Over the lonely house.
      - December [December]

These Winter nights against my window-pane
  Nature with busy pencil draws designs
    Of ferns and blossoms and fine spray of pines,
      Oak-leaf and acorn and fantastic vines,
        Which she will make when summer comes again--
          Quaint arabesques in argent, flat and cold,
            Like curious Chinese etchings.
      - Frost-Work [Winter]

When friends are at your hearthside met,
  Sweet courtesy has done its most
    If you have made each guest forget
      That he himself is not the host.
      - Hospitality [Hospitality]

What probing deep
  Has ever solved the mystery of sleep?
      - Human Ignorance [Sleep]


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