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WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT
American poet and editor
(1794 - 1878)
  Displaying page 1 of 6    Next Page >> 

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

A silence, the brief Sabbath of an hour,
  Reigns o'er the fields; the laborer sits within
    His dwelling; he has left his steers awhile,
      Unyoked, to bite the herbage, and his dog
        Sleeps stretched beside the door-stone in the shade.
          Now the gray marmot, with uplifted paws,
            No more sits listening by his den, but steals
              Abroad, in safety, to the clover-field,
                And crops its juicy-blossoms.
      - [Noontime]

Ah, never shall the land forget
  How gush'd the life-blood of the brave,
    Gush'd warm with hope and courage yet,
      Upon the soil they fought to save!
      - [Courage]

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 me.
        For thou, to northern lands, again
          The glad and glorious sun dost bring,
            And thou hast joined the gentle train
              And wear'st the gentle name of Spring.
      - [March]

All great poets have been men of great knowledge.
      - [Poets]

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

And kind the voice and glad the eyes
  That welcome my return at night.
      - [Welcome]

And the yellow sunflower by the brook, in autumn beauty stood.
      - [Sunflowers]

Approach thy grave like one that wraps the drapery of his couch about him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
      - [Death]

Autumn is here; we cull his lingering flowers.
 * * * * *
The sweet calm sunshine of October, now
  Warms the low spot; upon its grass mould
    The purple oak-leaf falls; the birchen bough
      Drops its bright spoil like arrow-heads of gold.
      - [October]

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

But 'neath yon crimson tree,
  Lover to listening maid might breathe his flame,
    Nor mark, within its roseate canopy,
      Her blush of maiden shame.
      - [Shame]

But Winter has yet brighter scenes--he boasts
  Splendors beyond what gorgeous Summer knows.
    Or Autumn with his many fruits, and woods
      All flushed with many hues. 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 the steps,
                And the broad arching portals of the grove
                  Welcome thy entering.
      - [Winter]

By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave, like one that wraps the drapery of his couch about him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
      - [Tombs]

By eloquence I understand those appeals to our moral perceptions that produce emotion as soon as they are uttered. * * * This is the very enthusiasm that is the parent of poetry. Let the same man go to his closet and clothe in numbers conceptions full of the same fire and spirit, and they will be poetry.
      - [Eloquence]

Death should come
  Gently to one of gentle mould, 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.
      - [Death]

Do not the bright June roses blow
  To meet thy kiss at morning hours?
      - [Wind]

Eloquence is the poetry of prose.
      - [Eloquence]

Error's monstrous shapes from earth are driven
  They fade, they fly--but truth survives the flight.
      - [Error]

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.
      - [Evening]

Father, thy hand
  Hath reared these venerable columns, thou
    Didst weave this verdant roof. Thou didst look down
      Upon the naked earth, and, forthwith, rose
        All these fair ranks of trees. They, in thy sun,
          Budded, and shook their green leaves in thy breeze,
            And shot towards heaven.
      - [Trees]

Features, the great soul's apparent seat.
      - [Face]

Features--the great soul's apparent seat.
      - [Features]

Flowers spring up unsown and die ungathered.
      - [Flowers]

Follow thou thy choice.
      - [Choice]


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