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WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT
American poet and editor
(1794 - 1878)
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Woo the fair one when around
  Early birds are singing;
    When o'er all the fragrant ground
      Early herbs are springing:
        When the brookside, bank, and grove
          All with blossom laden,
            Shine with beauty, breathe of love,
              Woo the timid maiden.
      - Love's Lessons [Wooing]

Where hast thou wandered. gentle gale, to find
  The perfumes thou dost bring?
      - May Evening (st. 2) [Wind]

Weep not that the world changes--did it keep
  A stable, changeless state, it were cause indeed to weep.
      - Mutation [Change]

The fiercest agonies have shortest reign;
  And after dreams of horror, comes again
    The welcome morning with its rays of peace.
      - Mutation (l. 4) [Peace]

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

And suns grow meek, and the meek suns grow brief,
  And the year smiles as it draws near its death.
      - October [October]

The sweet calm sunshine of October, now
  Warms the low spot; upon its grassy mould
    The purple oak-leaf falls; the birchen bough
      Drops its bright spoil like arrow-heads of gold.
      - October [October]

Wind of the sunny south! oh, still delay
  In the gay woods and in the golden air,
    Like to a good old age released from care,
      Journeying, in long serenity, away.
        In such a bright, late quiet, would that I
          Might wear out life like thee, mid bowers and brooks,
            And, dearer yet, the sunshine of kind looks,
              And music of kind voices ever nigh;
                And when my last sand twinkled in the glass,
                  Pass silently from men as thou dost pass.
      - October (l. 5) [Wind]

Thine eyes are springs in whose serene
  And silent waters heaven is seen.
    Their lashes are the herbs that look
      On their young figures in the brook.
      - Oh, Fairest of the Rural Maids [Eyes]

Lay down the axe; fling by the spade;
  Leave in its track the toiling plough;
    The rifle and the bayonet-blade
      For arms like yours were fitter now;
        And let the hands that ply the pen
          Quit the light task, and learn to wield
            The horseman's crooked brand, and rein
              The charger on the battle-field.
      - Our Country's Call [War]

Modest and shy as a nun is she;
  One weak chirp is her only note;
    Braggarts and prince of braggarts is he,
      Pouring boasts from his little throat.
      - Robert of Lincoln [Bobolinks]

Robert of Lincoln is gayly drest,
  Wearing a bright black wedding-coat;
    White are his shoulders and white his crest.
      - Robert of Lincoln [Bobolinks]

The August cloud . . . suddenly
  Melts into streams of rain.
      - Sella [August]

Alas! to seize the moment
  When the heart inclines to heart,
    And press a suit with passion,
      Is not a woman's part.
        If man come not to gather
          The roses where they stand,
            They fade among their foliage,
              They cannot seek his hand.
      - Song,
        translated from the Spanish of Iglesias
        [Wooing]

The summer morn is bright and fresh, the birds are darting by
  As if they loved to breast the breeze that sweeps the cool clear sky.
      - Strange Lady [Morning]

All that tread
  The globe are but a handful to the tribes
    That slumber in its bosom.
      - Thanatopsis [Death : Graves : Tombs]

Go forth under the open sky, and list
  To Nature's teachings.
      - Thanatopsis [Nature]

Sustained and soothed
  By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
    Like one that wraps the drapery of his couch
      About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
      - Thanatopsis [Death]

To him who in the love of Nature holds
  Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
    A various language.
      - Thanatopsis [Nature]

That make the meadows green; and, poured round all,
  Old Ocean's gray and melancholy waste,--
    Are but the solemn decorations all
      Of the great tomb of man.
      - Thanatopsis (l. 43) [Ocean]

Here the free spirit of mankind, at length,
  Throws its last fetters off; and who shall place
    A limit to the giant's unchained strength,
      Or curb his swiftness in the forward race?
      - The Ages (XXXIII) [Freedom]

Or, bide thou where the poppy blows
  With windflowers fail and fair.
      - The Artic Lover [Windflowers]

Truth crushed to earth shall rise again:
  Th' eternal years of God are hers;
    But Error, wounded, writhes in pain,
      And dies among his worshippers.
      - The Battle Field (st. 9) [Truth]

Pleasantly, between the pelting showers, the sunshine gushes down.
      - The Cloud on the Way (l. 18) [Sun]

The melancholy days have come, the saddest of the year,
  Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and sear.
      - The Death of the Flowers (l. 221) [Autumn]


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