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American poet, novelist and playwright
(1837 - 1913)
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God's poet is silence! His song is unspoken,
  And yet so profound, so loud, and so far,
    It fills you, it thrills you with measures unbroken,
      And as soft, and as fair, and as far as a star.
      - [Silence]

Knowledge is
  Bought only with a weary care,
    And wisdom means a world of pain.
      - [Knowledge]

Men mighty-thewed as Samson was, dark-browed as kings in iron cast, broad-breasted as twin gates of brass.
      - [Strength]

Men say, "By pride the angels fell from heaven." By pride they reached a place from which they fell!
      - [Pride]

Physiognomy is often a great falsifier, though as a rule it is honest enough.
      - [Physiognomy]

Soul-deep eyes of darkest night.
      - [Eyes]

The biggest dog has been a pup.
      - [Dogs]

The living grave of crime.
      - [Prison]

The maiden moon in her mantle of blue.
      - [Moon]

They are fair resting-places
  For the dear weary dead on their way up to heaven.
      - [Clouds]

'Tis morn. Behold the kingly Day now leaps
  The eastern wall of earth with sword in hand,
    Clad in a flowing robe of mellow light,
      Like to a king that has regain'd his throne,
        He warms his drooping subjects into joy,
          That rise rejoiced to do him fealty,
            And rules with pomp the universal world.
      - [Sunrise]

In men whom men condemn as ill
  I find so much of goodness still,
    In men whom men pronounce divine
      I find so much of sin and blot
        I do not dare to draw a line
          Between the two, where God has not.
      - Byron (st. 1) [Character]

All crush'd and stone-cast in behaviour,
  She stood as a marble would stand,
    Then the Saviour bent down, and the Saviour
      In silence wrote on in the sand.
      - Charity [Charity]

O woman, born first to believe us;
  Yea, also born first to forget;
    Born first to betray and deceive us,
      Yet first to repent and regret.
      - Charity [Women]

I throw a kiss across the sea,
  I drink the winds as drinking wine,
    And dream they all are blown from thee,
      I catch the whisper'd kiss of thine.
      - England (1871, introduction) [Kisses]

Death is delightful. Death is dawn,
  The waking from a weary night
    Of fevers unto truth and light.
      - Even So (st. 35) [Death]

Time, eftsoon will tumble
  All of us together like leaves in a gust,
    Humbled indeed down into the dust.
      - Fallen Leaves Down into the Dust (st. 5)

Merciful Father, I will not complain.
  I know that the sunshine shall follow the rain.
      - For Princess Maud [Compensation]

"All honor to him who shall win the prize,"
  The world has cried for a thousand years;
    But to him who tries and fails and dies,
      I give great honor and glory and tears.
      - For Those Who Fail [Failure]

Lo! darkness bends down like a mother of grief
  On the limitless plain, and the fall of her hair
    It has mantled a world.
      - From Sea to Sea (st. 4) [Darkness]

'Tis midnight now. The bend and broken moon,
  Batter'd and black, as from a thousand battles,
    Hangs silent on the purple walls of Heaven.
      - Ina (sc. 2) [Midnight]

Men lie, who lack courage to tell truth--the cowards!
      - Ina (sc. 3) [Cowards]

Fame lulls the fever of the soul, and makes
  Us feel that we have grasp'd an immortality.
      - Ina (sc. 4, l. 273) [Fame]

Better sit still where born, I say,
  Wed one sweet woman and lover her well,
    Love and be loved in the old East way,
      Drink sweet waters, and dream in a spell,
        Than to wander in search of the Blessed Isles,
          And to sail the thousands of watery miles
            In search of love, and find you at last
              On the edge of the world, and a curs'd outcast.
      - Pace Implora [Traveling]

And wisest he in this whole wide land
  Of hoarding till bent and gray;
    For all you can hold in your cold, dead hand
      Is what you have given away.
        . . . .
          He gave with a zest and he gave his best;
            Give him the best to come.
      - Peter Cooper [Gifts]

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