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JAMES GATES PERCIVAL
American poet, linquist and scholar
(1795 - 1856)

Happy the life, that in a peaceful stream,
  Obscure, unnoticed through the vale has flow'd;
    The heart that ne'er was charm'd by fortune's gleam
      Is ever sweet contentment's blest abode.
      - [Contentment]

How awful is that hour when con, science stings.
      - [Conscience]

I am one who finds within me a nobility that spurns the idle pratings of the great, and their mean boasts of what their fathers were, while they themselves are fools effeminate.
      - [Ancestry]

Night steals on; and the day takes its farewell, like the words of a departing friend, or the last tone of hallowed music in a minister's aisles, heard when it floats along the shade of elms, in the still place of graves.
      - [Evening]

Roses bloom, and then they wither;
  Cheeks are bright, then fade and die;
    Shapes of light are wafted hither,
      Then, like visions, hurry by.
      - [Vicissitudes]

She had grown, in her unstained seclusion, bright and pure as a first opening lilac, when it spreads its clear leaves to the sweetest dawn of May.
      - [Maidenhood]

Sweet flower, thou tellest how hearts as pure and tender as thy leaf, as low and humble as thy stem, will surely know the joy that peace imparts.
      - [Flowers]

The recollection of one upward hour
  Hath more in it to tranquilize and cheer
    The darkness of despondency, than years
      Of gayety and pleasure.
      - [Despondency]

The thundering voice that wrings, in one dark, damning moment, crimes of years!
      - [Conscience]

The world is full of poetry. The air is living with its spirit; and the waves dance to the music of its melodies, and sparkle in its brightness.
      - [Poetry]

There are moments of life that we never forget,
  Which brighten, and brighten, as time steals away;
    They give a new charm to the happiest lot,
      And they shine on the gloom of the loneliest day.
      - [Memory]

There is nothing but death
  Our affections can sever,
    And till life's latest breath
      Love shall bind us for ever.
      - [Constancy]

We met, and we drank from the crystalline well,
  That flows from the fountains of science above;
    On the beauties of thought we would silently dwell,
      Till we looked--though we never were talking of love.
      - [Thought]

Ye clouds, that are the ornament of heaven,
  Who give to it its gayest shadowings
    And its most awful glories; ye who roll
      In the dark tempest, or at dewy evening
        Bow low in tenderest beauty;--ye are to us
          A volume full of wisdom.
      - [Clouds]

O rose! the sweetest blossom,
  Of spring the fairest flower,
    O rose! the joy of heaven.
      The god of love, with roses
        His yellow locks adorning,
          Dances with the hours and graces.
      - Anacreontic (st. 2) [Roses]

Our thoughts are boundless, though our frames are frail,
  Our souls immortal, though our limbs decay;
    Though darken'd in this poor life by a veil
      Of suffering, dying matter, we shall play
        In truth's eternal sunbeams; on the way
          To heaven's high capitol our cars shall roll;
            The temple of the Power whom all obey,
              That is the mark we tend to, for the soul
                Can take no lower flight, and seek no meaner goal.
      - Prometheus [Soul]

Thought can wing its way
  Swifter than lightning-flashes or the beam
    That hastens on the pinions of the morn.
      - Sonnet [Thought]

In Eastern lands they talk in flowers,
  And they tell in a garland their loves and cares;
    Each blossom that blooms in their garden bowers,
      On its leaves a mystic language bears.
      - The Language of Flowers [Flowers]

Bird of the broad and sweeping wing,
  Thy home is high in heaven,
    Where wide the storms their banners fling,
      And the tempest clouds are driven.
      - To the Eagle [Eagles]


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