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American poet and critic
(1833 - 1908)
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A critic must accept what is best in a poet, and thus become his best encourager.
      - [Critics]

A poet must sing for his own people.
      - [Poets]

Above the clouds I lift my wing
  To hear the bells of Heaven ring;
    Some of their music, though my fights be wild,
      To Earth I bring;
        Then let me soar and sing!
      - [Singers]

But every human path leads on to God;
  He holds a myriad finer threads than gold,
    And strong as holy wishes, drawing us
      With delicate tension upward to Himself.
      - [Providence]

Eccentricity is not a proof of genius, and even an artist should remember that originality consists not only in doing things differently, but also in "doing things better."
      - [Genius]

Faith and joy are the ascensive forces of song.
      - [Songs]

Fashion is a potency in art, making it hard to judge between the temporary and the lasting.
      - [Fashion]

Is there a rarer being,
  Is there a fairer sphere
    Where the strong are not unseeing,
      And the harvests are not sere;
        Where, ere the seasons dwindle
          They yield their due return;
            Where the lamps of knowledge kindle
              While the flames of youth still burn?
      - [Future]

Men are egotists, and not all tolerant of one man's selfhood; they do not always deem the amities elective.
      - [Egotism]

Music waves eternal wands,--
  Enchantress of the souls of mortals!
      - [Music]

Natural emotion is the soul of poetry, as melody is of music; the same faults are engendered by over-study of either art; there is a lack of sincerity, of irresistible impulse in both the poet and the, composer.
      - [Emotion]

O fresh-lit dawn! immortal life!
  O Earth's betrothal, sweet and true!
      - [Spring]

Poetry is an art, and chief of the fine art; the easiest to dabble in, the hardest in which to reach true excellence.
      - [Poetry]

Progress comes by experiment, and this from ennui that leads to voyages, wars, revolutions, and plainly to change in the arts of expression; that cries out to the imagination, and is the nurse of the invention whereof we term necessity the mother.
      - [Progress]

Science has but one fashion--to lose nothing once gained.
      - [Science]

The critic's first labor is the task of distinguishing between men, as history and their works display them, and the ideals which one and another have conspired to urge upon his acceptance.
      - [Critics]

The imagination never dies.
      - [Imagination]

The poet is a creator, not an iconoclast, and never will tamely endeavor to say in prose what can only be expressed in song.
      - [Poets]

The poet who does not revere his art, and believe in its sovereignty, is not born to wear the purple.
      - [Poets]

The weary August days are long;
  The locusts sing a plaintive song,
    The cattle miss their master's call
      When they see the sunset shadows fall.
      - [Summer]

Thou are mine, thou hast given thy word,
  Close, close in my arms thou are clinging;
    Alone for my ear thou art singing
      A song which no stranger hath heard:
        But afar from me yet, like a bird,
          Thy soul in some region unstirr'd
            On its mystical circuit is winging.
      - [Matrimony]

Thy soul * * *
  Is as far from my grasp, is as free,
    As the stars from the mountain-tops be,
      As the pearl in the deaths of the sea,
        From the portionless king that would wear it.
      - [Separation]

Yes, there's a luck in most things; and in none more than being born at the right time.
      - [Luck]

The trickling rain doth fall
  Upon us one and all;
    The south-wind kisses
      The saucy milkmaid's cheek,
        The nun's, demure and meek,
          Nor any misses.
      - A Madrigal (st. 3) [Equality]

War! war! war!
  Heaven aid the right!
    God move the hero's arm in the fearful fight!
      God send the women sleep in the long, long night,
        When the breasts on whose strength they leaned shall heave no more.
      - Alice of Monmouth (VII) [War]

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