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RICHARD HENRY STODDARD
American poet
(1825 - 1903)
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Divinest Autumn! who may paint thee best,
  Forever changeful o'er the changeful globe?
    Who guess thy certain crown, thy favorite crest,
      The fashion of thy many-colored robe?
      - [Autumn]

England, our mother's mother! Come, and see
  A greater England here! O come and be
    At home with us, your children, for there runs
      The same blood in our veins as in your sons;
        The same deep-seated love of liberty
          Beats in our hearts. We speak the same good tongue;
            Familiar with all songs your bards have sung,
              Those large men, Milton, Shakespeare, both are ours.
      - [America]

Given the books of a man, it is not difficult, I think, to detect therein the personality of the man, and the station in life to which he was born.
      - [Reading]

I am not alone,
  For solitude like this is populous.
    And its abundant life of sky and sun,
      High-floating clouds, low mists, and wheeling birds,
        And waves that ripple shoreward all day long,
          Whether the tide is setting in or out,
            Forever rippling shoreward, dark and bright,
              As lights and shadows, and the shifting winds
                Pursue each other in their endless play,
                  Is more than the companionship of man.
      - [Solitude]

I loved the Wind.
  Whether it kissed my hair and pallid brow;
    Whether with sweets my sense it fed, as now;
      Whether it blew across the scudding main;
        Whether it shrieked above a stretch of plain;
          Whether, on autumn days, in solemn woods,
            And barren solitudes,
              Along the waste it whirled the withered leaves;
                Whether it hummed around my cottage eaves,
                  And shook the rattling doors,
                    And died with long-drawn sighs, on bleak and dreary moors;
                      Whether in winter, when its trump did blow
                        Through desolate gorges dirges of despair,
                          It drove the snow-flakes slantly down the air,
                            And piled the drifts of snow;
                              Or whether it breathed soft in vernal hours,
                                And filled the trees with sap, and filled the grass with flowers.
      - [Wind]

I said to Sorrow's awful storm,
  That beat against my breast,
    Rage on--thou may'st destroy this form,
      And lay it low at rest;
        But still the spirit that now brooks
          Thy tempest raging high,
            Undaunted on its fury looks
              With steadfast eye.
      - [Firmness]

Let me silent be;
  For silence is the speech of love,
    The music of the spheres above.
      - [Silence]

Men can be great when great occasions call:
  In little duties women find their spheres,
    The narrow cares that cluster round the hearth.
      - [Women]

O wretched state of kings! doleful fate!
  Greatness misnamed, in misery only great!
    Could men but know the endless woe it brings
      The wise would die before they would be kings.
        Think what a king must do! It tasks the best
          To rule the little world within his breast,
            Yet must he rule it, and the world beside,
              Or king is none, undone by power and pride
                Think what a king must be! What burdens bear
                  From birth to death! His life is one long care.
                    It wears away in tasks that never end.
                      He has ten thousand foes, but not one friend.
      - [Royalty]

Summer or winter, day or night,
  The woods are an ever-new delight;
    They give us peace, and they make us strong,
      Such wonderful balms to them belong:
        So, living or dying, I'll take mine ease
          Under the trees, under the trees.
      - [Forests]

Tell me what is sorrow? It is a garden-bed.
  And what is joy? It is a little rose,
    Which in that garden grows.
      - [Sorrow]

The misty earth below is wan and drear,
  The baying winds chase all the leaves away,
    As cruel hounds pursue the trembling deer;
      It is a solemn time, the sunset of the year.
      - [Autumn]

The trumpet winds have sounded a retreat,
  Blowing o'er land and sea a sullen strain;
    Usurping March, defeated, flies again,
      And lays his trophies at the Winter's feet.
        And lo! where April, coming in his turn,
          In changeful motleys, half of light and shade,
            Leads his belated charge, a delicate maid,
              A nymph with dripping urn.
      - [Spring]

There is no death. The thing that we call death
  Is but another, sadder name for life.
      - [Death]

There is no hope--the future will but turn
  The old sand in the falling glass of time.
      - [Future]

Day and night my thoughts incline
  To the blandishments of wine,
    Jars were made to drain, I think;
      Wine, I know, was made to drink.
      - A Jar of Wine [Wine and Spirits]

We love in others what we lack ourselves, and would be everything but what we are.
      - Arcadian Idyl (l. 30) [Discontent]

Once, when the days were ages,
  And the old Earth was young,
    The high gods and the sages
      From Nature's golden pages
        Her open secrets wrung.
      - Brahma's Answer [Nature]

I loved the Sea.
  Whether in calm it glassed the gracious day
    With all its light, the night with all its fires;
      Whether in storm it lashed its sullen spray,
        Wild as the heart when passionate youth expires;
          Or lay, as now, a torture to my mind,
            In yonder land-locked bay, unwrinkled by the wind.
      - Carmen Naturoe Triumphale (l. 192) [Ocean]

Day is the Child of Time,
  And Day must cease to be:
    But Night is without a sire,
      And cannot expire,
        One with Eternity.
      - Day and Night [Day]

Heaven is not gone, but we are blind with tears,
  Groping our way along the downward slop of Years!
      - Hymn to the Beautiful (l. 33) [Tears]

Around our pillows golden ladders rise,
  And up and down the skies,
    With winged sandals shod,
      The angels come, and go, the Messengers of God!
        Nor, though they fade from us, do they depart--
          It is the childly heart
            We walk as heretofore,
              Adown their shining ranks, but see them nevermore.
      - Hymn to the Beautiful (st. 3) [Angels]

A voice of greeting from the wind was sent;
  The mists enfolded me with soft white arms;
    The birds did sing to lap me in content,
      The rivers wove their charms,--
        And every little daisy in the grass
          Did look up in my face, and smile to see me pass!
      - Hymn to the Beautiful (st. 4) [Nature]

Thou wert before the Continents, before
  The hollow heavens, which like another sea
    Encircles them and thee, but whence thou wert,
      And when thou wast created, is not known,
        Antiquity was young when thou wast old.
      - Hymn to the Sea (l. 104) [Ocean]

The wild November come at last
  Beneath a veil of rain;
    The night winds blows its folds aside,
      Her face is full of pain.
        The latest of her race, she takes
          The Autumn's vacant throne:
            She has but one short moon to live,
              And she must live alone.
      - November [November]


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