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WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT
American poet and editor
(1794 - 1878)
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Full fast the leaves are dropping
  Before that wandering breath.
      - [Wind]

Genius, with all its pride in its own strength, is but a dependent quality, and cannot put forth its whole powers nor claim all its honors without an amount of aid from the talents and labors of others which it is difficult to calculate.
      - [Genius]

God hath yoked to guilt her pale tormentor,--misery.
      - [Guilt]

Hark to that shrill, sudden shout,
  The cry of an applauding multitude,
    Swayed by some loud-voiced orator who wields
      The living mass as if he were its soul!
      - [Oratory]

Hateful to me as are the gates of hell is he who, hiding one thing in his heart, utters another.
      - [Deceit]

I hear the howl of the wind that brings
  The long drear storm on its heavy wings.
      - [Wind]

Is not thy home among the flowers?
      - [Wind]

Lo! while we are gazing, in swifter haste
  Stream down the snows, till the air is white,
    As, myriads by myriads madly chased,
      They fling themselves from their shadowy height.
        The fair, frail creatures of middle sky,
          What speed they make, with their grave so nigh;
            Flake after flake,
              To lie in the dark and silent lake!
      - [Snow]

Much has seen said of the wisdom of old age. Old age is wise, I grant, for itself, but not wise for the community. It is wise in declining new enterprises, for it has not the power nor the time to execute them; wise in shrinking from difficulty, for it has not the strength to overcome it; wise in avoiding danger, for it lacks the faculty of ready and swift action, by which dangers are parried and converted into advantages. But this is not wisdom for mankind at large, by whom new enterprises must be undertaken, dangers met, and difficulties surmounted.
      - [Old Age]

Music is not merely a study, it is an entertainment; wherever there is music there is a throng of listeners.
      - [Music]

No man of woman born, coward or brave, can shun his destiny.
      - [Destiny]

Oh, Constellations of the early night
  That sparkled brighter as the twilight died,
    And made the darkness glorious! I have seen
      Your rays grow dim upon the horizon's edge
        And sink behind the mountains. I have seen
          The great Orion, with his jewelled belt,
            That large-limbed warrior of the skies, go down
              Into the gloom. Beside him sank a crowd
                Of shining ones.
      - [Stars]

Oh, Freedom! thou art not, as poets dream,
  A fair young girl, with light and delicate limbs,
    And wavy tresses gushing from the cap
      With which the Roman master crowned his slave
        When he took off the gyves. A bearded man
          Armed to the teeth, art thou; one mailed hand
            Grasps the broad shield, and one the sword; thy brow,
              Glorious in beauty though it be, is scarred
                With tokens of old wars.
      - [Freedom]

Oh, river! darkling river! what a voice
  Is that thou utterest while all else is still--
    The ancient voice that, centuries ago,
      Sounded between thy hills, while Rome was yet
        A weedy solitude by Tiber's stream!
      - [Rivers]

Oh, river, gentle river! gliding on
  In silence underneath this starless sky!
    Thine is a ministry that never rests
      Even while the living slumber.
 * * * * *
Thou pausest not in thine allotted task,
  Oh, darkling river!
      - [Rivers]

Oh; not yet
  May'st thou unbrace thy corslet, nor lay by
    Thy sword, nor yet, O Freedom! close thy lids
      In slumber; for thine enemy never sleeps.
        And thou must watch and combat, till the day
          Of the new earth and heaven.
      - [Freedom]

Old ocean's gray and melancholy waste.
      - [Ocean]

On rolls the stream with a perpetual sigh;
  The rocks moan wildly as it passes by;
    Hyssop and wormwood border all the strand,
      And not a flower adorns the dreary land.
      - [Desolation]

Pain dies quickly, and lets her weary prisoners go; the fiercest agonies have shortest reign.
      - [Pain]

Poetry is that art which selects and arranges the symbols of thought in such a manner as to excite the imagination the most powerfully and delightfully.
      - [Poetry]

Poetry is the eloquence of verse.
      - [Poetry]

Remorse is virtue's root; its fair increase are fruits of innocence and blessedness.
      - [Remorse]

Robert of Lincoln's Quaker wife,
  Pretty and quiet, with plain brown wings,
    Passing at home a patient life,
      Broods in the grass while her husband sings.
      - [Bobolinks]

Self-interest is the most ingenious and persuasive of all the agents that deceive our consciences, while by means of it our unhappy and stubborn prejudices operate in their greatest force.
      - [Self-interest]

Showers and sunshine bring,
  Slowly, the deepening verdure o'er the earth;
    To put their foliage out, the woods are slack,
      And one by one the singing-birds come back.
      - [Spring]


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