James Russell Lowell
James Russell Lowell was an American Romantic poet, critic, editor, and diplomat. He is associated with the Fireside Poets, a group of New England writers who were among the first American poets who rivaled the popularity of British poets. These poets usually used conventional forms and meters in their poetry, making them suitable for families entertaining at their fireside.
Lowell graduated from Harvard College in 1838, despite his reputation as a troublemaker, and went on to earn a law degree from Harvard Law School. He published his first collection of poetry in 1841 and married Maria White in 1844. He and his wife had several children, though only one survived past childhood. ... more »
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James Russell Lowell Poems
A Revolutionary Hero
Old Joe is gone, who saw hot Percy goad His slow artillery up the Concord road, A tale which grew in wonder year by year; As every time he told it, Joe drew near
I went to seek for Christ, And Nature seemed so fair That first the woods and fields my youth enticed, And I was sure to find him there:
Above and Below
O dwellers in the valley-land, Who in deep twilight grope and cower, Till the slow mountain's dial-hand Shorten to noon's triumphal hour
God! do not let my loved one die, But rather wait until the time That I am grown in purity Enough to enter thy pure clime
A Stanza on Freedom
THEY are slaves who fear to speak For the fallen and the weak; They are slaves who will not choose Hatred, scoffing, and abuse,
Let others wonder what fair face Upon their path shall shine, And, fancying half, half hoping, trace Some maiden shape of tenderest grace
Ay, pale and silent maiden, Cold as thou liest there, Thine was the sunniest nature That ever drew the air;
I go to the ridge in the forest I haunted in days gone by, But thou, O Memory, pourest No magical dropp in mine eye,
The First Snowfall
THE snow had begun in the gloaming, And busily all the night Had been heaping field and highway With a silence deep and white.
A Youthful Experiment In English Hexamet...
Sometimes come pauses of calm, when the rapt bard, holding his heart back, Over his deep mind muses, as when o'er awe-stricken ocean Poises a heapt cloud luridly, ripening the gale and the thunder; Slow rolls onward the verse with a long swell heaving and swinging
A Fable For Critics
Phoebus, sitting one day in a laurel-tree's shade, Was reminded of Daphne, of whom it was made, For the god being one day too warm in his wooing, She took to the tree to escape his pursuing
This kind o' sogerin' aint a mite like our October trainin', A chap could clear right out from there ef 't only looked like rainin', An' th' Cunnles, tu, could kiver up their shappoes with bandanners, An' send the insines skootin' to the bar-room with their banners
A Chippewa Legend
The old Chief, feeling now wellnigh his end, Called his two eldest children to his side, And gave them, in few words, his parting charge! 'My son and daughter, me ye see no more;
Are Ye Truly Free?
Men! whose boast it is that ye Come of fathers brave and free; If there breathe on earth a slave, Are ye truly free and brave?
Quotationsmore quotations »
''I have always been of the mind that in a democracy manners are the only effective weapons against the bowie-knife.''James Russell Lowell (1819-91), U.S. poet, editor. Letter, March 4, 1873.
''What men prize most is a privilege, even if it be that of chief mourner at a funeral.''James Russell Lowell (1819-1891), U.S. poet, editor. Address, October 6, 1884, Birmingham, England. "Democracy," Democracy and Other Addresses (1886)....
''It is mediocrity which makes laws and sets mantraps and spring-guns in the realm of free song, saying thus far shalt thou go and no further.''James Russell Lowell (1819-91), U.S. poet, editor. "Elizabethan Dramatists, Omitting Shakespear: John Webster," Lowell's Early Prose Writings (1902).
''Freedom is the only law which genius knows.''James Russell Lowell (1819-1891), U.S. poet, editor. "Elizabethan Dramatists, Omitting Shakespeare: John Webster" (1843), in Lowell's Early Prose Writ...
''Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind.''James Russell Lowell (1819-1891), U.S. poet, editor. "Nationality in Literature," North American Review (July 1849). Reviewing Longfellow's Kavana...
Comments about James Russell Lowell
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
A Revolutionary Hero
Old Joe is gone, who saw hot Percy goad
His slow artillery up the Concord road,
A tale which grew in wonder year by year;
As every time he told it, Joe drew near
To the main fight, till faded and grown gray,
The original scene to bolder tints gave way;
Then Joe had heard the foe's scared double-quick
Beat on stove drum with one uncaptured stick,
And, ere death came the lengthening tale to lop,
Himself had fired, and seen a red-coat drop;
Had Joe lived long enough, that scrambling fight
Had squared more nearly to his sense of right,
And vanquished Perry, to ...