Julia Ward Howe
Biography of Julia Ward Howe
As a writer, poet, reformer and lecturer, Howe worked throughout her life for justice. In 1861, she authored The Battle Hymn as an inspiration to Union soldiers fighting against slavery. Howe's work is now the national anthem for freedom.
Of even greater importance to her, she founded, with Lucy Stone and others, the New England Women's Club, which later became the American Woman Suffrage Association. Throughout the late 19th and early 20th century, Howe lectured and wrote on women's rights. She fought not only for the right to vote, but also struggled to liberate women from the confinement of the traditional "womanís place" in stifling marriages like her own, where none of her ideas were valued or accepted. She also worked for world peace, founding, in 1891, the American Friends of Russian Freedom, and serving as president, in 1894, of the United Friends of Armenia.
In 1907, Howe became the first woman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has also received three honorary doctorates of letters degrees. The citation for her LL.D. degree from Smith College best explains her importance: "Poet and patriot, lover of letters and learning; advocate for over half a century in print and living speech of great causes of human liberty; [and] sincere friend of all that makes for the elevation and enrichment of women."
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Julia Ward Howe Poems
Battle Hymn of the Republic
. Howe's Final version Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord: He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; He hath loosed the fatal lightning of his terrible swift sword:
I never made a poem, dear friend- I never sat me down, and said, This cunning brain and patient hand Shall fashion something to be read.
Mother's Day Proclamation
Arise then...women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts! Whether your baptism be of water or of tears! Say firmly:
My Last Dance
The shell of objects inwardly consumed Will stand, till some convulsive wind awakes; Such sense hath Fire to waste the heart of things, Nature, such love to hold the form she makes.
Coquette et Froide
What is thy thought of me? What is thy feeling? Lov'st thou the veil of sense, Or its revealing?
The Bee's Song
Do not tie my wings, Says the honey-bee; Do not bind my wings, Leave them glad and free.
Robert E. Lee
A gallant foeman in the fight, A brother when the fight was o'er, The hand that led the host with might The blessed torch of learning bore.
WEAVE no more silks, ye Lyons looms, To deck our girls for gay delights! The crimson flower of battle blooms,
There's a flag hangs over my threshold, whose folds are more dear to me Than the blood that thrills in my bosom its earnest of liberty;
Limitations Of Benevolence
'The beggar boy is none of mine,' The reverend doctor strangely said; 'I do not walk the streets to pour Chance benedictions on his head.
The Dead Christ
Take the dead Christ to my chamber, The Christ I brought from Rome; Over all the tossing ocean, He has reached his western home;
Tribute To Oliver Wendell Holmes
Thou metamorphic god! Who mak'st the straight Olympus thy abode, Hermes to subtle laughter moving, Apollo with serener loving,
The Dead Christ
Take the dead Christ to my chamber,
The Christ I brought from Rome;
Over all the tossing ocean,
He has reached his western home;
Bear him as in procession,
And lay him solemnly
Where, through weary night and morning,
He shall bear me company.