William Cullen Bryant

(November 3, 1794 – June 12, 1878 / Boston)

The Greek Boy - Poem by William Cullen Bryant

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Gone are the glorious Greeks of old,
Glorious in mien and mind;
Their bones are mingled with the mould,
Their dust is on the wind;
The forms they hewed from living stone
Survive the waste of years, alone,
And, scattered with their ashes, show
What greatness perished long ago.

Yet fresh the myrtles there--the springs
Gush brightly as of yore;
Flowers blossom from the dust of kings,
As many an age before.
There nature moulds as nobly now,
As e'er of old, the human brow;
And copies still the martial form
That braved Plataea's battle storm.

Boy! thy first looks were taught to seek
Their heaven in Hellas' skies:
Her airs have tinged thy dusky cheek,
Her sunshine lit thine eyes;
Thine ears have drunk the woodland strains
Heard by old poets, and thy veins
Swell with the blood of demigods,
That slumber in thy country's sods.

Now is thy nation free--though late--
Thy elder brethren broke--
Broke, ere thy spirit felt its weight,
The intolerable yoke.
And Greece, decayed, dethroned, doth see
Her youth renewed in such as thee:
A shoot of that old vine that made
The nations silent in its shade.


Comments about The Greek Boy by William Cullen Bryant

  • Amar Agarwala (11/3/2016 8:08:00 PM)


    What a stunning powerful piece of literature... the poet's passion is so obvious! Wonderful read! (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Nathan Coppedge (11/3/2016 6:18:00 PM)


    Now, the American Golden Age: While they were floundering, I was pondering... No more wandering through the dark tunnels of grim determination... For no! It is time to grow! In a thousand-folded folds! For which we need an infinite fuel! (Perpetual motion) ---Nathan Coppedge (Report) Reply

  • (11/3/2016 10:22:00 AM)


    Thine ears have drunk the woodland strains.
    A brilliant piece of art. Thanks for sharing it here.
    (Report) Reply

  • Seamus O' Brian (11/3/2016 9:58:00 AM)


    Writing worthy of the greatness of the Age of Hellenism. (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (11/3/2016 7:56:00 AM)


    Who can forget the contribution of ancient Greece and its great thinkers towards understanding of this world and towards motivating future generations to achieve scientific and intellectual excellence. But it is also true that over the past two millennia, it lost most of its sheen and glory. Nicely portrayed. Thank you, Sir.
    The forms they hewed from living stone
    Survive the waste of years, alone,
    And Greece, decayed, dethroned, doth see
    Her youth renewed in such as thee:
    (Report) Reply

  • Mihaela Pirjol (11/3/2016 7:13:00 AM)


    Once Great - For ever Great! Great Ellada! (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (11/3/2016 4:37:00 AM)

    Decayed
    In its shade! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (11/3/2016 2:05:00 AM)


    The forms they hewed from living stone
    Survive the waste of years, alone,
    And, scattered with their ashes, show
    What greatness perished long ago.

    Nice lines... Thanks for sharing...
    (Report) Reply

Read all 8 comments »



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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 5, 2010



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