"Sydney Lanier,"was born February 3, 1842, in Macon, Georgia, to parents Robert Sampson Lanier and Mary Jane Anderson; he was mostly of English ancestry, with his distant French ancestors having immigrated to England in the 16th century. He began playing the flute at an early age, and his love of that musical instrument continued throughout his life. He attended Oglethorpe University near Milledgeville, Georgia, graduating first in his class shortly before the outbreak of the American Civil War.
He fought in the Civil War, primarily in the tidewater region of Virginia, where he served in the Confederate signal corps. Later, he and his brother Clifford served as pilots ... more »
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Sidney Lanier Poems
O marriage-bells, your clamor tells Two weddings in one breath. SHE marries whom her love compels: -- And I wed Goodman Death!
A Song Of Eternity In Time
Once, at night, in the manor wood My Love and I long silent stood, Amazed that any heavens could Decree to part us, bitterly repining.
A Sunrise Song.
Young palmer sun, that to these shining sands Pourest thy pilgrim's tale, discoursing still Thy silver passages of sacred lands, With news of Sepulchre and Dolorous Hill,
A Ballad Of The Trees And The Master
Into the woods my Master went, Clean forspent, forspent. Into the woods my Master came, Forspent with love and shame.
An Evening Song.
Look off, dear Love, across the sallow sands, And mark yon meeting of the sun and sea, How long they kiss in sight of all the lands. Ah! longer, longer, we.
A Song Of The Future.
Sail fast, sail fast, Ark of my hopes, Ark of my dreams; Sweep lordly o'er the drowned Past, Fly glittering through the sun's strange beams;
The Song Of The Chattahoochee
Out of the hills of Habersham, Down the valleys of Hall, I hurry amain to reach the plain, Run the rapid and leap the fall,
He's fast asleep. See how, O Wife, Night's finger on the lip of life Bids whist the tongue, so prattle-rife, Of busy Baby Charley.
Souls And Rain-Drops
Light rain-drops fall and wrinkle the sea, Then vanish, and die utterly. One would not know that rain-drops fell If the round sea-wrinkles did not tell.
Written for the Art Autograph during the Irish Famine, 1880.
A Florida Sunday.
From cold Norse caves or buccaneer Southern seas Oft come repenting tempests here to die; Bewailing old-time wrecks and robberies, They shrive to priestly pines with many a sigh,
A Florida Ghost.
Down mildest shores of milk-white sand, By cape and fair Floridian bay, Twixt billowy pines -- a surf asleep on land -- And the great Gulf at play,
To-day the woods are trembling through and through With shimmering forms, that flash before my view, Then melt in green as dawn-stars melt in blue. The leaves that wave against my cheek caress
The Raven Days
Our hearths are gone out and our hearts are broken, And but the ghosts of homes to us remain, And ghastly eyes and hollow sighs give token From friend to friend of an unspoken pain.
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O marriage-bells, your clamor tells
Two weddings in one breath.
SHE marries whom her love compels:
-- And I wed Goodman Death!
My brain is blank, my tears are red;
Listen, O God: -- "I will," he said: --
And I would that I were dead.
Come groomsman Grief and bridesmaid Pain
Come and stand with a ghastly twain.
My Bridegroom Death is come o'er the meres
To wed a bride with bloody tears.
Ring, ring, O bells, full merrily:
Life-bells to her, death-bells to me:
O Death, I am true wife to thee!