William Cullen Bryant

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

William Cullen Bryant
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an American romantic poet, journalist, and long-time editor of the New York Evening Post.

Bryant was born on November 3, 1794, in a log cabin near Cummington, Massachusetts; the home of his birth is today marked with a plaque. He was the second son of Peter Bryant, a doctor and later a state legislator, and Sarah Snell. His maternal ancestry traces back to passengers on the Mayflower; his father's, to colonists who arrived about a dozen years later.

Bryant and his family moved to a new home when he was two years old. The William Cullen Bryant Homestead, his boyhood home, is now a museum. After just two years at Williams College, he studied law in Worthington and ... more »

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  • ''Difficulty, my brethren, is the nurse of greatness—a harsh nurse, who roughly rocks her foster-children into strength and athletic proportion.''
    William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), U.S. poet, editor. Speech, December 15, 1851.
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Best Poem of William Cullen Bryant

Thanatopsis

To him who in the love of nature holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language; for his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty; and she glides
Into his darker musings, with a mild
And healing sympathy that steals away
Their sharpness ere he is aware. When thoughts
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
Over thy spirit, and sad images
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,
Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart;--
Go forth, under the ...

Read the full of Thanatopsis

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