William Cullen Bryant

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

Quotations

  • ''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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  • ''on thy brow
    Shall sit a nobler grace than now.
    Deep in the brightness of the skies
    The thronging years in glory rise.
    And, as they fleet,
    Drop strength and riches at thy feet.''
    William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), U.S. poet. Oh Mother of a Mighty Race (l. 37-42). . . Family Book of Best Loved Poems, The. David L. George, ed. (1952) Doubleday & Company.
  • ''There's freedom at thy gates and rest
    For Earth's downtrodden and oppressed,''
    William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), U.S. poet. Oh Mother of a Mighty Race (l. 31-32). . . Family Book of Best Loved Poems, The. David L. George, ed. (1952) Doubleday & Company.
  • ''Oh mother of a mighty race,
    Yet lovely in thy youthful grace!
    The elder dames, thy haughty peers,
    Admire and hate thy blooming years.''
    William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), U.S. poet. Oh Mother of a Mighty Race. . . Family Book of Best Loved Poems, The. David L. George, ed. (1952) Doubleday & Company.
  • ''When you can pipe that merry old strain,
    Robert of Lincoln, come back again.''
    William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), U.S. poet. Robert of Lincoln (l. 68-69). . . Oxford Book of Children's Verse in America, The. Donald Hall, ed. (1985) Oxford University Press.
  • ''Merrily swinging on brier and weed,
    Near to the nest of his litle dame,
    Over the mountainside or mead,
    Robert of Lincoln is telling his name:
    Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,''
    William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), U.S. poet. Robert of Lincoln (l. 1-5). . . Oxford Book of Children's Verse in America, The. Donald Hall, ed. (1985) Oxford University Press.
  • ''Summer wanes; the children are grown;
    Fun and frolic no more he knows;''
    William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), U.S. poet. Robert of Lincoln (l. 62-63). . . Oxford Book of Children's Verse in America, The. Donald Hall, ed. (1985) Oxford University Press.
  • ''All that tread,
    The globe are but a handful to the tribes,
    That slumber in its bosom.''
    William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), U.S. poet, editor. "Thanatopsis," North American Review (Cedar Falls, Iowa, Sept. 1817).
  • ''To him who, in the love of Nature, holds
    Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
    A various language: for his gayer hours''
    William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), U.S. poet. Thanatopsis (l. 1-3). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellmann, ed. (1976) Oxford University Press.
  • ''So live that when thy summons comes to join
    The innumerable caravan that moves
    To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
    His chamber in the silent halls of death,
    Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
    Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
    By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
    Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
    About him and lies down to pleasant dreams.''
    William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), U.S. poet. Thanatopsis (l. 73-81). . . New Oxford Book of American Verse, The. Richard Ellmann, ed. (1976) Oxford University Press.

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Consumption

Ay, thou art for the grave; thy glances shine
Too brightly to shine long; another Spring
Shall deck her for men's eyes---but not for thine---
Sealed in a sleep which knows no wakening.
The fields for thee have no medicinal leaf,
And the vexed ore no mineral of power;
And they who love thee wait in anxious grief
Till the slow plague shall bring the final hour.
Glide softly to thy rest then; Death should come

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