William Cullen Bryant

The Death of Lincoln

Oh, slow to smit and swift to spare, Gentle and merciful and just! Who, in the fear of God, didst bear The sword of power, a nation’s trust! In sorrow by thy bier we

The Constellations

O constellations of the early night, That sparkled brighter as the twilight died, And made the darkness glorious! I have seen Your rays grow dim upon the horizon’s edge, And sink behind the mountains.


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

A Song of Pitcairn's Island

Come, take our boy, and we will go Before our cabin door; The winds shall bring us, as they blow, The murmurs of the shore; And we will kiss his young blue eyes, And

The West Wind

Beneath the forest’s skirts I rest, Whose branching pines rise dark and high, And hear the breezes of the West Among the threaded foliage sigh. Sweet Zephyr! why that sound of wo? Is not


They talk of short-lived pleasure be it so Pain dies as quickly; stern, hard-featured pain Expires, and lets her weary prisoner go. The fiercest agonies have shortest reign; And after dreams of horror, comes

To the Fringed Gentian

Thou blossom bright with autumn dew, And colored with the heaven’s own blue, That openest when the quiet light Succeeds the keen and frosty night. Thou comest not when violets lean O’er wandering brooks

The Gladness of Nature

Is this a time to be cloudy and sad, When our mother Nature laughs around; When even the deep blue heavens look glad, And gladness breathes from the blossoming ground? There are notes of

After a Tempest

The day had been a day of wind and storm; The wind was laid, the storm was overpast, And stooping from the zenith, bright and warm Shone the great sun on the wide earth

Spring in Town

The country ever has a lagging Spring, Waiting for May to call its violets forth, And June its roses showers and sunshine bring, Slowly, the deepening verdure o’er the earth; To put their foliage

Hymn of the City

Not in the solitude Alone may man commune with heaven, or see Only in savage wood And sunny vale, the present Deity; Or only hear his voice Where the winds whisper and the waves

The Yellow Violet

When beechen buds begin to swell, And woods the blue-bird’s warble know, The yellow violet’s modest bell Peeps from last-year’s leaves below. Ere russet fields their green resume, Sweet flower, I love, in forest

Summer Wind

It is a sultry day; the sun has drank The dew that lay upon the morning grass, There is no rustling in the lofty elm That canopies my dwelling, and its shade Scarce cools

Love and Folly

Love’s worshippers alone can know The thousand mysteries that are his; His blazing torch, his twanging bow, His blooming age are mysteries. A charming science but the day Were all too short to con


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
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