William Cullen Bryant

William Cullen

American Poet, Critic, Editor

Author Quotes

When April winds grew soft, the maple burst into a flush of scarlet flowers. The tulip tree, high up, opened in airs of June her multitude of golden chalices to humming-birds and silken-wing'd insects of the sky.

When beechen buds begin to swell, And woods the blue-bird's warble know, The yellow violet's modest bell Peeps from the last year's leaves below.

When shrieked the bleak November winds, and smote the woods, and the brown fields were herbless, and the shades that met above the merry rivulet were spoiled, I sought, I loved them still; they seemed like old companions in adversity.

Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers, that lately sprang and stood in brighter light and softer airs, a beauteous sisterhood?

Where fall the tears of love the rose appears, And where the ground is bright with friendship's tears, Forget-me-not, and violets, heavenly blue, Spring glittering with the cheerful drops like dew.

Where hast thou wandered. gentle gale, to find the perfumes thou dost bring?

Who shall face the blast that wakes the fury of the sea? The vast hulks Are whirled like chaff upon the waves; the sails Fly, rent like webs of gossamer; the masts Are snapped asunder.

Wild was the day; the wintry sea moaned sadly on New England's strand, when first the thoughtful and the free, our fathers, trod the desert land.

Wind of the sunny south! Oh, still delay in the gay woods and in the golden air, Like to a good old age released from care, Journeying, in long serenity, away. In such a bright, late quiet, would that I Might wear out life like thee, mid bowers and brooks, And, dearer yet, the sunshine of kind looks, And music of kind voices ever nigh; And when my last sand twinkled in the glass, Pass silently from men as thou dost pass.

Truth crushed to earth shall rise again.

Winning isn't everything, but it beats anything in second place.

Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again; th' eternal years of God are hers; but Error, wounded, writhes in pain, and dies among his worshippers.

Within the woods, whose young and half transparent leaves scarce cast A shade, gray circles of anemones Danced on their stalks.

Vainly the fowler's eye might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong, as, darkly painted on the crimson sky, thy figure floats along.

Woo the fair one when around Early birds are singing; When o'er all the fragrant ground Early herbs are springing: When the brookside, bank, and grove All with blossom laden, Shine with beauty, breathe of love, Woo the timid maiden.

Virtue cannot dwell with slaves, nor reign o'er those who cower to take a tyrant's yoke.

Yet will that beauteous image make the dreary sea less drear and thy remembered smile will wake the hope that tramples fear.

We plant, upon the sunny lea, a shadow for the noontide hour, a shelter from the summer shower, when we plant the apple-tree.

Your peaks are beautiful, ye Apennines! In the soft light of these serenest skies; From the broad highland region, black with pines, Fair as the hills of Paradise they rise, Bathed in the tint Peruvian slaves behold In rosy flushes on the virgin gold.

Weep not that the world changes -- did it keep a stable, changeless state, it were cause indeed to weep. All that tread, the globe are but a handful to the tribes, that slumber in its bosom.

What plant we in this apple tree? Sweets for a hundred flowery springs To load the May-wind's restless wings, When, from the orchard-row, he pours Its fragrance through our open doors; A world of blossoms for the bee, Flowers for the sick girl's silent room, For the glad infant sprigs of bloom, We plant with the apple tree.

Ah, why should we, in the world's riper years, neglect God's ancient sanctuaries, and adore only among the crowd and under roofs that our frail hands have raised?

Autumn is here; we cull his lingering flowers. The sweet calm sunshine of October, now Warms the low spot; upon its grass mold The purple oak-leaf falls; the birchen bough Drops its bright spoil like arrow-heads of gold.

Eloquence is the poetry of prose.

How fast the flitting figures come! The mild, the fierce, the stony face; some bright with thoughtless smiles, and some where secret tears have left their trace.

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William Cullen
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American Poet, Critic, Editor