The Writings of James Russell Lowell ...: Poems

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Printed at the Riverside Press, 1890 - 342 pages
 

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Page 293 - And what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days; Then Heaven tries earth if it be in tune, And over it softly her warm ear lays; Whether we look, or whether we listen, We hear life murmur, or see it glisten; Every clod feels a stir of might, An instinct within it that reaches and towers, And, groping blindly above it for light, Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers...
Page 180 - For mankind are one in spirit, and an instinct bears along, Round the earth's electric circle, the swift flash of right or wrong; Whether conscious or unconscious, yet Humanity's vast frame Through its ocean-sundered fibres feels the gush of joy or shame ; — In the gain or loss of one race all the rest have equal claim.
Page 44 - A heritage, it seems to me, e scarce would wish to hold in fee. What doth the poor man's son inherit ? Stout muscles and a sinewy heart, A hardy frame, a hardier spirit ; King of two hands, he does his part In every useful toil and art : A heritage, it seems to me, A king might wish to hold in fee.
Page 227 - When thou, for all thy gold, so common art ! Thou teachest me to deem More sacredly of every human heart, Since each reflects in joy its scanty gleam Of heaven, and could some wondrous secret show Did we but pay the love we owe, And with a child's undoubting wisdom look On all these living pages of God's book.
Page 292 - Gives hope and fervor, nearer draws his theme, First guessed by faint auroral flushes sent Along the wavering vista of his dream. Not only around our infancy Doth heaven with all its splendors lie; « Daily, with souls that cringe and plot, We Sinais climb and know it not...
Page 299 - Twas as if every image that mirrored lay In his depths serene through the summer day, Each fleeting shadow of earth and sky, Lest the happy model should be lost, Had been mimicked in fairy masonry By the elfin builders of the frost.
Page 226 - T is the spring's largess, which she scatters now To rich and poor alike, with lavish hand, Though most hearts never understand To take it at God's value, but pass by The offered wealth with unrewarded eye. " Thou art my tropics and mine Italy ; To look at thee unlocks a warmer clime ; The eyes thou givest me Are in the heart, and heed not space or time : Not in mid June the golden-cuirassed bee Feels a more summer-like, warm ravishment In the white lily's breezy tent, His conquered Sybaris, than...
Page 250 - The thing we long for, that we are For one transcendent moment, Before the Present poor and bare Can make its sneering comment. Still, through our paltry stir and strife, Glows down the wished Ideal, And Longing moulds in clay what Life Carves in the marble Real...
Page 137 - No man is born into the world, whose work Is not born with him ; there is always work, And tools to work withal, for those who will; And blessed are the horny hands of toil I The busy world shoves angrily aside The man who stands with arms akimbo set.
Page 59 - BE NOBLE ! and the nobleness that lies In other men, sleeping, but never dead, Will rise in majesty to meet thine own : Then wilt thou see it gleam in many eyes, Then will pure light around thy path be shed, And thou wilt never more be sad and lone.

About the author (1890)

James Russell Lowell (February 22, 1819 - August 12, 1891) was an American Romantic poet, critic, editor, and diplomat. He is associated with the Fireside Poets, a group of New England writers. But Lowell's real strengths as a writer are better found in his prose essays than in his verse. A man great in literary learning (he was professor of belles-lettres at Harvard College for many years), wise and passionate in his commitments, he was a great upholder of tradition and value. His essays on the great writers of England and Europe still endure, distinguished not only by their astute insights into the literary classics of Western culture, but also by their spectacular style and stunning wit. Lowell graduated from Harvard College in 1838 and went on to earn a law degree from Harvard Law School. He published his first collection of poetry in 1841. Nor was Lowell merely a dweller in an ivory tower. In his youth, he worked passionately for the cause of abolition, risking his literary reputation for a principle that he saw as absolute. In his middle years, he was founding editor of the Atlantic Monthly and guided it during its early years toward its enormous success. In his final years, this great example of American character and style represented the United States first as minister to Spain (1877--80), and afterwards to Great Britain (1880--85). Lowell was married twice: First to the poet Mary White Lowell, who died of tuberculosis, and second to Frances Dunlap. He died on August 12, 1891, at his home, Elmwood. He was buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery.

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