The Writings of James Russell Lowell ...: Poems

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Printed at the Riverside Press, 1890 - American literature - 342 pages
 

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Page 180 - Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide, In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side...
Page 178 - WHEN a deed is done for Freedom, through the broad earth's aching breast Huns a thrill of joy prophetic, trembling on from east to west, And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels the soul within him climb To the awful verge of manhood, as the energy sublime Of a century bursts full-blossomed on the thorny stem of Time.
Page 298 - With quaint arabesques of ice-fern leaf; Sometimes it was simply smooth and clear For the gladness of heaven to shine through, and here He had caught the nodding bulrush-tops And hung them thickly with diamond drops, That crystalled the beams of moon and sun, And made a star of every one : No mortal builder's most rare device Could match this winter-palace of ice...
Page 123 - GOD sends his teachers unto every age, To every clime, and every race of men, With revelations fitted to their growth And shape of mind, nor gives the realm of Truth Into the selfish rule of one sole race...
Page 303 - Lo, it is I, be not afraid! In many climes, without avail, Thou hast spent thy life...
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 182 - Then to side with Truth is noble when we share her wretched crust, Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and 'tis prosperous to be just ; Then it is the brave man chooses, while the coward stands aside, Doubting in his abject spirit, till his Lord is crucified, And the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied.
Page 292 - Earth gets its price for what Earth gives us; The beggar is taxed for a corner to die in, The priest hath his fee who comes and shrives us, We bargain for the graves we lie in; At the Devil's booth are all things sold, Each ounce of dross costs its ounce of gold...
Page 181 - Careless seems the great Avenger; history's pages but record One death-grapple in the darkness 'twixt old systems and the Word; Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne, — Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown, Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.
Page 292 - 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...

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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