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William Cullen Bryant Poems

A collection of select William Cullen Bryant famous poems that were written by William Cullen Bryant or written about the poet by other famous poets. PoetrySoup is a comprehensive educational resource of the greatest poems and poets on history.

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by Bryant, William Cullen
The groves were God's first temples. Ere man learned 
To hew the shaft, and lay the architrave, 
And spread the roof above them,---ere he framed 
The lofty vault, to gather and roll back 
The sound of anthems; in the darkling wood, 
Amidst the cool and silence, he knelt down, 
And offered to the Mightiest solemn thanks 
And supplication. For his...Read More

by Bryant, William Cullen
THE GROVES were God's first temples. Ere man learned 
To hew the shaft and lay the architrave  
And spread the roof above them¡ªere he framed 
The lofty vault to gather and roll back 
The sound of anthems; in the darkling wood 5 
Amidst the cool and silence he knelt down  
And offered to the Mightiest solemn thanks 
And...Read More

by Bryant, William Cullen
 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 at last. 
I stood upon the upland slope and cast 
My eye upon a broad and beauteous scene, 
Where the vast plain lay girt by...Read More

by Bryant, William Cullen
 Oh! could I hope the wise and pure in heart
Might hear my song without a frown, nor deem
My voice unworthy of the theme it tries,--
I would take up the hymn to Death, and say
To the grim power, The world hath slandered thee
And mocked thee. On thy dim and shadowy brow
They place an iron crown, and call thee king
Of terrors,...Read More

by Bryant, William Cullen
 Stranger, if thou hast learned a truth which needs 
No school of long experience, that the world 
Is full of guilt and misery, and hast seen 
Enough of all its sorrows, crimes, and cares, 
To tire thee of it, enter this wild wood 
And view the haunts of nature. The calm shade 
Shall bring a kindred calm, and the...Read More

by Bryant, William Cullen
I GAZED upon the glorious sky 
And the green mountains round  
And thought that when I came to lie 
At rest within the ground  
'T were pleasant that in flowery June 5 
When brooks send up a cheerful tune  
And groves a joyous sound  
The sexton's hand my grave to make  
The rich green mountain-turf...Read More

by Bryant, William Cullen
 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 it o'er;
So take of me this little lay,
A sample of its boundless lore.

As once, beneath the fragrant shade
Of myrtles breathing heaven's own air,
The children, Love and Folly, played--
A quarrel rose betwixt...Read More

by Bryant, William Cullen
 Yet one smile more, departing, distant sun! 
One mellow smile through the soft vapoury air, 
Ere, o'er the frozen earth, the loud winds ran, 
Or snows are sifted o'er the meadows bare. 
One smile on the brown hills and naked trees, 
And the dark rocks whose summer wreaths are cast, 
And the blue Gentian flower, that, in the breeze,...Read More

by Bryant, William Cullen
 There is wind where the rose was, 
Cold rain where sweet grass was, 
And clouds like sheep 
Stream o'er the steep 
Grey skies where the lark was. 

Nought warm where your hand was, 
Nought gold where your hair was, 
But phantom, forlorn, 
Beneath the thorn, 
Your ghost where your face was. 

Cold wind where your voice was, 
Tears, tears...Read More

by Bryant, William Cullen
 The landscape sleeps in mist from morn till noon;
And, if the sun looks through, 'tis with a face
Beamless and pale and round, as if the moon,
When done the journey of her nightly race,
Had found him sleeping, and supplied his place.
For days the shepherds in the fields may be,
Nor mark a patch of sky— blindfold they trace,
The plains, that seem...Read More

by Bryant, William Cullen
OUR band is few but true and tried  
Our leader frank and bold; 
The British soldier trembles 
When Marion's name is told. 
Our fortress is the good greenwood 5 
Our tent the cypress-tree; 
We know the forest round us  
As seamen know the sea. 
We know its walls of thorny vines  
Its glades of reedy grass 10...Read More

by Bryant, William Cullen
 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 out, the woods are slack,
And one by one the singing-birds come back.

Within the city's bounds the time of flowers
Comes earlier. Let a mild and sunny day,
Such as full often, for...Read More

by Bryant, William Cullen
 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 me. All is silent, save the faint 
And interrupted murmur of the bee, 
Settling on the sick flowers, and then again 
Instantly on the wing....Read More

by Bryant, William Cullen
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 of beauty and she glides 5 
Into his darker musings with a mild 
And healing sympathy that steals away 
Their sharpness ere he is aware. When...Read More

by Bryant, William Cullen
ONCE this soft turf, this rivulet's sands, 
Were trampled by a hurrying crowd, 
And fiery hearts and arm¨¨d hands 
Encountered in the battle-cloud. 

Ah! never shall the land forget 5 
How gushed the life-blood of her brave¡ª 
Gushed, warm with hope and courage yet, 
Upon the soil they fought to save. 

Now all is calm, and fresh, and still; 
Alone...Read More

by Bryant, William Cullen
LET me move slowly through the street  
Filled with an ever-shifting train  
Amid the sound of steps that beat 
The murmuring walks like autumn rain. 

How fast the flitting figures come! 5 
The mild the fierce the stony face; 
Some bright with thoughtless smiles and some 
Where secret tears have left their trace. 

They pass¡ªto toil to strife...Read More

by Bryant, William Cullen
THE MELANCHOLY days have come the saddest of the year  
Of wailing winds and naked woods and meadows brown and sere; 
Heaped in the hollows of the grove the autumn leaves lie dead; 
They rustle to the eddying gust and to the rabbit's tread; 
The robin and the wren are flown and from the shrubs the jay 5 
And...Read More

by Bryant, William Cullen
HOW shall I know thee in the sphere which keeps 
The disembodied spirits of the dead  
When all of thee that time could wither sleeps 
And perishes among the dust we tread? 

For I shall feel the sting of ceaseless pain 5 
If there I meet thy gentle presence not; 
Nor hear the voice I love nor read again...Read More

by Bryant, William Cullen
THOU unrelenting Past! 
Strong are the barriers round thy dark domain  
And fetters sure and fast  
Hold all that enter thy unbreathing reign. 

Far in thy realm withdrawn 5 
Old empires sit in sullenness and gloom  
And glorious ages gone 
Lie deep within the shadow of thy womb. 

Childhood with all its mirth  
Youth Manhood Age...Read More

by Bryant, William Cullen
COME let us plant the apple-tree. 
Cleave the tough greensward with the spade; 
Wide let its hollow bed be made; 
There gently lay the roots and there 
Sift the dark mould with kindly care 5 
And press it o'er them tenderly  
As round the sleeping infant's feet  
We softly fold the cradle sheet; 
So plant we the apple-tree....Read More