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To H. W. Longfellow Post by :Maggie Category :Poems Author :Oliver Wendell Holmes Date :November 2010 Read :1298

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To H. W. Longfellow


OUR Poet, who has taught the Western breeze
To waft his songs before him o'er the seas,
Will find them wheresoe'er his wanderings reach
Borne on the spreading tide of English speech
Twin with the rhythmic waves that kiss the farthest beach.

Where shall the singing bird a stranger be
That finds a nest for him in every tree?
How shall he travel who can never go
Where his own voice the echoes do not know,
Where his own garden flowers no longer learn to grow?

Ah! gentlest soul! how gracious, how benign
Breathes through our troubled life that voice of thine,
Filled with a sweetness born of happier spheres,
That wins and warms, that kindles, softens, cheers,
That calms the wildest woe and stays the bitterest tears!

Forgive the simple words that sound like praise;
The mist before me dims my gilded phrase;
Our speech at best is half alive and cold,
And save that tenderer moments make us bold
Our whitening lips would close, their truest truth untold.

We who behold our autumn sun below
The Scorpion's sign, against the Archer's bow,
Know well what parting means of friend from friend;
After the snows no freshening dews descend,
And what the frost has marred, the sunshine will not mend.

So we all count the months, the weeks, the days,
That keep thee from us in unwonted ways,
Grudging to alien hearths our widowed time;
And one has shaped a breath in artless rhyme
That sighs, "We track thee still through each remotest clime."

What wishes, longings, blessings, prayers shall be
The more than golden freight that floats with thee!
And know, whatever welcome thou shalt find,--
Thou who hast won the hearts of half mankind,--
The proudest, fondest love thou leavest still behind!

(The end)
Oliver Wendell Holmes's poem: To H. W. Longfellow

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To Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg To Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg

To Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg
FOR HIS "JUBILAEUM" AT BERLIN, NOVEMBER 5, 1868This poem was written at the suggestion of Mr. George Bancroft, thehistorian.THOU who hast taught the teachers of mankindHow from the least of things the mightiest grow,What marvel jealous Nature made thee blind,Lest man should learn what angels long to know?Thou in the flinty rock, the river's flow,In the thick-moted sunbeam's sifted lightHast trained thy downward-pointed tube to showWorlds within worlds unveiled to mortal sight,Even as the patient watchers of the night,--The cyclope gleaners of the fruitful skies,--Show the wide misty way where heaven is whiteAll paved with suns that daze our wondering eyes.Far

At A Dinner To General Grant At A Dinner To General Grant

At A Dinner To General Grant
JULY 31, 1865WHEN treason first began the strifeThat crimsoned sea and shore,The Nation poured her hoarded lifeOn Freedom's threshing-floor;From field and prairie, east and west,From coast and hill and plain,The sheaves of ripening manhood pressedThick as the bearded grain.Rich was the harvest; souls as trueAs ever battle tried;But fiercer still the conflict grew,The floor of death more wide;Ah, who forgets that dreadful dayWhose blot of grief and shameFour bitter years scarce wash awayIn seas of blood and flame?Vain, vain the Nation's lofty boasts,--Vain all her sacrifice!"Give me a man to lead my hosts,O God in heaven!" she cries.While Battle whirls his