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American poet
(1819 - 1891)
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What a sense of security in an old book which Time has criticised for us!
      - My Study Windows--Library of Old Authors

And what they dare to dream of, date to do.
      - Ode Recited at the Harvard Commemoration
         (st. 3) [Daring]

Put golden padlocks on Truth's lips, be callous as ye will,
  From soul to soul, o'er all the world, leaps one electric thrill.
      - On the Capture of Certain Fugitive Slaves near Washington

The traitor to Humanity is the traitor most accursed;
  Man is more than Constitutions; better rot beneath the sod,
    Than be true to Church and State while we are doubly false to God.
      - On the Capture of Certain Fugitive Slaves near Washington

But all God's angels come to us undisguised:
  Sorrow and sickness, poverty and death,
    One after other lift their frowning masks,
      And we behold the Seraph's face beneath,
        All radiant with the glory and the calm
          Of having looked upon the front of God.
      - On the Death of a Friend's Child (l. 21)

He strove among God's suffering poor
  One gleam of brotherhood to send;
    The dungeon open its hungry door
      To give the truth one martyr more,
        Then shut,--and here behold the end!
      - On the Death of C.T. Torrey [Martyrdom]

New occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good uncouth;
  They must upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth.
      - Present Crisis [Progress]

A nature wise
  With finding in itself the types of all,--
    With watching from the dim verge of the time
      What things to be are visible in the gleams
        Thrown forward on them from the luminous past,--
          Wise with the history of its own frail heart,
            With reverence and sorrow, and with love,
              Broad as the world, for freedom and for man.
      - Prometheus (l. 216) [Character]

Evil springs up, and flowers, and bears no seed,
  And feeds the green earth with its swift decay,
    Leaving it richer for the growth of truth.
      - Prometheus (l. 263) [Evil]

An angel stood and met my gaze,
  Through the low doorway of my tent;
    The tent is struck, the vision stays;
      I only know she came and went.
      - She Came and Went [Visions]

Violet! sweet violet!
  Thine eyes are full of tears;
    Are they wet
      Even yet
        With the thought of other years?
      - Song [Violets]

Be noble! and the nobleness that lies
  In other men, sleeping, but never dead,
    Will rise in majesty to meet thine own.
      - Sonnet IV [Nobility]

To win the secret of a weed's plain heart.
      - Sonnet XXV [Weeds]

Two meanings have our lightest fantasies,
  One of the flesh, and of the spirit one.
      - Sonnet XXXIV [Fancy]

They are slaves who fear to speak
  For the fallen and the weak;
    . . . .
      They are slaves who dare not be
        In the right with two or three.
      - Stanzas on Freedom (last stanza)
        [Fear : Slavery]

A beggar through the world am I,
  From place to place I wander by.
    Fill up my pilgrim's scrip for me,
      For Christ's sweet sake and charity.
      - The Beggar [Beggary]

Sence I've ben here, I've hired a chap to look about for me,
  To git me a transplantable an' thrifty fem'ly-tree.
      - The Biglow Papers (2nd series, no. 3, III)

Laborin' man an' laborin' woman
  Hev one glory an' one shame;
    Ev'ything thet's done inhuman
      Injers all on 'em the same.
      - The Biglow Papers
         (first series, no. 1, st. 10) [Humanity]

An' you've gut to git up airly
  Ef you want to take in God.
      - The Biglow Papers
         (first series, no. 1, st. 5) [God]

This goin' ware glory waits ye haint one agreeable feetur.
      - The Biglow Papers (first series, no. II)

I don't believe in princerple,
  But, oh, I du in interest.
      - The Biglow Papers
         (first series, no. VI, st. 9)

Ez to my princerples, I glory
  In hevin' nothin' o' the sort.
      - The Biglow Papers
         (first series, no. VII, st. 10)

Of my merit
  On that pint you yourself may jedge:
    All is, I never drink no sperit,
      Nor I haint never signed no pledge.
      - The Biglow Papers
         (first series, no. VII, st. 9)

Ez fer war, I call it murder,--
  Ther you hev it plain and flat;
    I don't want to go no furder
      Than my Testyment fer that.
      - The Biglow Papers (no. 1) [War]

'Tain't a knowin' kind of cattle
  Thet is ketched with mouldy corn.
      - The Biglow Papers (no. 1, l. 3)

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