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William Cullen Bryant Quotes


An American Romantic poet and journalist.
(1794 - 1878)

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A sculptor wields The chisel, and the stricken marble grows To beauty.
 

A stable, changeless state, 'twere cause indeed to weep.
 

All that tread, the globe are but a handful to the tribes, that slumber in its bosom.
 

And suns grow meek, and the meek suns grow brief, and the year smiles as it draws near its death.
 

Difficulty is a nurse of greatness - a harsh nurse, who rocks her foster children roughly, but rocks them into strength and athletic proportions. - The mind, grappling with great aims and wrestling with mighty impediments, grows by a certain necessity to the stature of greatness.
[Adversity]
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Eloquence is the poetry of prose.
[Eloquence]
 

Features - the great soul's apparent seat.
 

Go forth under the open sky, and list To Nature's teachings.
 

God hath yoked to guilt, her pale tormentor, misery.
[Guilt]
 

Let me often to these solitudes retire, and in their presence reassure my feeble virtue.
[Retirement]
 

Loveliest of lovely things are they on earth that soonest pass away. The rose that lives its little hour is prized beyond the sculptured flower.
 

Old age is wise for itself, but not for the community. - It is wise in declining new enterprises, for it has not the power or the time to execute them; wise in shrinking from difficulty, for it has not the strength to overcome it; wise in avoiding danger, for it lacks the faculty of ready and swift action by which dangers are parried and converted into advantages. - But this is not wisdom for mankind at large, by whom new enterprises must be undertaken, dangers met, and difficulties surmounted.
 

Pain dies quickly, and lets her weary prisoners go; the fiercest agonies have shortest reign.
 

Poetry is that art which selects and arranges the symbols of thought in such a manner as to excite the imagination the most powerfully and delightfully.
 

Remorse is virtue's root; its fair increase are fruits of innocence and blessedness.
[Remorse]
 

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 sweet breeze that makes the green leaves dance shall waft a balm to thy sick heart.
[Trees]
 

The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within.
 

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.
[Trees]
 

The little windflower, whose just opened eye is blue as the spring heaven it gazes at.
 

The melancholy days have come, the saddest of the year, Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and sear.
 


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