William Cullen Bryant (November 03, 1794 - June 12, 1878)
Born: 3rd November, 1794
Died: 12th June, 1878
Nationality: American
Profession/Occupation: Poet
Region: Massachusetts, New York City, New York
Notable works: "Thanatopsis", "To a Waterfowl", "The Embargo"

William Cullen Bryant Facts

Biography

William Cullen Bryant, (born Nov. 3, 1794, Cummington, Mass., U.S.--died June 12, 1878, New York City), poet of nature, best remembered for "Thanatopsis," and editor for 50 years of the New York Evening Post.

A descendant of early Puritan immigrants, Bryant at 16 entered the sophomore class of Williams College. Because of finances and in hopes of attending Yale, he withdrew without graduating. Unable to enter Yale, he studied law under private guidance at Worthington and at Bridgewater and at 21 was admitted to the bar. He spent nearly 10 years in Plainfield and at Great Barrington as an attorney, a calling for which he held a lifelong aversion. At 26 Bryant married Frances Fairchild, with whom he was happy until her death nearly half a century later. In 1825 he moved to New York City to become coeditor of the New York Review. He became an editor of the Evening Post in 1827; in 1829 he became editor in chief and part owner and continued in this position until his death. His careful investment of his income made Bryant wealthy. He was an active patron of the arts and letters.

The religious conservatism imposed on Bryant in childhood found expression in pious doggerel; the political conservatism of his father stimulated "The Embargo" (1808), in which the 13-year-old poet demanded the resignation of President Jefferson. But in "Thanatopsis" (from the Greek "a view of death"), which he wrote when he was 17 and which made him famous when it was published in The North American Review in 1817, he rejected Puritan dogma for Deism; thereafter he was a Unitarian. Turning also from Federalism, he joined the Democratic party and made the Post an organ of free trade, workingmen's rights, free speech, and abolition. Bryant was for a time a Free-Soiler and later one of the founders of the Republican party. As a man of letters, Bryant securely established himself at the age of 27 with Poems (1821). In his later years he devoted considerable time to translations.

Bryant will be remembered longest as the poet of his native Berkshire hills and streams in such poems as "Thanatopsis" and "To a Waterfowl."

Top 27 William Cullen Bryant quotes

The groves were God's first temples.
First
God
Temples
Were
A stable, changeless state, 'twere cause indeed to weep.
Cause
Indeed
Stable
State
Weep
All that tread, the globe are but a handful to the tribes, that slumber in its bosom.
Bosom
Globe
Handful
Slumber
Tread
Tribes
And suns grow meek, and the meek suns grow brief, and the year smiles as it draws near its death.
Brief
Death
Draws
Grow
Meek
Near
Smiles
Year
Difficulty, my brethren, is the nurse of greatness - a harsh nurse, who roughly rocks her foster - children into strength and athletic proportion.
Athletic
Brethren
Children
Difficulty
Foster
Greatness
Harsh
Her
Nurse
Proportion
Rocks
Roughly
Strength
Who
Eloquence is the poetry of prose.
Eloquence
Poetry
Prose
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.
Away
Beyond
Earth
Flower
Hour
Little
Lives
Lovely
Pass
Prized
Rose
Things
Pain dies quickly, and lets her weary prisoners go; the fiercest agonies have shortest reign.
Dies
Go
Her
Lets
Pain
Prisoners
Quickly
Reign
Shortest
Weary
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.
Art
Excite
Imagination
Manner
Most
Poetry
Symbols
Thought
Which
Remorse is virtue's root; its fair increase are fruits of innocence and blessedness.
Fair
Fruits
Increase
Innocence
Remorse
Root
Virtue
The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within.
Buds
February
Leaves
Sunshine
Tint
Within
Your
The little windflower, whose just opened eye is blue as the spring heaven it gazes at.
Blue
Eye
Heaven
Just
Little
Opened
Spring
Whose
There is no glory in star or blossom till looked upon by a loving eye; There is no fragrance in April breezes till breathed with joy as they wander by.
April
Blossom
Breathed
Eye
Fragrance
Glory
Joy
Looked
Loving
Star
Till
Wander
Truth gets well if she is run over by a locomotive, while error dies of lockjaw if she scratches her finger.
Dies
Error
Finger
Gets
Her
Locomotive
Over
Run
She
Truth
Well
While
Weep not that the world changes - did it keep a stable, changeless state, it were cause indeed to weep.
Cause
Changes
Did
Indeed
Keep
Stable
State
Weep
Were
World
World changes
Where hast thou wandered, gentle gale, to find the perfumes thou dost bring?
Bring
Find
Gale
Gentle
Thou
Wandered
Where
Thine eyes are springs in whose serene And silent waters heaven is seen. Their lashes are the herbs that look On their young figures in the brook.
Brook
Eyes
Figures
Heaven
Herbs
Lashes
Look
Seen
Serene
Silent
Springs
Thine
Waters
Whose
The moon is at her full, and riding high, Floods the calm fields with light. The airs that hover in the summer sky Are all asleep tonight.
Asleep
Calm
Fields
Floods
Full
Her
High
Hover
Light
Moon
Riding
Sky
Summer
Tonight
Go forth under the open sky, and list To Nature's teachings.
Forth
Go
List
Nature
Open
Sky
Teachings
To him who in the love of Nature holds Communion with her visible forms, she speaks A various language.
Communion
Forms
Her
Him
Holds
Language
Love
Nature
She
Speaks
Various
Visible
Who
A sculptor wields The chisel, and the stricken marble grows To beauty.
Beauty
Chisel
Grows
Marble
Sculptor
The Parisian has his amusements as regularly as his meals, the theatre, music, the dance, a walk in the Tuilleries, a refection in the cafe, to which ladies resort as commonly as the other sex. Perpetual business, perpetual labor, is a thing of which he seems to have no idea.
Business
Cafe
Commonly
Dance
He
His
Idea
Labor
Ladies
Meals
Music
No idea
Other
Perpetual
I think I shall return to America even a better patriot than when I left it. A citizen of the United States, travelling on the continent of Europe, finds the contrast between a government of power and a government of opinion forced upon him at every step.
America
Better
Between
Citizen
Continent
Contrast
Europe
Even
Every
Every step
Finds
Forced
Government
Him
A herd of prairie-wolves will enter a field of melons and quarrel about the division of the spoils as fiercely and noisily as so many politicians.
About
Division
Enter
Field
Fiercely
Herd
Many
Politicians
Quarrel
Spoils
Will
A beautiful city is Richmond, seated on the hills that overlook the James River. The dwellings have a pleasant appearance, often standing by themselves in the midst of gardens. In front of several, I saw large magnolias, their dark, glazed leaves glittering in the March sunshine.
Appearance
Beautiful
Beautiful city
City
Dark
Front
Gardens
Glittering
Hills
James
Large
Leaves
March
Midst
Nothing can be more striking to one who is accustomed to the little inclosures called public parks in our American cities, than the spacious, open grounds of London. I doubt, in fact, whether any person fully comprehends their extent, from any of the ordinary descriptions of them, until he has seen them or tried to walk over them.
Accustomed
American
American cities
Any
Cities
Descriptions
Doubt
Extent
Fact
Fully
Grounds
He
In fact
Little
The birch-bark canoe of the savage seems to me one of the most beautiful and perfect things of the kind constructed by human art.
Art
Beautiful
Canoe
Constructed
Human
Kind
Me
Most
Most beautiful
Perfect
Savage
Seems
Things

William Cullen Bryant essays

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