Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER, by PHOEBE CARY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Great master of the poet's art!
Last Line: Itself a canticle of love!
Subject(s): Life; Love; Poetry & Poets; Sea; Whittier, John Greenleaf (1807-1892); Ocean

GREAT master of the poet's art!
Surely the sources of thy powers
Lie in that true and tender heart
Whose every utterance touches ours.

For, better than thy words, that glow
With sunset dyes or noontide heat,
That count the treasures of the snow,
Or paint the blossoms at our feet,

Are those that teach the sorrowing how
To lay aside their fear and doubt,
And in submissive love to bow
To love that passeth finding out.

And thou for such hast come to be
In every home an honored guest --
Even from the cities by the sea
To the broad prairies of the West.

Thy lays have cheered the humble home
Where men who prayed for freedom knelt;
And women, in their anguish dumb,
Have heard thee utter what they felt.

And thou hast battled for the right
With many a brave and trenchant word.
And shown us how the pen may fight
A mightier battle than the sword.

And therefore men in coming years
Shall chant thy praises loud and long;
And woman name thee through their tears
A poet greater than his song.

But not thy strains, with courage rife,
Nor holiest hymns, shall rank above
The rhythmic beauty of thy life,
Itself a canticle of love!

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