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The Twenty-Second of February
by
William Cullen Bryant


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Pale is the February sky,   
  And brief the mid-day’s sunny hours;   
The wind-swept forest seems to sigh   
  For the sweet time of leaves and flowers.   
    
Yet has no month a prouder day,   
  Not even when the summer broods   
O’er meadows in their fresh array,   
  Or autumn tints the glowing woods.   
    
For this chill season now again,   
  Brings, in its annual round, the morn   
When, greatest of the sons of men,   
  Our glorious Washington was born.   
    
Lo, where, beneath an icy shield,   
  Calmly the mighty Hudson flows!   
By snow-clad fell and frozen field,   
  Broadening, the lordly river goes.   
    
The wildest storm that sweeps through space,   
  And rends the oak with sudden force,   
Can raise no ripple on his face,   
  Or slacken his majestic course.   
    
Thus, ’mid the wreck of thrones, shall live   
  Unmarred, undimmed, our hero’s fame,   
And years succeeding years shall give   
  Increase of honors to his name.


This poem is in the public domain.  

 

 


William Cullen Bryant (1794 – 1878) was a lawyer, poet, and journalist. He was born in Massachusetts to a doctor and a mother who could trace her ancestry back to John Alden and Priscilla Mullins (of the Mayflower). Drawn to poetry even as a child, Cullen (as he was called) was considered a prodigy and had published several poems by the time he was thirteen. Unable to attend Yale due to his family’s financial limitations, he reluctantly pursued a degree in law and practiced successfully, if not happily, for ten years before securing a position as a newspaper journalist. He eventually became editor-in-chief of the New York Evening Post and remained in that role for fifty years, becoming one of the most popular and influential figures of his time.

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Post New Comment:
wordartdjc:
So True...So true. LIFE HAS REALLY NOT CHANGED VERY GREATLY IN ALL OF THESE YEARS EXCEPT PERHAPS FOR THE CLIMATE.
Posted 02/22/2019 09:37 AM
michael escoubas:
We need this reminder of "true" greatest today more than ever!--Wonderful post.
Posted 02/22/2019 09:34 AM


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