Category Archives: James Russell Lowell

A Love Dream

Love by Peace by Piece Crations

 

PLEASANT thoughts come wandering,

When thou art far, from thee to me;

On their silver wings they bring

A very peaceful ecstasy,

A feeling of eternal spring;

So that Winter half forgets

Everything but that thou art,

And, in his bewildered heart,

Dreameth of the violets,

Or those bluer flowers that ope,

Flowers of steadfast love and hope,

Watered by the living wells,

Of memories dear, and dearer prophecies,

When young spring forever dwells

In the sunshine of thine eyes.

I have most holy dreams of thee,

All night I have such dreams;

And, when I awake, reality

No whit the darker seems;

Through the twin gates of Hope and Memory

They pour in crystal streams

From out an angel’s calmed eyes,

Who, from twilight till sunrise,

Far away in the upper deep,

Poised upon his shining wings,

Over us his watch doth keep,

And, as he watcheth, ever sings.

Through the still night I hear him sing,

Down-looking on our sleep;

I hear his clear, clear harp-strings ring,

And, as the golden notes take wing,

Gently downward hovering,

For very joy I weep;

He singeth songs of holy Love,

That quiver through the depths afar,

Where the blessed spirits are,

And lingeringly from above

Shower till the morning star

His silver shield hath buckled on

And sentinels the dawn alone,

Quivering his gleamy spear

Through the dusky atmosphere.

Almost, my love, I fear the morn,

When that blessed voice shall cease,

Lest it should leave me quite forlorn,

Stript of my snowy robe of peace;

And yet the bright reality

Is fairer than all dreams can be,

For, through my spirit, all day long,

Ring echoes of that angel-song

In melodious thoughts of thee;

And well I know it cannot die

Till eternal morn shall break,

For, through life’s slumber, thou and I

Will keep it for each other’s sake,

And it shall not be silent when we wake.

 

Poetry by James Russell Lowell ,Lowell’s Poetical Works, 1892

 

 

Advertisements

The Merchant Poet of New England

James Russell Lowell

James-Russell-Lowell-Quotes-3

In the year 1639 Percival Lowle, or Lowell, a merchant of Bristol, England, landed at the little seaport town of Newbury, Mass.   

We generally speak of a man’s descent.  In the case of James Russell Lowell’s ancestry it was rather an ascent through eight generations.

Percival Lowle’s son, John Lowell, was a worthy cooper in old Newbury; his great-grandson was a shoe-maker, his great-great-grandson was

the Rev. John Lowell of Newburyport, the father of the Hon. John Lowell, who is regarded s the author of the clause in the Massachusetts Constitution abolishing slavery.

 

The Poet

He who hath felt life’s mystery

Press on him like thick night,

Whose soul hath known no history

But struggling after light;–

He who hath seen dim shapes arise

In the soundless depths of soul,

Which gaze on him with meaning eyes

Full of the mighty whole,

Yet will no word of healing speak,

Although he pray night-long,

“O, help me, save me! I am weak,

And ye are wondrous strong!”–

Who, in the midnight dark and deep,

Hath felt a voice of might

Come echoing through the halls of sleep

From the lone heart of Night,

And, starting from his restless bed,

Hath watched and wept to know

What meant that oracle of dread

That stirred his being so;

He who hath felt how strong and great

This Godlike soul of man,

And looked full in the eyes of Fate,

Since Life and Thought began;

The armor of whose moveless trust

Knoweth no spot of weakness,

Who hath trod fear into the dust

Beneath the feet of meakness;–

He who hath calmly borne his cross,

Knowing himself the king

Of time, nor counted it a loss

To learn by suffering;–

And who hath worshipped woman still

With a pure soul and lowly,

Nor ever hath in deed or will

Profaned her temple holy–

He is the Poet, him unto

The gift of song is given,

Whose life is lofty, strong, and true,

Who never fell from Heaven;

He is the Poet, from his lips

To live forevermore,

Majestical as full-sailed ships,

The words of Wisdom pour.

From Lowell’s Poetical Works Copyright 1892