Oliver Wendell Holmes

A Parting Health By Oliver Wendell Holmes

A Parting Health By Oliver Wendell Holmes

A Parting Health TO J. L. MOTLEY YES, we knew we must lose him,–though friendship may claim To blend her green leaves with the laurels of fame; Though fondly, at parting, we call him our own, ‘T is the whisper of love when the bugle has blown. As the rider that rests with the spur on his... »

To The Portrait Of By Oliver Wendell Holmes

To The Portrait Of By Oliver Wendell Holmes

To The Portrait Of Well, Miss, I wonder where you live, I wonder what’s your name, I wonder how you came to be In such a stylish frame; Perhaps you were a favorite child, Perhaps an only one; Perhaps your friends were not aware You had your portrait done. Yet you must be a harmless soul; I cannot ... »

The Star And The Water Lily By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Star And The Water Lily By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Star And The Water Lily THE SUN stepped down from his golden throne, And lay in the silent sea, And the Lily had folded her satin leaves, For a sleepy thing was she; What is the Lily dreaming of? Why crisp the waters blue? See, see, she is lifting her varnished lid! Her white leaves are glisteni... »

The Meeting Of The Dryads By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Meeting Of The Dryads By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Meeting Of The Dryads IT was not many centuries since, When, gathered on the moonlit green, Beneath the Tree of Liberty, A ring of weeping sprites was seen. The freshman’s lamp had long been dim, The voice of busy day was mute, And tortured Melody had ceased Her sufferings on the evening f... »

The Boys By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Boys By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Boys HAS there any old fellow got mixed with the boys? If there has, take him out, without making a noise. Hang the Almanac’s cheat and the Catalogue’s spite! Old Time is a liar! We’re twenty to-night! We’re twenty! We’re twenty! Who says we are more? He’s tip... »

Parting Hymn By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Parting Hymn By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Parting Hymn ‘DUNDEE’ FATHER of Mercies, Heavenly Friend, We seek thy gracious throne; To Thee our faltering prayers ascend, Our fainting hearts are known. From blasts that chill, from suns that smite, From every plague that harms; In camp and march, in siege and fight, Protect our men-a... »

Mare Rubrum By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Mare Rubrum By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Mare Rubrum FLASH out a stream of blood-red wine, For I would drink to other days, And brighter shall their memory shine, Seen flaming through its crimson blaze! The roses die, the summers fade, But every ghost of boyhood’s dream By nature’s magic power is laid To sleep beneath this bloo... »

Hymn For The Dedication Of Memorial Hall At Cambridge, June 23, 1874 By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Hymn For The Dedication Of Memorial Hall At Cambridge, June 23, 1874 By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Hymn For The Dedication Of Memorial Hall At Cambridge, June 23, 1874 WHERE, girt around by savage foes, Our nurturing Mother’s shelter rose, Behold, the lofty temple stands, Reared by her children’s grateful hands! Firm are the pillars that defy The volleyed thunders of the sky; Sweet ar... »

F. W. C. By Oliver Wendell Holmes

F. W. C. By Oliver Wendell Holmes

F. W. C. FAST as the rolling seasons bring The hour of fate to those we love, Each pearl that leaves the broken string Is set in Friendship’s crown above. As narrower grows the earthly chain, The circle widens in the sky; These are our treasures that remain, But those are stars that beam on hi... »

At The Banquet To The Japanese Embassy By Oliver Wendell Holmes

At The Banquet To The Japanese Embassy By Oliver Wendell Holmes

At The Banquet To The Japanese Embassy AUGUST 2, 1872 WE welcome you, Lords of the Land of the Sun! The voice of the many sounds feebly through one; Ah! would ‘t were a voice of more musical tone, But the dog-star is here, and the song-birds have flown. And what shall I sing that can cheat you... »

A Familiar Letter By Oliver Wendell Holmes

A Familiar Letter By Oliver Wendell Holmes

A Familiar Letter YES, write, if you want to, there’s nothing like trying; Who knows what a treasure your casket may hold? I’ll show you that rhyming’s as easy as lying, If you’ll listen to me while the art I unfold. Here’s a book full of words; one can choose as he fan... »

To George Peabody By Oliver Wendell Holmes

To George Peabody By Oliver Wendell Holmes

To George Peabody DANVERS, 1866 BANKRUPT! our pockets inside out! Empty of words to speak his praises! Worcester and Webster up the spout! Dead broke of laudatory phrases! Yet why with flowery speeches tease, With vain superlatives distress him? Has language better words than these? THE FRIEND OF AL... »

The Poet’s Lot By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Poet’s Lot By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Poet’s Lot WHAT is a poet’s love?– To write a girl a sonnet, To get a ring, or some such thing, And fustianize upon it. What is a poet’s fame?– Sad hints about his reason, And sadder praise from garreteers, To be returned in season. Where go the poet’s lines?–... »

The Island Hunting-Song By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Island Hunting-Song By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Island Hunting-Song No more the summer floweret charms, The leaves will soon be sere, And Autumn folds his jewelled arms Around the dying year; So, ere the waning seasons claim Our leafless groves awhile, With golden wine and glowing flame We ’ll crown our lonely isle. Once more the merry voic... »

Spring Has Come By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Spring Has Come By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Spring Has Come INTRA MUROS THE sunbeams, lost for half a year, Slant through my pane their morning rays; For dry northwesters cold and clear, The east blows in its thin blue haze. And first the snowdrop’s bells are seen, Then close against the sheltering wall The tulip’s horn of dusky g... »

One Country By Oliver Wendell Holmes

One Country By Oliver Wendell Holmes

One Country ONE country! Treason’s writhing asp Struck madly at her girdle’s clasp, And Hatred wrenched with might and main To rend its welded links in twain, While Mammon hugged his golden calf Content to take one broken half, While thankless churls stood idly by And heard unmoved a nat... »

King’s Chapel By Oliver Wendell Holmes

King’s Chapel By Oliver Wendell Holmes

King’s Chapel READ AT THE TWO HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY Is it a weanling’s weakness for the past That in the stormy, rebel-breeding town, Swept clean of relics by the levelling blast, Still keeps our gray old chapel’s name of ‘King’s,’ Still to its outworn symbols fondly cl... »

Hail, Columbia! By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Hail, Columbia! By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Hail, Columbia! THE FIRST VERSE OF THE SONG BY JOSEPH HOPKINSON ‘HAIL, Columbia! Happy land! Hail, ye heroes, heaven-born band, Who fought and bled in Freedom’s cause, Who fought and bled in Freedom’s cause, And when the storm of war was gone Enjoy’d the peace your valor won.... »

Choose You This Day Whom Ye Will Serve By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Choose You This Day Whom Ye Will Serve By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Choose You This Day Whom Ye Will Serve YES, tyrants, you hate us, and fear while you hate The self-ruling, chain-breaking, throne-shaking State! The night-birds dread morning,–your instinct is true,– The day-star of Freedom brings midnight for you! Why plead with the deaf for the cause o... »

An Impromptu By Oliver Wendell Holmes

An Impromptu By Oliver Wendell Holmes

An Impromptu Not premeditated THE clock has struck noon; ere it thrice tell the hours We shall meet round the table that blushes with flowers, And I shall blush deeper with shame-driven blood That I came to the banquet and brought not a bud. Who cares that his verse is a beggar in art If you see thr... »

A Song Of Other Days By Oliver Wendell Holmes

A Song Of Other Days By Oliver Wendell Holmes

A Song Of Other Days As o’er the glacier’s frozen sheet Breathes soft the Alpine rose, So through life’s desert springing sweet The flower of friendship grows; And as where’er the roses grow Some rain or dew descends, ‘T is nature’s law that wine should flow To we... »

Vestigia Quinque Retrorsum By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Vestigia Quinque Retrorsum By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Vestigia Quinque Retrorsum AN ACADEMIC POEM 1829-1879 Read at the Commencement Dinner of the Alumni of Harvard University, June 25, 1879. WHILE fond, sad memories all around us throng, Silence were sweeter than the sweetest song; Yet when the leaves are green and heaven is blue, The choral tribute o... »

The Two Streams By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Two Streams By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Two Streams Behold the rocky wall That down its sloping sides Pours the swift rain-drops, blending, as they fall, In rushing river-tides! Yon stream, whose sources run Turned by a pebble’s edge, Is Athabasca, rolling toward the sun Through the cleft mountain-ledge. The slender rill had str... »

The Old Player By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Old Player By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Old Player THE curtain rose; in thunders long and loud The galleries rung; the veteran actor bowed. In flaming line the telltales of the stage Showed on his brow the autograph of age; Pale, hueless waves amid his clustered hair, And umbered shadows, prints of toil and care; Round the wide circle... »

The Dorchester Giant By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Dorchester Giant By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Dorchester Giant THERE was a giant in time of old, A mighty one was he; He had a wife, but she was a scold, So he kept her shut in his mammoth fold; And he had children three. It happened to be an election day, And the giants were choosing a king; The people were not democrats then, They did not... »

Questions And Answers By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Questions And Answers By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Questions And Answers WHERE, oh where are the visions of morning, Fresh as the dews of our prime? Gone, like tenants that quit without warning, Down the back entry of time. Where, oh where are life’s lilies and roses, Nursed in the golden dawn’s smile? Dead as the bulrushes round little ... »

No Time Like The Old Time By Oliver Wendell Holmes

No Time Like The Old Time By Oliver Wendell Holmes

No Time Like The Old Time THERE is no time like the old time, when you and I were young, When the buds of April blossomed, and the birds of spring-time sung! The garden’s brightest glories by summer suns are nursed, But oh, the sweet, sweet violets, the flowers that opened first! There is no p... »

Illustration Of A Picture By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Illustration Of A Picture By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Illustration Of A Picture ‘A SPANISH GIRL IN REVERIE,’ SHE twirled the string of golden beads, That round her neck was hung,— My grandsire’s gift; the good old man Loved girls when he was young; And, bending lightly o’er the cord, And turning half away, With something l... »

For The Services In Memory Of Abraham Lincoln By Oliver Wendell Holmes

For The Services In Memory Of Abraham Lincoln By Oliver Wendell Holmes

For The Services In Memory Of Abraham Lincoln CITY OF BOSTON, JUNE 1, 1865 CHORAL: ‘LUTHER’S JUDGMENT HYMN.’ O THOU of soul and sense and breath The ever-present Giver, Unto thy mighty Angel, Death, All flesh thou dost deliver; What most we cherish we resign, For life and death ali... »

Ave By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Ave By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Ave PRELUDE TO ‘ILLUSTRATED POEMS’ FULL well I know the frozen hand has come That smites the songs of grove and garden dumb, And chills sad autumn’s last chrysanthemum; Yet would I find one blossom, if I might, Ere the dark loom that weaves the robe of white Hides all the wrecks of... »

After The Curfew By Oliver Wendell Holmes

After The Curfew By Oliver Wendell Holmes

After The Curfew THE Play is over. While the light Yet lingers in the darkening hall, I come to say a last Good-night Before the final _Exeunt all_. We gathered once, a joyous throng: The jovial toasts went gayly round; With jest, and laugh, and shout, and song, We made the floors and walls resound.... »

A Poem For The Meeting Of The American Medical Association At New York, May 5, 1853 By Oliver Wendell Holmes

A Poem For The Meeting Of The American Medical Association At New York, May 5, 1853 By Oliver Wendell Holmes

A Poem For The Meeting Of The American Medical Association At New York, May 5, 1853 I HOLD a letter in my hand,- A flattering letter, more’s the pity,- By some contriving junto planned, And signed per order of Committee. It touches every tenderest spot,- My patriotic predilections, My well-kno... »

To The Poets Who Only Read And Listen By Oliver Wendell Holmes

To The Poets Who Only Read And Listen By Oliver Wendell Holmes

To The Poets Who Only Read And Listen WHEN evening’s shadowy fingers fold The flowers of every hue, Some shy, half-opened bud will hold Its drop of morning’s dew. Sweeter with every sunlit hour The trembling sphere has grown, Till all the fragrance of the flower Becomes at last its own. ... »

The Spectre Pig By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Spectre Pig By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Spectre Pig A BALLAD IT was the stalwart butcher man, That knit his swarthy brow, And said the gentle Pig must die, And sealed it with a vow. And oh! it was the gentle Pig Lay stretched upon the ground, And ah! it was the cruel knife His little heart that found. They took him then, those wicked ... »

The Lyre Of Anacreon By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Lyre Of Anacreon By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Lyre Of Anacreon THE minstrel of the classic lay Of love and wine who sings Still found the fingers run astray That touched the rebel strings. Of Cadmus he would fain have sung, Of Atreus and his line; But all the jocund echoes rung With songs of love and wine. Ah, brothers! I would fain have ca... »

The Broken Circle By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Broken Circle By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Broken Circle I STOOD On Sarum’s treeless plain, The waste that careless Nature owns; Lone tenants of her bleak domain, Loomed huge and gray the Druid stones. Upheaved in many a billowy mound The sea-like, naked turf arose, Where wandering flocks went nibbling round The mingled graves of f... »

Parson Turell’s Legacy By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Parson Turell’s Legacy By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Parson Turell’s Legacy OR, THE PRESIDENT’S OLD ARM-CHAIR A MATHEMATICAL STORY FACTS respecting an old arm-chair. At Cambridge. Is kept in the College there. Seems but little the worse for wear. That ‘s remarkable when I say It was old in President Holyoke’s day. (One of his boys, p... »

Lucy By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Lucy By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Lucy FOR HER GOLDEN WEDDING, OCTOBER 18, 1875 ‘Lucy.’–The old familiar name Is now, as always, pleasant, Its liquid melody the same Alike in past or present; Let others call you what they will, I know you’ll let me use it; To me your name is Lucy still, I cannot bear to lose ... »

Hymn For The Class-Meeting By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Hymn For The Class-Meeting By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Hymn For The Class-Meeting THOU Gracious Power, whose mercy lends The light of home, the smile of friends, Our gathered flock thine arms infold As in the peaceful days of old. Wilt thou not hear us while we raise, In sweet accord of solemn praise, The voices that have mingled long In joyous flow of ... »

Extracts From A Medical Poem. The Stability Of Science By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Extracts From A Medical Poem. The Stability Of Science By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Extracts From A Medical Poem. The Stability Of Science THE feeble sea-birds, blinded in the storms, On some tall lighthouse dash their little forms, And the rude granite scatters for their pains Those small deposits that were meant for brains. Yet the proud fabric in the morning’s sun Stands all u... »

At The Banquet To The Grand Duke Alexis By Oliver Wendell Holmes

At The Banquet To The Grand Duke Alexis By Oliver Wendell Holmes

At The Banquet To The Grand Duke Alexis DECEMBER 9, 1871 ONE word to the guest we have gathered to greet! The echoes are longing that word to repeat,– It springs to the lips that are waiting to part, For its syllables spell themselves first in the heart. Its accents may vary, its sound may be ... »

stivation By Oliver Wendell Holmes

stivation By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Æstivation An Unpublished Poem, by my late Latin Tutor. In candent ire the solar splendor flames; The foles, languescent, pend from arid rames; His humid front the cive, anheling, wipes, And dreams of erring on ventiferous ripes. How dulce to vive occult to mortal eyes, Dorm on the herb with none to... »

A Ballad Of The Boston Tea-Party By Oliver Wendell Holmes

A Ballad Of The Boston Tea-Party By Oliver Wendell Holmes

A Ballad Of The Boston Tea-Party Read at a meeting of the Massachusetts Historical Society. No! never such a draught was poured Since Hebe served with nectar The bright Olympians and their Lord, Her over-kind protector,– Since Father Noah squeezed the grape And took to such behaving As would h... »

To Frederick Henry Hedge By Oliver Wendell Holmes

To Frederick Henry Hedge By Oliver Wendell Holmes

To Frederick Henry Hedge AT A DINNER GIVEN HIM ON HIS EIGHTIETH BIRTHDAY, DECEMBER 12, 1885 With a bronze statuette of John of Bologna’s Mercury, presented by a few friends. FIT emblem for the altar’s side, And him who serves its daily need, The stay, the solace, and the guide Of mortal ... »

The Ploughman By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Ploughman By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Ploughman ANNIVERSARY OF THE BERKSHIRE AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY, OCTOBER 4, 1849 CLEAR the brown path, to meet his coulter’s gleam! Lo! on he comes, behind his smoking team, With toil’s bright dew-drops on his sunburnt brow, The lord of earth, the hero of the plough! First in the field b... »

The Iron Gate By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Iron Gate By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Iron Gate WHERE is this patriarch you are kindly greeting? Not unfamiliar to my ear his name, Nor yet unknown to many a joyous meeting In days long vanished,– is he still the same, Or changed by years, forgotten and forgetting, Dull-eared, dim-sighted, slow of speech and thought, Still o&#... »

Songs In Many Keys By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Songs In Many Keys By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Songs In Many Keys 1849-1861 THE piping of our slender, peaceful reeds Whispers uncared for while the trumpets bray; Song is thin air; our hearts’ exulting play Beats time but to the tread of marching deeds, Following the mighty van that Freedom leads, Her glorious standard flaming to the day!... »

On The Threshold By Oliver Wendell Holmes

On The Threshold By Oliver Wendell Holmes

On The Threshold INTRODUCTION TO A COLLECTION OF POEMS BYDIFFERENT AUTHORS AN usher standing at the door I show my white rosette; A smile of welcome, nothing more, Will pay my trifling debt; Why should I bid you idly wait Like lovers at the swinging gate? Can I forget the wedding guest? The veteran ... »

Joseph Warren, M. D. By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Joseph Warren, M. D. By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Joseph Warren, M. D. TRAINED in the holy art whose lifted shield Wards off the darts a never-slumbering foe, By hearth and wayside lurking, waits to throw, Oppression taught his helpful arm to wield The slayer’s weapon: on the murderous field The fiery bolt he challenged laid him low, Seeking ... »

Grandmother’s Story Of Bunker Hill Battle (As She Saw It From The Belfry) By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Grandmother’s Story Of Bunker Hill Battle (As She Saw It From The Belfry) By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Grandmother’s Story Of Bunker Hill Battle (As She Saw It From The Belfry) ‘Tis like stirring living embers when, at eighty, one remembers All the achings and the quakings of ‘the times that tried men’s souls’; When I talk of Whig and Tory, when I tell the Rebel story, T... »

Call Him Not Old, Whose Visionary Brain By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Call Him Not Old, Whose Visionary Brain By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Call Him Not Old, Whose Visionary Brain Call him not old, whose visionary brain Holds o’er the past its undivided reign. For him in vain the envious seasons roll Who bears eternal summer in his soul. If yet the minstrel’s song, the poet’s lay, Spring with her birds, or children wit... »

An Impromptu – Ii By Oliver Wendell Holmes

An Impromptu – Ii By Oliver Wendell Holmes

An Impromptu – Ii AT THE WALCKER DINNER UPON THE COMPLETION OF THE GREAT ORGAN FOR BOSTON MUSIC HALL IN 1863 I ASKED three little maidens who heard the organ play, Where all the music came from that stole our hearts away: ‘I know,’ – said fair-haired Edith,-‘it was the ... »

A Sentiment Offered At The Dinner To H. I. H. The Prince Napoleon By Oliver Wendell Holmes

A Sentiment Offered At The Dinner To H. I. H. The Prince Napoleon By Oliver Wendell Holmes

A Sentiment Offered At The Dinner To H. I. H. The Prince Napoleon AT THE REVERE HOUSE, SEPTEMBER 25,1861 THE land of sunshine and of song! Her name your hearts divine; To her the banquet’s vows belong Whose breasts have poured its wine; Our trusty friend, our true ally Through varied change an... »

Verses For After-Dinner By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Verses For After-Dinner By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Verses For After-Dinner PHI BETA KAPPA SOCIETY, 1844 I WAS thinking last night, as I sat in the cars, With the charmingest prospect of cinders and stars, Next Thursday is–bless me!–how hard it will be, If that cannibal president calls upon me! There is nothing on earth that he will not d... »

The Two Armies By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Two Armies By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Two Armies As Life’s unending column pours, Two marshalled hosts are seen,­ Two armies on the trampled shores That Death flows black between. One marches to the drum-beat’s roll, The wide-mouthed clarion’s bray, And bears upon a crimson scroll, Our glory is to slay. One moves i... »

The Old Man Of The Sea By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Old Man Of The Sea By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Old Man Of The Sea A NIGHTMARE DREAM BY DAYLIGHT Do you know the Old Man of the Sea, of the Sea? Have you met with that dreadful old man? If you have n’t been caught, you will be, you will be; For catch you he must and he can. He does n’t hold on by your throat, by your throat, As of... »

The Dying Seneca By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Dying Seneca By Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Dying Seneca HE died not as the martyr dies, Wrapped in his living shroud of flame; He fell not as the warrior falls, Gasping upon the field of fame; A gentler passage to the grave, The murderer’s softened fury gave. Rome’s slaughtered sons and blazing piles Had tracked the purpled d... »

Prologue By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Prologue By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Prologue A PROLOGUE? Well, of course the ladies know,– I have my doubts. No matter,–here we go! What is a Prologue? Let our Tutor teach: Pro means beforehand; logos stands for speech. ‘T is like the harper’s prelude on the strings, The prima donna’s courtesy ere she sin... »

Never Or Now By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Never Or Now By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Never Or Now AN APPEAL LISTEN, young heroes! your country is calling! Time strikes the hour for the brave and the true! Now, while the foremost are fighting and falling, Fill up the ranks that have opened for you! You whom the fathers made free and defended, Stain not the scroll that emblazons their... »

I Like You And I Love You By Oliver Wendell Holmes

I Like You And I Love You By Oliver Wendell Holmes

I Like You And I Love You I LIKE YOU Met I LOVE You, face to face; The path was narrow, and they could not pass. I LIKE YOU smiled; I LOVE YOU cried, Alas! And so they halted for a little space. ‘Turn thou and go before,’ I LOVE YOU said, ‘Down the green pathway, bright with many a... »