Thursday, June 23, 2022

Quote of the Day (James Russell Lowell, Responding to an Earlier Age of Cynicism)

“But stay! no age was e’er degenerate,         
  Unless men held it at too cheap a rate,        
  For in our likeness still we shape our fate.           90
    Ah, there is something here           
  Unfathomed by the cynic’s sneer,   
  Something that gives our feeble light          
  A high immunity from Night,          
  Something that leaps life’s narrow bars               95
To claim its birthright with the hosts of heaven;       
  A seed of sunshine that can leaven  
  Our earthly dullness with the beams of stars,          
        And glorify our clay       
  With light from fountains elder than the Day.”—American poet, editor, and diplomat James Russell Lowell (1819–1891), “Ode Recited at the Harvard Commemoration, July 21, 1865,” in American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century, Volume One: Freneau to Whitman, edited by John Hollander (1993)

No comments: