Today is the anniversary of the birth of American poet William Cullen Bryant.

Born in a log cabin near Cummington, Mass in 1794, he was the second son of a family in which both parents could trace their ancestry back to the Mayflower.

Bryant’s poetry is tender, some would say graceful…but shouldn’t poetry be graceful?

He had a love of the woods, its silence, and as a youth and adult spent much time there seeing inspiration.

I don’t do much about poetry or poets on the blog, but as winter and its wonderful holidays approach and November gets off to a roaring start, I thought a sampling of his poetry might be nice.

Here is November.

Yet one smile more, departing, distant sun!

One mellow smile through the soft vapory air,

Ere, o’er the frozen earth, the loud winds run,

Or snows are sifted o’er the meadows bare.

One smile on the brown hills and naked trees,

And the dark rocks whose summer wreaths are cast,

And the blue gentian flower, that, in the breeze,

Nods lonely, of her beauteous race the last.

Yet a few sunny days, in which the bee

Shall murmur by the hedge that skirts the way,

The cricket chirp upon the russet lea,

And man delight to linger in thy ray.

Yet one rich smile, and we will try to bear

The piercing winter frost, and winds, and darkened air.


Happy Friday, happy November.