Henry Abbey

(11 July 1842 - 7 June 1911 / Kingston, NY)

Biography of Henry Abbey

Henry Abbey poet

Henry Abbey was an American poet who is best remembered for the poem, What do we plant when we plant a tree? He is also known for The Bedouin's Rebuke.


In much of his work, Abbey displays traditional characteristics of the nineteenth century American poetic approach. He uses inversions and has fluid feel; his style takes notable influence from that of English poet James Henry Leigh Hunt. The Bedouin's Rebuke can be compared to Hunt's Abou Ben Adhem, which employs similar metric flow. Abbey was fond of simple subject matter, such as remorse or happiness; his poetry often forms an anecdote or short story which builds in intensity, reaches a climactic struggle between two opposing entities, and then ends in an implied moral. His poetry is reminiscent of the Romantic Era, with particular influence from Shelley and Coleridge. He remains relatively well known with the poetry-reading public, as well as a respected figure in literary circles.

Henry Abbey's Works:

* May Dreams (1862)
* Ralph and other Poems (1866)
* Stories in Verse (1869)
* Ballads of Good Deeds (1872)
* Poems (1879)
* The City of Success and other Poems (1883)
* Dream of Love (1910)

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PoemHunter.com Updates

On A Great Warrior

When all the sky was wild and dark,
When every heart was wrung with fear,
He rose serene, and took his place,
The great occasion's mighty peer.
He smote armed opposition down,
He bade the storm and darkness cease,
And o'er the long-distracted land
Shone out the smiling sun of peace.

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