Christopher Pearse Cranch

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Christopher Pearse Cranch Poems

Thought is deeper than all speech,
Feeling deeper than all thought:
Souls to souls never can teach
What unto themselves was taught.

As once I sat upon the shore
There came to me a fairy boat,
A bark I never saw before,
Whose coming I had failed to note,

Across the sea the swift sad message darts
And beats with sudden pang against our hearts.
Under the elm-trees in his homestead old

YE interstellar spaces, serene and still and clear.
Above, below, around!

ON a time — not of old —
When a poet had sent out his soul and no welcome had found
Where the heart of the nation in prose stood fettered and

COLD philosophers, so apt
With your formulas exacting,
In your problems so enwrapt,
And your theories distracting;

A GROAN from a dim-lit upper room —
A stealthy step on the stairs in the gloom —
A hurried glance to left, to right

OR endless sleep 't will be, — and that is rest,
Freedom forever from life's weary cares —
Or else a life beyond the climbing stairs

IN boyhood's days we read with keen delight
How young Aladdin rubbed his lamp and raised
The towering Djin whose form his soul amazed,

IN the beautiful Castleton Island a mansion of lordly style,
Embowered in gardens and lawns, looks over the

THE mind's deep history here in tones is wrought,
The faith, the struggles of the aspiring soul,
The confidence of youth, the chill control

WHAT lapse or accident of time
Can dull that soul's sonorous chime
Which owns the priceless heritage —

OUT of the cloud that dimmed his sunset light,
Into the unknown firmament withdrawn
Beyond the mists and shadows of the night,

To G. W. C.
LONG, long ago, in the sweet Roman spring
Through the bright morning air we slowly strolled,

One day in the bluest of summer weather,
Sketching under a whispering oak,
I heard five bobolinks laughing together

BLACK in the midnight lies the City vast.
Its dim horizon from my window high
I see shut in beneath a misty sky

I MET one in the Land of Sleep
Who seemed a friend long known and true.
I woke. That friend I could not keep —
For him I never knew.

COME, we 'll light the parlor fire;
Winter sets in sharp and rough.
Wood is dear, but coal's provided,

WHEN Nature had made all her birds,
With no more cares to think on,
She gave a rippling laugh, and out
There flew a Bobolinkon.

IF death be final, what is life, with all
Its lavish promises, its thwarted aims,
Its lost ideals, its dishonored claims,

Christopher Pearse Cranch Biography

Christopher Pearse Cranch (March 8, 1815 – January 20, 1892) was an American writer and artist. Cranch was born in the District of Columbia. He attended Columbian College and Harvard Divinity School. He briefly held a position as a Unitarian minister. Later, he pursued various occupations: a magazine editor, caricaturist, children's fantasy writer (the Huggermugger books), poet (The Bird and the Bell with Other Poems in 1875), translator, and landscape painter. He lived most of his life in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Though not one of its founding members, Cranch became associated with the Transcendental Club; his connection with the Transcendentalists ultimately diminished his demand as a minister. Cranch's caricatures of Ralph Waldo Emerson were later collected as Illustrations of the New Philosophy: Guide. His poetry was published in The Harbinger and The Dial among other publications. As a painter, Cranch painted landscapes along the lines of Thomas Cole, the Hudson River school, and the Barbizon school in France. In one foray into historical painting, Cranch depicted the burning of P. T. Barnum's American Museum in New York City. Later in life, Cranch painted scenes from Venice and Italy.)

The Best Poem Of Christopher Pearse Cranch


Thought is deeper than all speech,
Feeling deeper than all thought:
Souls to souls never can teach
What unto themselves was taught.

We are spirits clad in veils;
Man by man was never seen;
All our deep communing fails
To remove the shadowy screen.

Heart to heart was never known;
Mind with mind did never meet;
We are columns left alone
Of a temple once complete.

Like the stars that gem the sky,
Far apart though seeming near,
In our light we scattered lie;
All is thus but starlight here.

What is social company
But a babbling summer stream?
What our wise philosophy
But the glancing of a dream?

Only when the Sun of Love
Melts the scattered stars of thought,
Only when we live above
What the dim-eyed world hath taught,

Only when our souls are fed
By the Fount which gave them birth,
And by inspiration led
Which they never drew from earth,

We, like parted drops of rain,
Swelling till they meet and run,
Shall all be absorbed again,
Melting, flowing, into one.

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