Christopher Pearse Cranch

(1815-1892 / the USA)

Sonnet Xxxvii. To John Greenleaf Whittier. - Poem by Christopher Pearse Cranch

UNBIDDEN to the feast where friends have brought,
To greet thy seventy years, their wreaths of rhyme, —
For that thy form erect such weight of time
Should bear, was never present to my thought, —
Whittier, I bring my offering, though unsought.
Thou, first of all our bards, hast rung the chime
Of souls, whose zeal denounced a nation's crime.
Thy fire, intense yet soft, from heaven was caught.
Thou too the dear neglected chords hast wooed
Of plain New England life, and earned a fame
From whose wide light thy modest nature shrinks.
Long shall the land revere and love thy name;
Long find among thy songs the golden links
That bind the world in peace and brotherhood.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 24, 2010

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