Sidney Lanier

Sidney Lanier Poems

Once, at night, in the manor wood
My Love and I long silent stood,
Amazed that any heavens could
Decree to part us, bitterly repining.
...

O marriage-bells, your clamor tells
Two weddings in one breath.
SHE marries whom her love compels:
- And I wed Goodman Death!
...

Young palmer sun, that to these shining sands
Pourest thy pilgrim's tale, discoursing still
Thy silver passages of sacred lands,
With news of Sepulchre and Dolorous Hill,
...

Into the woods my Master went,
Clean forspent, forspent.
Into the woods my Master came,
Forspent with love and shame.
...

Look off, dear Love, across the sallow sands,
And mark yon meeting of the sun and sea,
How long they kiss in sight of all the lands.
Ah! longer, longer, we.
...

Sail fast, sail fast,
Ark of my hopes, Ark of my dreams;
Sweep lordly o'er the drowned Past,
Fly glittering through the sun's strange beams;
...

He's fast asleep. See how, O Wife,
Night's finger on the lip of life
Bids whist the tongue, so prattle-rife,
Of busy Baby Charley.
...

Out of the hills of Habersham,
Down the valleys of Hall,
I hurry amain to reach the plain,
Run the rapid and leap the fall,
...

From cold Norse caves or buccaneer Southern seas
Oft come repenting tempests here to die;
Bewailing old-time wrecks and robberies,
They shrive to priestly pines with many a sigh,
...

Thou God, whose high, eternal Love
Is the only blue sky of our life,
Clear all the Heaven that bends above
The life-road of this man and wife.
...

I.

O Age that half believ'st thou half believ'st,
Half doubt'st the substance of thine own half doubt,
...

For ever wave, for ever float and shine
Before my yearning eyes, oh! dream of mine
Wherein I dreamed that time was like a vine,

...

Light rain-drops fall and wrinkle the sea,
Then vanish, and die utterly.
One would not know that rain-drops fell
If the round sea-wrinkles did not tell.
...

My crippled sense fares bow'd along
His uncompanioned way,
And wronged by death pays life with wrong
And I wake by night and dream by day.
...

Written for the Art Autograph during the Irish Famine, 1880.



...

I knowed a man, which he lived in Jones,
Which Jones is a county of red hills and stones,
And he lived pretty much by gittin' of loans,
And his mules was nuthin' but skin and bones,
...

In the heart of the Hills of Life, I know
Two springs that with unbroken flow
Forever pour their lucent streams
Into my soul's far Lake of Dreams.
...

Hey, rose, just born
Twin to a thorn;
Was't so with you, O Love and Scorn?
...

Down mildest shores of milk-white sand,
By cape and fair Floridian bay,
Twixt billowy pines -- a surf asleep on land --
And the great Gulf at play,
...

From the German of Herder.



...

Sidney Lanier Biography

"Sydney Lanier,"was born February 3, 1842, in Macon, Georgia, to parents Robert Sampson Lanier and Mary Jane Anderson; he was mostly of English ancestry, with his distant French ancestors having immigrated to England in the 16th century. He began playing the flute at an early age, and his love of that musical instrument continued throughout his life. He attended Oglethorpe University near Milledgeville, Georgia, graduating first in his class shortly before the outbreak of the American Civil War. He fought in the Civil War, primarily in the tidewater region of Virginia, where he served in the Confederate signal corps. Later, he and his brother Clifford served as pilots aboard English blockade runners. On one of these voyages, his ship was boarded. Refusing to take the advice of the British officers on board to don one of their uniforms and pretend to be one of them, he was captured. He was incarcerated in a military prison at Point Lookout in Maryland, where he contracted tuberculosis (generally known as "consumption" at the time). He suffered greatly from this affliction for the rest of his life. In an effort to support Mary and their three sons, he also wrote poetry for magazines. His most famous poems were "Corn" (1875), "The Symphony" (1875), "Centennial Meditation" (1876), "The Song of the Chattahoochee" (1877), "The Marshes of Glynn" (1878), and "Sunrise" (1881). The latter two poems are generally considered his greatest works. They are part of an unfinished set of lyrical nature poems known as the "Hymns of the Marshes", which describe the vast, open salt marshes of Glynn County on the coast of Georgia. There is a historical marker in Brunswick commemorating the writing of "The Marshes of Glynn". The largest bridge in Georgia (as of 2005), a short distance from the marker, is named The Sidney Lanier Bridge. Late in his life, he became a student, lecturer, and, finally, a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, specializing in the works of the English novelists, Shakespeare, the Elizabethan sonneteers, Chaucer, and the Anglo-Saxon poets. He published a series of lectures entitled The English Novel (published posthumously in 1883) and a book entitled The Science of English Verse (1880), in which he developed a novel theory exploring the connections between musical notation and meter in poetry.)

The Best Poem Of Sidney Lanier

A Song Of Eternity In Time

Once, at night, in the manor wood
My Love and I long silent stood,
Amazed that any heavens could
Decree to part us, bitterly repining.
My Love, in aimless love and grief,
Reached forth and drew aside a leaf
That just above us played the thief
And stole our starlight that for us was shining.

A star that had remarked her pain
Shone straightway down that leafy lane,
And wrought his image, mirror-plain,
Within a tear that on her lash hung gleaming.
"Thus Time," I cried, "is but a tear
Some one hath wept 'twixt hope and fear,
Yet in his little lucent sphere
Our star of stars, Eternity, is beaming."

Sidney Lanier Comments

Koena Mokoena 11 October 2011

Good afternoon! i am so proud to read a poem like the sunrise song, because to me it proves a point that it is my time to rule the world! Hence, i can because anything is possible according to my own point of view. Have a nice day! Mr. Koena France Mokoena Also known as Nasty K. Rapper & poet: South Africa.

11 31 Reply
Shdfhs 03 February 2018

Invigorating seedling of massive and awesome growth theoretically tied...

1 4 Reply
Judy Hill 16 November 2019

What is the name of the poem that starts " Mary walked among the birch trees, questioning each one, 'Little Birch Trees, little white souls, have you seen my son...'"

4 2 Reply
vance sutton 24 August 2019

I Have a hand written Sydney Lanier pome. date Feb,20,1875. It starts out Love me Darling. it was passed down by a relative.

1 1 Reply
D. E. Pugh 15 July 2018

The late Dr. J. Vernon McGee quoted a poem by Sydney Lanier in his sermon. I'm unable to recognize in listed poems which poem quote was taken from. Can anyone help me? The following line is qujoted from aLanier's poem: Where are the strong arms in which I too might lay me in repose and yet be full of the fire of life Thank you

1 1 Reply
FloridaNativeBoB 01 April 2018

My sentiments, exactly

1 3 Reply
OneBirdieMa 10 February 2018

What a find! I discovered Sidney Lanier yesterday and so have a new old poet to delve into. Also his The Science of poetry, or maybe it was verse.

1 5 Reply

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