William Gilmore Simms

Rating: 4.33
Rating: 4.33

William Gilmore Simms Poems

Blessings on the blessing children, sweetest gifts of Heaven to earth,
Filling all the heart with gladness, filling all the house with mirth;
Bringing with them native sweetness, pictures of the primal bloom,
Which the bliss for ever gladdens, of the region whence they come;

NOT in the sky,
Where it was seen
So long in eminence of light serene,—
Nor on the white tops of the glistering wave,

THIS the true sign of ruin to a race—
It undertakes no march, and day by day
Drowses in camp, or, with the laggard’s pace,
Walks sentry o’er possessions that decay;


Our city by the sea,
As the rebel city known,
With a soul and spirit free

Aye, strike with sacrilegious aim
The temple of the living God;
Hurl iron bolt and seething flame

Ye batter down the lion's den,
But yet the lordly beast g'oes free;
And ye shall hear his roar again,

WE follow where the Swamp Fox guides,
His friends and merry men are we;
And when the troop of Tarleton rides,
We burrow in the cypress tree.

SICK of the crowd, the toil, the strife,
Sweet Nature, how I turn to thee,
Seeking for renovated life,
By brawling brook and shady tree!


Do ye quail but to hear, Carolinians,
The first foot-tramp of Tyranny's minions?
Have ye buckled on armor, and brandished the spear,

Shell the old city I shell!
Ye myrmidons of Hell;
Ye serve your master well,

NOW are the winds about us in their glee,
Tossing the slender tree;
Whirling the sands about his furious car,
March cometh from afar;

Where dwells the spirit of the Bard--what sky
Persuades his daring wing,--
Folded in soft carnation, or in snow
Still sleeping, far o'er summits of the cloud,

I.Glory unto the gallant boys who stood
At Wagner, and, unflinching, sought the van;

HAST thou a song for a flower,
Such as, if breathed in its ear,
Would waken in beauty's own bower

Oh! from the deeds well done, the blood well shed
In a good cause springs up to crown the land
With ever-during verdure, memory fed,

William Gilmore Simms Biography

Simms was born in Charleston, S.C., and lived much of his life in or near it. The embodiment of southern letters, Simms was also an influential spokesman for what he saw as the region's social and political concerns. A unionist in the 1832 nullification controversy, in the 1840s he supported the intensely nationalistic Young America group, which pushed for American freedom from British literary models. Active in politics, he served in the South Carolina Legislature from 1844 to 1846, conferred with prominent planters like James Henry Hammond about southern agricultural policies, conducted a copious correspondence with fire-eating Beverley Tucker of Virginia about slavery and secession, and helped develop the proslavery argument. As his southern nationalism mounted in the 1840s and 1850s, he supported the annexation of Texas and advocated the creation of a southern empire in the Caribbean. When the Civil War broke out, he served as advisor to several southern politicians and made elaborate proposals for Confederate military defenses. During the war he wrote little of literary importance save the lively backwoods novel Paddy McGann (1863); after it, he ruined his health by the incessant writing and editing chores he took on to support his impoverished family. Energetic and often humorous, his work is important for its sweeping picture of the colonial and antebellum South in its regional diversity and also for its representation of continuing southern literary and intellectual issues. His extensive knowledge of southern regions influenced novels and tales set in the Low Country, such as The Yemassee (1835), The Partisan (1835), and The Golden Christmas (1852), which trace the development of the region from the colonial era through the Revolution and into the antebellum period. Simms also published border and mountain romances like Richard Hurdis (1838) and Voltmeier (1869), set in the antebellum backwoods South. He gave a comprehensive picture of his region in its historical and cultural diversity - of the Low Country with its class hierarchy, its agrarian economy, its increasingly conservative politics, and its keen sectional self-consciousness; of the Gulf South, both civilized and violent, part plantation, part frontier; and of the Appalachian Mountain South in its pioneer phase. His writing exhibits qualities that mark southern literature from its beginnings: a sense of time and history, a love of southern landscape, a respect for southern social institutions, and a firm belief in class stratification and enlightened upper-class rule. In addition to fiction, poetry, drama, orations, and literary criticism, he wrote a history and a geography of South Carolina and biographies of Francis Marion, Captain John Smith, the Chevalier Bayard, and Nathanael Greene. At the beginning and near the end of his career, he edited several South Carolina newspapers, and in the 1840's and 1850s he served as editor of important southern journals, among them the Magnolia, the Southern and Western, and the proslavery Southern Quarterly Review, which gave voice to sectional issues.)

The Best Poem Of William Gilmore Simms

Blessings On Children

Blessings on the blessing children, sweetest gifts of Heaven to earth,
Filling all the heart with gladness, filling all the house with mirth;
Bringing with them native sweetness, pictures of the primal bloom,
Which the bliss for ever gladdens, of the region whence they come;
Bringing with them joyous impulse of a state with outen care,
And a buoyant faith in being, which makes all in nature fair;
Not a doubt to dim the distance, not a grief to vex thee, nigh,
And a hope that in existence finds each hour a luxury;
Going singing, bounding, brightening--never fearing as they go,
That the innocent shall tremble, and the loving find a foe;
In the daylight, in the starlight, still with thought that freely flies,
Prompt and joyous, with no question of the beauty in the skies;
Genial fancies winning raptures, as the bee still sucks her store,
All the present still a garden gleaned a thousand times before;
All the future, but a region, where the happy serving thought,
Still depicts a thousand blessings, by the winged hunter caught;
Life a chase where blushing pleasures only seem to strive in flight,
Lingering to be caught, and yielding gladly to the proud delight;
As the maiden, through the alleys, looking backward as she flies,
Woos the fond pursuer onward, with the love-light in her eyes.

Oh! the happy life in children, still restoring joy to ours,
Making for the forest music, planting for the way-side flowers;
Back recalling all the sweetness, in a pleasure pure as rare,
Back the past of hope and rapture bringing to the heart of care.
How, as swell the happy voices, bursting through the shady grove,
Memories take the place of sorrows, time restores the sway to love!
We are in the shouting comrades, shaking off the load of years,
Thought forgetting strifes and trials, doubts and agonies and tears;
We are in the bounding urchin, as o'er hill and plain he darts,
Share the struggle and the triumph, gladdening in his heart of hearts;
What an image of the vigor and the glorious grace we knew,
When to eager youth from boyhood, at a single bound we grew!
Even such our slender beauty, such upon our cheek the glow,
In our eyes the life and gladness--of our blood the overflow.
Bless the mother of the urchin! in his form we see her truth:
He is now the very picture of the memories in our youth;
Never can we doubt the forehead, nor the sunny flowing hair,
Nor the smiling in the dimple speaking chin and cheek so fair:
Bless the mother of the young one, he hath blended in his grace,
All the hope and joy and beauty, kindling once in either face.

Oh! the happy faith of children! that is glad in all it sees,
And with never need of thinking, pierces still its mysteries,
In simplicity profoundest, in their soul abundance blest,
Wise in value of the sportive, and in restlessness at rest,
Lacking every creed, yet having faith so large in all they see,
That to know is still to gladden, and 'tis rapture but to be.
What trim fancies bring them flowers; what rare spirits walk their wood,
What a wondrous world the moonlight harbors of the gay and good!
Unto them the very tempest walks in glories grateful still,
And the lightning gleams, a seraph, to persuade them to the hill:
'Tis a sweet and loving spirit, that throughout the midnight rains,
Broods beside the shuttered windows, and with gentle love complains;
And how wooing, how exalting, with the richness of her dyes,
Spans the painter of the rainbow, her bright arch along the skies,
With a dream like Jacob's ladder, showing to the fancy's sight,
How 'twere easy for the sad one to escape to worlds of light!
Ah! the wisdom of such fancies, and the truth in every dream,
That to faith confiding offers, cheering every gloom, a gleam!
Happy hearts, still cherish fondly each delusion of your youth,
Joy is born of well believing, and the fiction wraps the truth.

William Gilmore Simms Comments

Edward 03 June 2019

A much overlooked Man of Letters that helped shape American literature.

0 0 Reply
Martha 24 April 2018

With the advent of the Civil War, SC Poet Laureate Simms was a prominent young poets in the Antebellum South. The thrust of his poetry was initially romantic. Despite all of the distractions & recriminations, i.e.-barbaric burning of his 10,000 vol. personal library by Union soldiers, Simms should be recognized as a very talented American Poet.

1 0 Reply
Stella Mary 02 February 2012

Wow.....I loved this guys poems..even though it was a little weird

2 4 Reply
Stella Mary 02 February 2012

Wow! He is the guy......and great notations

4 3 Reply

William Gilmore Simms Popularity

William Gilmore Simms Popularity

Error Success