William Cullen Bryant

William Cullen Bryant

Nov 3, 1794 - Jun 12, 1878


I broke the spell that held me long

by William Cullen Bryant

I broke the spell that held me long,
The dear, dear witchery of song.
I said, the poet's idle lore
Shall waste my prime of years no more,
For Poetry, though heavenly born,
Consorts with poverty and scorn.

I broke the spell -- nor deemed its power
Could fetter me another hour.
Ah, thoughtless! how could I forget
Its causes were around me yet?
For wheresoe'er I looked, the while,
Was Nature's everlasting smile.

Still came and lingered on my sight
Of flowers and streams the bloom and light,
And glory of the stars and sun;
And these and poetry are one.
They, ere the world had held me long,
Recalled me to the love of song.


Copyright 1876
New York: D. Appleton And Co.
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