Unguarded Gates and Other Poems

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Houghton, Mifflin, 1895 - History - 121 pages
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Page 13 - WIDE open and unguarded stand our gates, Named of the four winds, North, South, East, and West; Portals that lead to an enchanted land Of cities, forests, fields of living gold, Vast prairies, lordly summits touched with snow...
Page 69 - BROKEN MUSIC A note All out of tune in this world's instrument. AMY LEVY. I KNOW not in what fashion she was made, Nor what her voice was, when she used to speak, Nor if the silken lashes threw a shade On wan or rosy cheek. I picture her with sorrowful vague eyes Illumed with such strange gleams of inner light As linger in the drift of London skies Ere twilight turns to night. I know not; I conjecture.
Page 16 - Scythian, Teuton, Kelt, and Slav, Flying the Old World's poverty and scorn; These bringing with them unknown gods and rites, — Those, tiger passions, here to stretch their claws. In street and alley what strange tongues are loud, Accents of menace alien to our air...
Page 16 - A later Eden planted in the wilds, With not an inch of earth within its bound But if a slave's foot press it sets him free!
Page 118 - ORIGINALITY No bird has ever uttered note That was not in some first bird's throat ; Since Eden's freshness and man's fall No rose has been original.
Page 26 - Thou shalt have gentle greeting of thy love ! Her eyelids will have turned to violets, Her bosom to white lilies, and her breath To roses. What is lovely never dies, But passes into other loveliness, Star-dust, or sea-foam, flower, or winged air. If this befalls our poor unworthy flesh, Think thee what destiny awaits the soul ! What glorious vesture it shall wear at last...
Page 16 - Wide open and unguarded stand our gates, And through them presses a wild motley throng — Men from the Volga and the Tartar steppes, Featureless figures of the Hoang-Ho, Malayan, Scythian, Teuton, Kelt, and Slav, Flying the Old World's poverty and scorn ; These bringing with them unknown gods and rites, Those, tiger passions, here to stretch their claws. In street and alley what strange tongues are these, Accents of menace alien to our air, Voices that once the Tower of Babel knew ! O Liberty, white...
Page 17 - Featureless figures of the Hoang-Ho, Malayan, Scythian, Teuton, Kelt, and Slav, Flying the Old World's poverty and scorn; These bringing with them unknown gods and rites, Those, tiger passions, here to stretch their claws. In street and alley what strange tongues are loud, Accents of menace alien to our air, Voices that once the Tower of Babel knew! O Liberty, white Goddess ! is it well To leave the gates unguarded ? On thy breast Fold Sorrow's children, soothe the hurts of fate, Lift the down-trodden,...
Page 91 - Yet nothing know we of that dim frontier Which each must cross, whatever fate betide, To reach the heavenly cities where abide (Thus Sorrow whispers) those that were most dear, Now...
Page 72 - LET art be all in all," one time I said, And straightway stirred the hypercritic gall : I said not, " Let technique be all in all,

About the author (1895)

A native of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Thomas Bailey Aldrich lived during a time of great change in American literature. His literary conservatism and his resistance to the harsher outlooks of realism in part account for the neglect of him today. Nevertheless, his poetry and fiction were popular during his day, and he was a conscientious craftsman. At 16 he went to work in his uncle's New York countinghouse, but he spent his free time reading and writing poetry. His first published works, the sentimental "Ballad of Babie Bell" and The Bells (1855), a volume of verse, brought him immediate fame. He then devoted himself to literature. He became the editor of the weekly magazine, Every Saturday, and eventually of the prestigious Atlantic Monthly from 1881 to 1890. His mature lyrics were less sentimental than his early work, though he continued to follow the classical conventions of romantic poetry. His best short stories, particularly those collected in Marjorie Daw and Other Stories (1873) and Two Bites at a Cherry, with Other Tales (1894), show his use of regional local color, but his romantic plots rely on humor rather than realism for their appeal. Aldrich's first novel, The Story of a Bad Boy (1870), was unique in its depiction not of a "bad boy" but of a "natural boy," a type that anticipated Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer. Aldrich's other novels, although popular, were not as successful. Even as he foresaw the change in literary taste that would doom his own reputation, he remained steadfast in preferring the pleasant to the realistic, the conventional to the modern.

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