The Life and Letters of Margaret Junkin Preston

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The private letters and diary excerpts included in this biography give a vivid picture of the life and times of this lettered woman.
 

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Page 329 - For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey, This pleasing, anxious being e'er resigned, Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day, Nor cast one longing, lingering look behind...
Page 115 - So perish all such enemies of Virginia ! all such enemies of the Union ! all such foes of the human race...
Page 347 - The practice looks absurd, and so it would be now. True, it stored the memory with many good quotations for ready use. But after the fashion of Master Clark — a fashion brought from Trinity — this ' capping verses ' was much in vogue, and Edgar Poe was an expert at it. " He was very fond of the Odes of Horace, and repeated them so often in my hearing that I learned by sound the words of many, before I understood their meaning. In the lilting rhythm of the Sapphics and Iambics, his ear, as yet...
Page 112 - The sheriff asked him if he should give him a private signal, before the fatal moment. He replied in a voice that sounded to me unnaturally natural — so composed was its tone and so distinct its articulation — that " it did not matter to him, if only they would not keep him too long waiting.
Page 304 - WE TWO. Ah, painful-sweet ! how can I take it in ! That somewhere in the illimitable blue Of God's pure space, which men call Heaven, — we two Again shall find each other, and begin The infinite life of love, a life akin To angels...
Page 289 - With all their zeal to warm their welcome here. What (great I will not say, but] sudden cheer Didst thou then make 'em! and what praise was heaped On thy good lady then!
Page 239 - Let the tent be struck": Victorious morning Through every crevice flashes in a day Magnificent beyond all earth's adorning : The night is over ; wherefore should he stay ? And wherefore should our voices choke to say, " The General has gone forward !" Life's foughten field not once beheld surrender, But with superb endurance, present, past, Our pure Commander, lofty, simple, tender, Through good, through ill, held his high purpose fast, Wearing his armor spotless, — till at last Death gave the...
Page 224 - Home, bear me home at last, he said, And lay me where your dead are lying : But not while skies are over-spread, And mournful wintry winds are sighing. "Wait till the royal march of spring Carpets the mountain fastness over, Till chattering birds are on the wing, And buzzing bees are in the clover. "Wait till the laurel bursts its buds, And creeping ivy flings its graces About the lichened rocks — and floods Of sunshine fill the shady places. "Then when the sky, the air, the grass, Sweet...
Page 89 - WITHOUT THEE ; I had thought My orphaned heart would break and die, Ere time had meek quiescence brought, Or soothed the tears it could not dry ; And yet I live, to faint and quail Before the human grief I bear ; To miss thee so, then drown the wail That trembles on my lips in prayer. Thou praising, while I vainly thrill ; Thou glorying, while I weakly pine ; And thus between thy heart and mine The distance ever widening still.
Page 345 - I recall one of his races. A challenge to a foot-race had been passed between the two classical schools of the city : we selected Poe as our champion. The race came off one bright May morning at sunrise, in the Capitol Square. Historical truth compels me to add that on this occasion our school was beaten, and we had to pay up our small bets. Poe ran well, but his competitor was a long-legged, Indian-looking fellow, who would have outstripped Atalanta without the help of the golden apples.

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