John Greenleaf Whittier

Poet, Author

1807 – 1892

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Who was John Greenleaf Whittier?

John Greenleaf Whittier was an influential American Quaker poet and ardent advocate of the abolition of slavery in the United States. He is usually listed as one of the Fireside Poets. Whittier was strongly influenced by the Scottish poet Robert Burns. Highly regarded in his lifetime and for a period thereafter, he is now remembered for his poem Snow-Bound, and the words of the hymn Dear Lord and Father of Mankind, from his poem "The Brewing of Soma", sung to music by Hubert Parry.

Famous Quotes:

  • Speak out in acts; the time for words has passed, and only deeds will suffice.
  • Here Greek and Roman find themselves alive along these crowded shelves; and Shakespeare treads again his stage, and Chaucer paints anew his age.
  • Peace hath higher tests of manhood than battle ever knew.
  • For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: It might have been!
  • Of all that Orient lands can vaunt, of marvels with our own competing, the strangest is the Haschish plant, and what will follow on its eating.
  • Through this broad street, restless ever, ebbs and flows a human tide, wave on wave a living river; wealth and fashion side by side; Toiler, idler, slave and master, in the same quick current glide.
  • The dreariest spot in all the land to Death they set apart; with scanty grace from Nature's hand, and none from that of Art.
  • O Time and change! -- with hair as gray as was my sire's that winter day, how strange it seems, with so much gone of life and love, to still live on!
  • Give fools their gold, and knaves their power; let fortune's bubbles rise and fall; who sows a field, or trains a flower, or plants a tree, is more than all.
  • Clothe with life the weak intent, let me be the thing I meant.

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Dec 17, 1807
  • United States of America
Lived in
  • Haverhill
  • Massachusetts
Sep 7, 1892
Hampton Falls

on July 23, 2013


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