A Forest Hymn

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William Cullen Bryant (1794—1878)


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Blank-verse poem by Bryant, published in 1825, and reprinted as the title piece of a volume (1860).

Expressing a concept of nature akin to that of Wordsworth, Bryant proclaims, “The groves were God's first temples,” where He raised shrines for beauty before the advent of human religion, and the flower still seems “an emanation of the indwelling Life” which pervades all things. The poet communes in the forest with “the perpetual work of thy creation, finished, yet renewed forever,” and prays that men, in meditation there, may… to the beautiful order of thy worksLearn to conform the order of our lives.

Subjects: Literature.

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