poem index


Oliver Wendell Holmes

Printer-friendly version
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Related Schools & Movements: 
Texts about this Poet: 

Oliver Wendell Holmes was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on August 29, 1809. A member of the Fireside Poets, he was mainly known for his Harvard University lectures and book The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table (Phillips, Sampson, 1858), in which some of his poems were featured. He died on October 7, 1894, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

by this poet


Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
Long has it waved on high,
And many an eye has danced to see
That banner in the sky;
Beneath it rung the battle shout,
And burst the cannon's roar;—
The meteor of the ocean air
Shall sweep the clouds no more.

Her deck, once red with

I saw him once before,
As he passed by the door,
      And again
The pavement stones resound,
As he totters o’er the ground
      With his cane.

They say that in his prime,
Ere the pruning-knife of Time
      Cut him down,
Not a better man was found
By the Crier on his round
      Through the town.

But now he
Yes, dear departed, cherished days,
   Could Memory’s hand restore
Your morning light, your evening rays
   From Time’s gray urn once more,—
Then might this restless heart be still,
   This straining eye might close,
And Hope her fainting pinions fold,
   While the fair phantoms rose.

But, like a child in ocean’