Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

"Remember the time when thine eye's starry light
Was as gladdening to all things as sunshine 
in spring;
When thy smile made an atmosphere round thee as bright 
As the sudden unfolding of some cherub's wing: 
O! beautiful wert thou with youth on thy brow, 
But trust me, beloved, thou art lovelier now. 

Thine eye's starry lustre is softened by tears, 
And the bloom of thy beauty has faded away ; 
But ne'er in thy gladdest and sunniest years 
Did the high soul within shed so holy a ray : 
O! beautiful wert thou with youth on thy brow, 
But trust me, beloved, thou art lovelier now. 

Life's roses have vanished, life's freshness has fled; Thy future no longer Hope's pencil may paint; 
But the halo that sorrow has cast round thy head 
Has made of our Hebe an exquisite saint : 
O! beautiful wert thou with youth on thy brow, 
But trust me, beloved, thou art lovelier now.”

by American poet Emma Catherine Embury

Emma Catherine Embury was born on February 25th, 1806 in New York City. 

From: The poems of Emma Catherine Embury, published in 1869
Source says not in copyright
In 1921, Edith Wharton became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.  The prize was awarded to Edith for her twelfth novel titled: The Age of Innocence

Edith Wharton was born on January 24th, 1862 in New York City.

Image: Edith in 1907 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Rowan Oak in Oxford, Mississippi 

Rowan Oak was the home of William Faulkner until the year of his death in 1962. It’s also where he wrote many of his works. 

- Image from 1975

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
Mark Twain with friend, fellow writer and Civil War veteran Reverend  Joseph Twichell in Bermuda in 1907, about 30 years after their first trip to the island in 1877.

Image via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
"If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.”

- Emily Dickinson
Woods in Winter 

"When winter winds are piercing chill,
     And through the hawthorn blows the gale,
With solemn feet I tread the hill,
     That overbrows the lonely vale.

O'er the bare upland, and away
     Through the long reach of desert woods,
The embracing sunbeams chastely play,
     And gladden these deep solitudes.

Where, twisted round the barren oak,
     The summer vine in beauty clung,
And summer winds the stillness broke,
     The crystal icicle is hung.

Where, from their frozen urns, mute springs
     Pour out the river's gradual tide,
Shrilly the skater's iron rings,
     And voices fill the woodland side.

Alas! how changed from the fair scene,
     When birds sang out their mellow lay,
And winds were soft, and woods were green,
     And the song ceased not with the day!

But still wild music is abroad,
     Pale, desert woods! within your crowd;
And gathering winds, in hoarse accord,
     Amid the vocal reeds pipe loud.

Chill airs and wintry winds! my ear
     Has grown familiar with your song;
I hear it in the opening year,
     I listen, and it cheers me long.“

by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

Image: Profile portrait of a younger Henry Wadsworth Longfellow via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
American abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier was born on December 17th, 1807 in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

One of his poems was titled:

A Christmas Carmen

Sound over all waters, reach out from all lands,
The chorus of voices, the clasping of hands;
Sing hymns that were sung by the stars of the morn,
Sing songs of the angels when Jesus was born!
    With glad jubilations
    Bring hope to the nations!
The dark night is ending and dawn has begun:
Rise, hope of the ages, arise like the sun,
    All speech flow to music, all hearts beat as one!

Sing the bridal of nations! with chorals of love
Sing out the war-vulture and sing in the dove,
Till the hearts of the peoples keep time in accord,
And the voice of the world is the voice of the Lord!
    Clasp hands of the nations
    In strong gratulations:
The dark night is ending and dawn has begun;
Rise, hope of the ages, arise like the sun,
    All speech flow to music, all hearts beat as one!

Blow, bugles of battle, the marches of peace;
East, west, north, and south let the long quarrel cease
Sing the song of great joy that the angels began,
Sing of glory to God and of good-will to man!
    Hark! joining in chorus
    The heavens bend o'er us!
The dark night is ending and dawn has begun;
Rise, hope of the ages, arise like the sun,
    All speech flow to music, all hearts beat as one!

Photo: Sketch of John Greenleaf Whittier at the age of 45 via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
"Never read any book that is not a year old.”

- Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Image of Ralph Waldo Emerson via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"When I was a boy, there was but one permanent ambition among my comrades in our village on the west bank of the Mississippi River. That was, to be a steamboatman.”

- Mark Twain who was born on November 30th, 1835 in Florida, Missouri.

Quote from Twain’s "Life on The Mississippi” published in 1883

"Yet one smile more, departing, distant sun!
One mellow smile through the soft vapoury air,
Ere, o'er the frozen earth, the loud winds ran,
Or snows are sifted o'er the meadows bare.
One smile on the brown hills and naked trees,
And the dark rocks whose summer wreaths are cast,
And the blue Gentian flower, that, in the breeze,
Nods lonely, of her beauteous race the last.
Yet a few sunny days, in which the bee
Shall murmur by the hedge that skim the way,
The cricket chirp upon the russet lea,
And man delight to linger in thy ray.
Yet one rich smile, and we will try to bear
The piercing winter frost, and winds, and darkened air.”

A poem by William Cullen Bryant who was born on November 3rd, 1794 in Cummington, Massachusetts. 

Image of William Cullen Bryant via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Portrait of American author and activist John Neal and Family of Portland, Maine 

c. 1843

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Edgar Allan Poe & Robert E. Lee 

- Both attended West Point Military Academy (Lee excelled, but Poe had numerous demerits and only attended for a short time) 

- Both were once members of the U.S. Army

- Both lived in Virginia

- Both died during the month of October 

- Both had three letter last names 

- Both were born on today’s date January 19th exactly two years apart (Lee in 1807 and Poe in 1809)
"Mark Twain with Anna Laura (Elizabeth) Hawkins Frazer, who was the inspiration for Twain's character Becky Thatcher in Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn”

c. 1902-1908

via Library of Congress
No known restrictions
Ernest Hemingway with his cat

- 1954

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

"In the morning twilight, while the household yet 
Slumbering securely day and night forget, 
Lightly o’er the threshold I pass, and breathless stand 
In the dream of beauty that rests on sea and land. 

Fresh and calm and dewy, bathed in delicate air, 
The happy earth awakens and grows of day aware. 
Sweetly breaks the silence some bird’s delicious trill, 
And from the southern distance a breeze begins to 

All the stars have faded, and the low large moon 
O’er the western water will have vanished soon. 
Crystal-clear and cloudless the awful arch is bright, 
As up the conscious heaven streams the growing light. 

On the far horizon softly sleeps the haze; 
O’er the ocean spaces steal the rosy rays; 
Winds and waves are quiet, only far away 
Gainst the rock a breaker tosses sudden spray. 

Out behind the headland glides the coaster slow, 
All her canvas blushing in the ruddy glow; 
Where the steadfast lighthouse watches day and night, 
Beautiful and stately she passes out of sight. 

Day that risest splendid, with promise so divine, 
Mine is thy perfect gladness, thy loveliness is mine. 
Thou touchest with thy blessing God’s creatures great and small; 
None shalt thou find more grateful than I among them all. 

I turn my face in worship to the glory of the East 
I thank the lavish giver of my life’s perpetual feast, 
And fain would I be worthy to partake of Nature’s bliss, 
And share with her a moment so exquisite as this!”

By American poet Celia Thaxter who was born on June 29th, 1835 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

From: The poems of Celia Thaxter, published in 1914
Source says not in copyright 

Image: The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Celia Thaxter. 1835-1894" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed June 29, 2020.
No known restrictions

Shakes on the rocks and fragrant ferns, and the berry-bushes around; 
And I watch, as of old, the cattle graze in the lower pasture-ground. 

Of the Saxon months of blossom, when the merle and mavis sing, 
And a dust of gold falls everywhere from the soft midsummer's wing, 

I only know from my poets, or from pictures that hither come, 
Sweet with the smile of the hawthorn-hedge and the scent of the harvest-home. 

But July in our own New England I bask myself in its prime, 
As one in the light of a face he loves, and has not seen for a time! 

Again the perfect blue of the sky; the fresh green woods; the call 
Of the crested jay; the tangled vines that cover the frost- thrown wall: 

Sounds and shadows remembered well! the ground-bee's droning hum; 
The distant musical tree-tops; the locust beating his drum; 

And the ripened July warmth, that seems akin to a fire which stole, 
Long summers since, through the thews of youth, to soften and harden my soul. 

Here it was that I loved her as only a stripling can, 
Who dotes on a girl that others know no mate for the future man; 

It was well, perhaps, that at last my pride and honor out-grew her art, 
That there came an hour, when from broken chains 
I fled with a broken heart. 

"T” was well: but the fire would still flash up in sharp, heat-lightning gleams, 
And ever at night the false, fair face shone into passionate dreams; 

The false, fair form, through many a year, was somewhere close at my side, 
And crept, as by right, to my very arms and the place of my patient bride. 

Bride and vision have passed away, and I am again 
Changed by years; not wiser, I think, but only different grown: 

Not so much nearer wisdom is a man than a boy, for-sooth, 
Though, in scorn of what has come and gone, he hates the ways of his youth. 

In seven years, I have heard it said, a soul shall change its frame; 
Atom for atom, the man shall be the same, yet not the same; 

The last of the ancient ichor shall pass away from his veins, 
And a new-born light shall fill the eyes whose earlier lustre wanes. 

In seven years, it is written, a man shall shift his mood; 
Good shall seem what was evil, and evil the thing that was good: 

Ye that welcome the coming and speed the parting guest, 
Tell me, O winds of summer! am I not half-confest? 

For along the tide of this mellow month new fancies guide my helm, 
Another form has entered my heart as rightful queen of the realm; 

From under their long black lashes new eyes half-blue, half-gray 
Pierce through my soul, to drive the ghost of the old love quite away. 

Shadow of years! at last it sinks in the sepulchre of the past, - 
A gentle image and fair to see; but was my passion so vast? 

"For you," I said, "be you false or true, are ever life of my life!" 
Was it myself or another who spoke, and asked her to be his wife? 

For here, on the dear old hillside, I lie at rest again, 
And think with a quiet self-content of all the passion and pain, 

Of the strong resolve and the after-strife; but the vistas round me seem 
So little changed that I hardly know if the past is not a dream. 

Can I have sailed, for seven years, far out in the open world; 
Have tacked and drifted here and there, by eddying currents whirled; 

Have gained and lost, and found again; and now, for a respite, come 
Once more to the happy scenes of old, and the haven I voyaged from? 

Blended, infinite murmurs of True Love's earliest song, 
Where are you slumbering out of the heart that gave you echoes so long? 

But chords that have ceased to vibrate the swell of an ancient strain 
May thrill with a soulful music when rightly touched again. 

Rock and forest and meadow, landscape perfect and true! 
O, if ourselves were tender and all unchangeful as you, 

I should not now be dreaming of seven years that have been, 
Nor bidding old love good-by forever, and letting the new love in!”

by American poet Edmund Clarence Stedman 

From: The poems of Edmund Clarence Stedman, published in 1908,
source says not in copyright 

Image: Edmund Clarence Stedman no later than 1900 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Portrait photograph of Samuel L. Clemens, inscribed to Mr. Robeson, signed, and dated Jul. 10, 1896.

via NYPL, no known restrictions
"Loveliest of lovely things are they,
On earth, that soonest pass away.
The rose that lives its little hour
Is prized beyond the sculptured flower.”

- William Cullen Bryant 

Image: William Cullen Bryant c. 1876 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

We two that planets erst had been
Are now a double star,
And in the heavens may be seen,
Where that we fixed are.

Yet, whirled with subtle power along,
Into new space we enter,
And evermore with spheral song
Revolve about one centre.

by American poet Henry David Thoreau who was born on July 12th, 1817 in Concord, Massachusetts

Image: Henry David Thoreau in 1856 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Walt Whitman with Jeannette and Nigel Cholmeley-Jones 

- 1887

Nigel, the little boy on the left, became a lieutenant in the American Expeditionary Forces during WWI

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Ernest Hemingway and his mother Grace Hall Hemingway

- 1899

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
American poet Emma Lazarus was born on July 22nd, 1849 in New York City.

Her familiar poem "New Colossus” can be found on a plaque inside the pedestal of The Statue of Liberty.

Another poem that she wrote was titled:


"In rich Virginian woods, 
The scarlet creeper reddens over graves, 
Among the solemn trees enlooped with vines; 
Heroic spirits haunt the solitudes, 
The noble souls of half a million braves, 
Amid the murmurous pines. 

Ah ! who is left behind, 
Earnest and eloquent, sincere and strong, 
To consecrate their memories with words 
Not all unmeet? with fitting dirge and song 
To chant a requiem purer than the wind, 
And sweeter than the birds? 

Here, though all seems at peace, 
The placid, measureless sky serenely fair, 
The laughter of the breeze among the leaves, 
The bars of sunlight slanting through the trees, 
The reckless wild-flowers blooming everywhere, 
The grasses delicate sheaves, 

Nathless each breeze that blows, 
Each tree that trembles to its leafy head 
With nervous life, revives within our mind, 
Tender as flowers of May, the thoughts of those 
Who lie beneath the living beauty, dead, 
Beneath the sunshine, blind. 

For brave dead soldiers, these: 
Blessings and tears of aching thankfulness, 
Soft flowers for the graves in wreaths enwove, 
The odorous lilac of dear memories, 
The heroic blossoms of the wilderness, 
And the rich rose of love. 

But who has sung their praise, 
Not less illustrious, who are living yet? 
Armies of heroes, satisfied to pass 
Calmly, serenely from the whole world’s gaze, 
And cheerfully accept, without regret, 
Their old life as it was, 

With all its petty pain, 
Its irritating littleness and care; 
They who have scaled the mountain, with content 
Sublime, descend to live upon the plain; 
Steadfast as though they breathed the mountain-air 
Still, wheresoe er they went. 

They who were brave to act, 
And rich enough their action to forget; 
Who, having filled their day with chivalry, 
Withdraw and keep their simpleness intact, 
And all unconscious add more lustre yet 
Unto their victory. 

On the broad Western plains 
Their patriarchal life they live anew; 
Hunters as mighty as the men of old, 
Or harvesting the plenteous, yellow grains, 
Gathering ripe vintage of dusk bunches blue, 
Or working mines of gold; 

Or toiling in the town, 
Armed against hindrance, weariness, defeat, 
With dauntless purpose not to swerve or yield, 
And calm, defiant strength, they struggle on, 
As sturdy and as valiant in the street, 
As in the camp and field. 

And those condemned to live, 
Maimed, helpless, lingering still through suffering years, 
May they not envy now the restful sleep 
Of the dear fellow-martyrs they survive? 
Not o er the dead, but over these, your tears, 
brothers, ye may weep! 

New England fields I see, 
The lovely, cultured landscape, waving grain, 
Wide, haughty rivers, and pale, English skies. 
And lo ! a farmer ploughing busily, 
Who lifts a swart face, looks upon the plain, 
I see, in his frank eyes, 

The hero’s soul appear. 
Thus in the common fields and streets they stand ; 
The light that on the past and distant gleams, 
They cast upon the present and the near, 
With antique virtues from some mystic land, 
Of knightly deeds and dreams.”

From: The poems of Emma Lazarus, published in 1889
Source says not in copyright
Caroline (Ma) and Charles (Pa) Ingalls

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.”

- Mark Twain 

Image: Mark Twain in 1907 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe, the mother of Edgar Allan Poe

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
"Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream!
My spirit not awakening, till the beam
Of an Eternity should bring the morrow.
Yes! tho' that long dream were of hopeless sorrow,
'Twere better than the cold reality
Of waking life, to him whose heart must be,
And hath been still, upon the lovely earth,
A chaos of deep passion, from his birth.
But should it be—that dream eternally
Continuing—as dreams have been to me
In my young boyhood —should it thus be given,
'Twere folly still to hope for higher Heaven.
For I have revell'd when the sun was bright
I' the summer sky, in dreams of living light,
And loveliness,—have left my very heart
In climes of mine imagining, apart
From mine own home, with beings that have been
Of mine own thought—what more could I have seen?
'Twas once—and only once—and the wild hour
From my remembrance shall not pass—some power
​Or spell had bound me—'twas the chilly wind
Came o'er me in the night, and left behind
Its image on my spirit—or the moon
Shone on my slumbers in her lofty noon
Too coldly—or the stars—howe'er it was
That dream was as that night-wind—let it pass.

⁠I have been happy, tho' [but] in a dream.
I have been happy—and I love the theme:
Dreams! in their vivid colouring of life
As in that fleeting, shadowy, misty strife
Of semblance with reality which brings
To the delirious eye, more lovely things
Of Paradise and Love—and all our own!
Than young Hope in his sunniest hour hath known.”

Dreams written by Edgar Allan Poe when he was about 18 years old c. 1827 (public domain)

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
On today's date September 8th, 1952 -  "The Old Man and the Sea" - the famous novel by Ernest Hemingway was published. It first appeared in Life Magazine a week earlier.

You can read the work here:

You can listen to Ernest Hemingway read from one of his short stories in the late 1950's here:

You can visit his birthplace and museum here:

Photo: Ernest Hemingway and Carlos Gutierrez aboard Pilar, Key West, 1934. John F. Kennedy Library: Public domain.
"All Profound things, and emotions of things are preceded and attended by Silence.”

- Herman Melville in 1852

Image of American writer Herman Melville in 1860 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
American writer Don Marquis was born on July 29th, 1878 in Walnut, Illinois.

Famous Quote: "Do the best you can, without straining yourself too much and too continuously, and leave the rest to God.”

Image: Don Marquis in 1910 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
On today's date March 1st, 1837: American writer William Dean Howells was born in present day Martins Ferry, Ohio.

Howells became the editor of the Atlantic Monthly and wrote over a hundred books in his lifetime.

American author Alice Hegan Rice was born on January 11th, 1870 in Shelbyville, Kentucky.
One of her most well known novels was
Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch.  
The first chapter begins with: “In the mud and scum of things Something always, always sings!"

via Wikisource, public domain

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Alice Hegan Rice." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 11, 2019.
American author Kate Chopin was born on February 8th, 1850 in St. Louis, Missouri.

“The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation.”

From: The Awakening, by Kate Chopin published in 1899

Image: Kate O'Flaherty (Kate Chopin), at the time of her marriage in 1870 - J.A. Scholten, public domain via Wikimedia Commons
American author Sarah Orne Jewett was born on September 3rd, 1849 in South Berwick, Maine.

She wrote: 

"Your patience may have long to wait,
Whether in little things or great, 
But all good luck, you soon will learn,
Must come to those who nobly earn. 
Who hunts the hay-field over 
Will find the four-leaved clover.”

From: "Perseverance" in September 1883

Image: Sarah Orne Jewett in 1902 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
On November 30th, 1835 Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) was born in Florida, Missouri.

"In a small frame building near the center of the village, John and Jane Clemens established their household. It was a humble one-story affair, with two main rooms and a lean-to kitchen, though comfortable enough for its size, and comparatively new. It is still standing and occupied when these lines are written, and it should be preserved 
and guarded as a shrine for the American people; for it was here that the foremost American-born author the man most characteristically American in every thought and word and action of his life drew his first fluttering breath, caught blinkingly the light of a world that in the years to come would rise up and in its wide realm of letters hail him as a king. 

It was on a bleak day, November 30, 1835, that he 
entered feebly the domain he was to conquer. Long 
afterward, one of those who knew him best said: 
"He always seemed to me like some great being from another planet never quite of this race or kind." 

He may have been, for a great comet was in the sky that year, and it would return no more until the day when he should be borne back into the far spaces of silence and undiscovered suns. But nobody thought of this, then. 

He was a seven-months child, and there was no fanfare of welcome at his coming. Perhaps it was even suggested that, in a house so small and so sufficiently filled, there was no real need of his coming at all. One Polly Ann Buchanan, who is said to have put the first garment of any sort on him, lived to boast of the fact, but she had no particular pride in that matter then. It was only a puny baby with a wavering promise of life. Still, John Clemens must have regarded with favor this first gift of fortune in a new land, for he named the little boy Samuel, after his father, and added the name of an old and dear Virginia friend, Langhorne. The family fortunes would seem to have been improving at this time, and he may have regarded the arrival of another son as a good omen.”

From: Mark Twain, a biography: the personal and literary life of Samuel Langhorne Clemens
by Albert Bigelow Paine, published in 1912
Source says not in copyright 

Image: Samuel Langhorne Clemens c. 1850 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"The river canons of the Sierras of the Snows are better worth while than most Broadways, though the choice of them is like the choice of streets, not very well determined by their names. There is always an amount of local history to be read in the names of mountain highways where one touches the successive waves of occupation or discovery, as in the old villages where the neighborhoods are not built but grow. Here you have the Spanish Californian in Cero Gordo and pinon ; Symmes and Shepherd, pioneers both ; Tunawai, probably Shoshone ; Oak Creek, Kearsarge, — easy to fix the date of that christening, — Tinpah, Paiute that; Mist Canon and Paddy Jack's. The streets of the west Sierras sloping toward the San Joaquin are long and winding, but from the east, my country, a day's ride carries one to the lake regions. The next day reaches the passes of the high divide, but whether one gets passage depends a little on how many have gone that road before, and much on one's own powers. The passes are steep and windy ridges, though not the highest. By two and three thousand feet the snow-caps overtop them. It is even possible to win through the Sierras without having passed above timber-line, but one misses a great exhilaration.”

From: The Land of Little Rain by American author Mary Hunter Austin who was born on September 9th, 1868 in Carlinville, Illinois. 

Source says not in copyright

Image: Mary Hunter Austin in 1900 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
A man said to the universe:
"Sir I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation."

by American author Stephen Crane who was born on November 1st, 1871 in Newark, New Jersey

Image of Stephen Crane via NYPL digital collections, no known restrictions 

Text by Crane via Wikisource
Today we celebrate the birthday of Louisa May Alcott who was born in Philadelphia (Germantown), Pennsylvania in 1832.  

A year before her famous "Little Women" was published, she released a series of short stories and poems for children called "Morning-Glories and Other Stories." Her first writing in the publication was: 

"A Christmas Song" 
by Louisa May Alcott 1867
"Cold and wintry is the sky,
   Bitter winds go whistling by,
   Orchard boughs arc bare and dry,
Yet here stands a fruitful tree.
   Household fairies kind and dear,
   With loving magic none need fear,
   Bade it rise and blossom here,
Little friends, for you and me.

   Come and gather as they fall,
   Shining gifts for great and small;
   Santa Claus remembers all
When he comes with goodies piled.
   Corn and candy, apples red,
   Sugar horses, gingerbread,
   Babies who are never fed,
Are hanging here for every child.

   Shake the boughs and down they come,
   Better fruit than peach or plum,
   'T is our little harvest home;
For though frosts the flowers kill,
   Though birds depart and squirrels sleep,
   Though snows may gather cold and deep,
   Little folk their sunshine keep,
And mother-love makes summer still.

   Gathered in a smiling ring,
   Lightly dance and gayly sing,
   Still at heart remembering
The sweet story all should know,
   Of the little Child whose birth
   Has made this day throughout the earth
   A festival for childish mirth,
Since that first Christmas long ago."

Happy Heartfelt History Holidays! 

Photo: Louisa May Alcott at the age of 20 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
American author and poet Carl Sandburg was born on January 6th, 1878 in Galesburg, Illinois.

One of his poems was called 


“The strong men keep coming on.
They go down shot, hanged, sick, broken.
They live on, fighting, singing, 
    lucky as plungers.

The strong men . . . they keep coming on.
The strong mothers pulling them 
    from a dark sea, a great prairie,
    a long mountain.

Call hallelujah, call amen, 
    call deep thanks.
The strong men keep coming on.”

Published in 1922, public domain

Billy Rose Theatre Division, The New York Public Library. "Carl Sandburg" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed January 6, 2019.
Ernest Hemingway in 1905

Via Wikimedia Commons, public domain in The United States,_1905.png
“All life is just a progression toward, and then a recession from, one phrase— 'I love you.' “

- F. Scott Fitzgerald 

From his short story The Offshore Pirate which he wrote in 1920

Image: F. Scott Fitzgerald c. 1921 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

"In the wild, soft summer darkness
How many and many a night we two together
Sat in the park and watched the Hudson
Wearing her lights like golden spangles
Glinting on black satin.
The rail along the curving pathway
Was low in a happy place to let us cross,
And down the hill a tree that dripped with bloom
Sheltered us,
While your kisses and the flowers,
Falling, falling,
Tangled my hair. . . .

The frail white stars moved slowly over the sky.

And now, far off
In the fragrant darkness
​The tree is tremulous again with bloom,
For June comes back.

To-night what girl
Dreamily before her mirror shakes from her hair
This year's blossoms, clinging in its coils?”

by American poet Sara Teasdale from her book "Love Songs” published in 1917

Sara was born on August 8th, 1884 in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Image: Sara Teasdale in 1907 from Missouri History Museum via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship.”

- Louisa May Alcott

Image: Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, The New York Public Library. "Louisa Alcott" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 12, 2020.
No known restrictions
"The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman."

- American writer Willa Cather 

Image of Willa Cather via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
A photo of Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) with daughter Clara Clemens and her friend Miss Marie Nichols in 1908.

Mark Twain and his wife Olivia had four children. 
However, Clara Clemens was the only child to survive her parents and she lived until the early 1960s.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life — It goes on.”

- American poet Robert Frost 

Image: Robert Frost in the 1910s via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"It ain't the roads we take; it's what's inside of us that makes us turn out the way we do.”

- American writer O. Henry from his collection of short stories Whirligigs, 1910

O. Henry as a young man in the 1880s via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald with his mother in Saint Paul, Minnesota 

- 1897

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"My Dear Husband,

At last it is over and our dear little one is gone from us. He is now among the blessed. My Charley -- my beautiful, loving, gladsome baby, so loving, so sweet, so full of life and hope and strength -- now lies shrouded, pale and cold, in the room below. Never was he anything to me but a comfort. He has been my pride and joy. Many a heartache has he cured for me. Many an anxious night have I held him to my bosom and felt the sorrow and loneliness pass out of me with the touch of his little warm hands. Yet I have just seen him in his death agony, looked on his imploring face when I could not help nor soothe nor do one thing, not one, to mitigate his cruel suffering, do nothing but pray in my anguish that he might die soon. I write as though there were no sorrow like my sorrow, yet there has been in this city, as in the land of Egypt, scarce a house without its dead. This heart-break, this anguish, has been everywhere, and when it will end God alone knows.”

- Harriet Beecher Stowe from a letter to her husband concerning the loss of their toddler son Samuel Charles Stowe in 1849.  

Image of Harriet Beecher Stowe c. 1870 via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
A Rhyme for Memorial Day 
by American poet Julia Ward Howe

“Keep fond remembrance of thy brave,
Columbia! Twice by blood redeemed;
Once, from thy foes beyond the wave,
And once from evil nearer outschemed.

Bring forth the banners, faded now,
Reconsecrate each stain and rent
With patriot pledge and solemn vow
To Freedom’s glorious intent.

Thy champions at the call of Fate
Their pleasures and their toil forsook,
They left their firesides desolate,
But wrote their names in Honor’s book.

Heap high the wreaths above their dust!
Sound the war trumpet for their meed,
But keep thee faithful to the trust
Bequeathed in each heroic deed.

Of the shorn beauty of their days
Let Memory her broad blazon make,
And point her lesson, while our lays
Call the land blessed for their sake.”

Julia Ward Howe was born on May 27th, 1819 in New York City.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald was born on July 24th, 1900 in Montgomery, Alabama.

Image: The Fitzgeralds in 1921 by Kenneth Melvin Wright via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"The sunlight dripped over the house like golden paint over an art jar, and the freckling shadows here and there only intensified the rigor of the bath of light. The Butterworth and Larkin houses flanking were entrenched behind great stodgy trees; only the Happer house took the full sun, and all day long faced the dusty road-street with a tolerant kindly patience. This was the city of Tarleton in southernmost Georgia, September afternoon.”

Excerpt from the beginning of Chapter I of "The Ice Palace” a short story by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald who was born on September 24th, 1896 in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Image: F. Scott Fitzgerald by Minnesota Historical Society. c. 1920 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
The Olde Manse in Concord, Massachusetts 

At different times it was the residence of two great American writers: Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Both families left written messages etched on some of the surfaces in the home that are still visible today.

The home was standing as its inhabitants (the Emerson family) witnessed or heard "the shot heard round the world” in 1775.

Image via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
Ernest Hemingway with his first wife Hadley in Switzerland 

- 1922 

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Mark Twain’s wife and daughters 

Livy with Clara, Jean and Susy 

c. 1880s

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
On September 6th, 1800 Catherine Esther Beecher was born in East Hampton, New York.
Later in the 1800s she wrote a housekeeper’s manual with her sister Harriet Beecher Stowe that offered tips, recipes and suggestions for economically operating an American home...

"They provide soil, in which children, through the winter months, can be starting seeds and plants for their gardens and raising valuable, tender plants. Every child should cultivate flowers and fruits to sell and to give away, and thus be taught to learn the value of money and to practice both economy and benevolence. 

According to the calculation of a house-carpenter, in a place where the average price of lumber is $4 a hundred, and carpenter work $3 a day, such a house can be built for $1600. For those practicing the closest economy, two small families could occupy it, by dividing the kitchen, and yet have room enough. Or one large room and the chamber over it can be left till increase of family and means require enlargement. 

A strong horse and carryall, with a cow, garden, vineyard, and orchard, on a few acres, would secure all the substantial comforts found in great establishments.... 

And if the parents and children were united in the 
daily labors of the house, garden, and fruit culture, such thrift, health, and happiness would be secured as is but rarely found among the rich.”

From: Miss Beecher's housekeeper and healthkeeper: containing five hundred recipes for economical and healthful cooking; also, many directions for securing health and happiness
Published in 1873, source says not in copyright

Image: Catherine Esther Beecher c. 1858-1862 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Rip Van Winkle House, Sleepy Hollow, Catskill Mts. N.Y.

c. 1865

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
American poet Florence Earle Coates was born on today's date July 1st, 1850 in Philadelphia.

Around the time of WWI she wrote a collection of poems called "Pro Patria" which was published in 1917. Within the collection was a poem titled:


"Patient she is—long-suffering, our Land;
Wise with the strength of one whose soul in calm
Weighs and considers, and would understand
Ere it gives way to anger: fearing wrong
Of her own doing more than any planned
Against her peace by others deemed more strong.

Mother of many children alien born,
Whom she has gathered into her kind arms,—
Safe-guarding most the weakest, most forlorn,—
The mother's patience she has learned to know,
Which passes trifles by with smiling scorn—
The mother's hopefulness, to anger slow.

Yet, oh, beware! nor, over-bold, presume
Upon a gentleness enlikened with Power!
Her torch still burns, to kindle or consume,
And 'gainst the time when she must prove her might,
Vast energy is stored in her soul's room—
Undreamed of strength to battle for the Right!"

Photo: A platinum print photograph of Florence Earle Coates early 1900's. By Londonjackbooks • Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
Only One Mother

Most of all the other beautiful things in life come by twos and threes, by dozens and hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows, brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins, but only one mother in the whole world.

- Kate Douglas Wiggin 

Photo: Kate Douglas Wiggin By George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
American author who wrote Of Mice and Men, East of Eden and The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck was born on February 27th, 1902 in Salinas, California.

Image: John Steinbeck sitting in a chair via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
Robert Frost with Jackie Kennedy and others at The White House in 1962 

by Robert Knudsen via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
American author, Pulitzer Prize recipient and Nobel Prize in Literature recipient Pearl S. Buck 

- 1950

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Dinner Party on Mark Twain's seventieth birthday

- 1905 

Image: The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 3, 2020.
No known restrictions
Portrait of American playwright Eugene O'Neill as a child

c. 1892-1894

"Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue!”

"When I have ceased to break my wings
Against the faultiness of things,
And learned that compromises wait
Behind each hardly opened gate,
When I can look Life in the eyes,
Grown calm and very coldly wise,
Life will have given me the Truth,
And taken in exchange—my youth.”

by American poet Sara Teasdale in 1917

Image: Sara Teasdale in 1910 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and family in Venice, Italy 

- 1869

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"Every individual has a place to fill in the world, and is important, in some respect, whether he chooses to be so or not.”

- Nathaniel Hawthorne 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

"Romance, who loves to nod and sing,
With drowsy head and folded wing,
Among the green leaves as they shake
Far down within some shadowy lake,
To me a painted paroquet
Hath been—a most familiar bird—
Taught me my alphabet to say—
To lisp my very earliest word
While in the wild wood I did lie,
A child—with a most knowing eye.
Of late, eternal Condor years
So shake the very Heaven on high
With tumult as they thunder by,
I have no time for idle cares
Through gazing on the unquiet sky.
And when an hour with calmer wings
Its down upon my spirit flings—
That little time with lyre and rhyme
To while away—forbidden things!
My heart would feel to be a crime
Unless it trembled with the strings.”

by Edgar Allan Poe
American playwright Tennessee Williams was born on March 26th, 1911 in Columbus, Mississippi.

Image: Publicity photo of Tennessee Williams to promote Cat on a Hot Tin Roof c. 1955 via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
A photo of American writer Ray Bradbury from 1959

Author of Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury began writing his own stories when he was a child. 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
On April 14th, 1828 Noah Webster published his American Dictionary of The English Language 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
The Lockless Door

It went many years, 
But at last came a knock, 
And I thought of the door 
With no lock to lock. 
I blew out the light, 
I tip-toed the floor, 
And raised both hands 
In prayer to the door. 
But the knock came again 
My window was wide; 
I climbed on the sill 
And descended outside. 
Back over the sill 
I bade a “Come in” 
To whoever the knock 
At the door may have been. 
So at a knock 
I emptied my cage 
To hide in the world 
And alter with age.

by American poet Robert Frost c. 1920

Image: Robert Frost at 85 in 1959 via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
A daguerreotype of American historian Francis Parkman who according to Edward Eggleston:

"belongs distinctly to the class of learned historical scholars who are also skilful and charming writers. His books, to borrow a phrase from Augustin Thierry, are important 'additions to historical science, and at the same time works of literary art.’”

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
President Lyndon B. Johnson greeting Upton Sinclair in 1967.

24 years earlier, Upton Sinclair won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Dragon’s Teeth.
100 years ago...American writer Sinclair Lewis driving a car 

- 1921 

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Una and Julian Hawthorne, the first two children of famous American author Nathaniel Hawthorne seated on a sofa

c. 1850

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.”

- Ralph Waldo Emerson who was born on May 25th, 1803 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Image: Daguerreotype of Ralph Waldo Emerson c. 1856 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"Each of us inevitable; Each of us limitless—each of us with his or her right upon the earth.”

- Walt Whitman 

Image Walt Whitman in Camden, New Jersey in 1891

via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
"Romance and poetry, ivy, lichens and wallflowers need ruin to make them grow.”

- Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1860

Image of Nathaniel Hawthorne taken on May 19th, 1860 via Digital Commonwealth Massachusetts, no known restrictions
Calaveras County California’s first frog jumping contest was held on May 19th, 1928.

It was inspired by Mark Twain’s short story "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” that was written 63 years prior. 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
The first dime novel: Malaeska, The Indian Wife of the White Hunter was published on June 9th, 1860.  It was written by American author Ann Stephens.  

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Ashes of Life 

Love has gone and left me and the days are all alike;
Eat I must, and sleep I will,-and would that night were here!
But ah!-to lie awake and hear the slow hours strike!
Would that it were day again!-with twilight near!

Love has gone and left me and I don't know what to do;
This or that or what you will is all the same to me;
​But all the things that I begin I leave before I'm through,-
There's little use in anything as far as I can see.

Love has gone and left me,-and the neighbors knock and borrow,
And life goes on forever like the gnawing of a mouse,
And to-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow
There's this little street and this little house.

by American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay 

Image of Edna St. Vincent Millay c. 1914 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"I might tell how, but the day before,
John Burns stood at his cottage door,
Looking down the village street,
Where, in the shade of his peaceful vine,
He heard the low of his gathered kine,
And felt their breath with incense sweet;
Or, I might say, when the sunset burned
The old farm gable, he thought it turned
The milk that fell in a babbling flood
Into the milk-pail, red as blood!
Or, how he fancied the hum of bees
Were bullets buzzing among the trees.
But all such fanciful thoughts as these
Were strange to a practical man like Burns,
Who minded only his own concerns,
Troubled no more by fancies fine
Than one of his calm-eyed, long-tailed kine—
Quite old-fashioned and matter-of-fact,
Slow to argue, but quick to act.
That was the reason, as some folk say,
He fought so well on that terrible day.”

From John Burns of Gettysburg by American writer Bret Harte 

Image of Bret Harte via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Arrowhead in Pittsfield, Massachusetts where Herman Melville finished writing Moby-Dick.

Image c. 1860 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
American poet and politician Thomas Dunn English was born on June 29th, 1819 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

One of T. D. English’s poems was titled:


Of all the riches great 
Which men accumulate. 
Or gold, or jewels rare, 
Or acres broad and fair. 
One treasure far surpasses 
The heap which greed amasses ; 
Surest our needs to meet, 
And make our life complete, 
Safer than bonds or rent — 
The gem they call Content. 

If that be in his keep, 
A man may dreamless sleep, 
Quiet his days and nights ; 
No care his soul affrights ; 
No worriment perplexes ; 
No vain ambition vexes ; 
Who drops or holds the crown, 
Which side is up or down, 
Is scarcely an event, 
And mars not his Content. 

The peat-hut on the shore 
Of rocky Labrador, 
Or cabin rude, which stands 
Upon the bottom lands 
Somewhere in Western valleys — 
In either is a palace 
Fair built and furnished well ; 
And, should he in it dwell. 
It glows magnificent. 
Gilded by his Content. 

They do not vex his eve. 
The rich who pass him by ; 
Their coaches past him roll, 
But trouble not his soul ; 
Not his the loud complaint is 
That others feed on dainties, 
While on his board are spread 
His frugal cheese and bread ; 
For fate to him has sent 
Its richest sauce, Content. 

Ah I happy is his lot 
Who others envies not, 
Who never is opprest 
By longing or unrest ; 
But, still his duty doing. 
His even way pursuing, 
Bears patiently what load 
Is his upon the road, 
And, after life well spent, 
Meets death with calm Content

From: The select poems of Dr. Thomas Dunn English, published in 1894
Source says no known restrictions 

Thomas Dunn English and Edgar Allan Poe were once friends, but became adversaries.
"Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.”

- F. Scott Fitzgerald from his novel The Great Gatsby 

Image of F. Scott Fitzgerald c. 1928 via Shutterstock
“My life has been the poem I would have writ,
But I could not both live and utter it.”

- American poet Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12th, 1817 in Concord, Massachusetts
Ernest Hemingway holding a tommy gun aboard the Pilar 

- 1935

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Photograph of Samuel Langhorne Clemens sitting on a verandah in a wicker rocking chair

Inscribed and signed, July 26th, 1906

via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
"She had one President (pronounce him Purse,
And make the most of it for better or worse.
He's your one chance to score against the state).
She had one Daniel Webster. He was all
The Daniel Webster ever was or shall be.
She had the Dartmouth needed to produce him.”

- Robert Frost from his poem titled New Hampshire 

Image Robert Frost in 1913 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Daguerreotype of Emily Dickinson’s brother, William Austin Dickinson, Esquire

c. 1850s

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were — I have not seen
As others saw — I could not bring
My passions from a common spring —
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow — I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone —
And all I lov'd — I lov'd alone —
Then — in my childhood — in the dawn
Of a most stormy life — was drawn
From ev'ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still —
From the torrent, or the fountain —
From the red cliff of the mountain —
From the sun that 'round me roll'd
In its autumn tint of gold —
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass'd me flying by —
From the thunder, and the storm —
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view —“

- Alone by Edgar Allan Poe 

Image: Edgar Allan Poe Walking High Bridge (Alone) in New York City via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions 

High Bridge which connects The Bronx to Manhattan is New York City’s oldest standing bridge
“The earth keeps some vibration going 
There in your heart, and that is you. 
And if the people find you can fiddle, 
Why, fiddle you must, for all your life.”

From the poem Fiddler Jones by American poet Edgar Lee Masters.  Edgar Lee Masters was born on August 23rd, 1868 in Garnett, Kansas.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"By further figuring, it appeared that between New York and Rochester the Erie ran eight passenger-trains each way every day--16 altogether; and carried a daily average of 6,000 persons. That is about a million in six months--the population of New York City. Well, the Erie kills from 13 to 23 persons of ITS million in six months; and in the same time 13,000 of New York's million die in their beds! My flesh crept, my hair stood on end. "This is appalling!" I said. 'The danger isn't in traveling by rail, but in trusting to those deadly beds. I will never sleep in a bed again.’”

From Mark Twain’s short story “The Danger of Lying in Bed” published c. 1871

Image: Mark Twain in bed via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
The Last Word

Here I sit with eighty years
⁠Buried somewhere in my bones. 
I can only see the world
⁠Move along in monotones.
All the peril of the sun
⁠And the laughter too are done.
(Hear the fools there in the passage
⁠Talk of larger vision won!)

Grace o' God, can they not see
⁠That the wisdom comes too late?
Oh, my heart is bitter full
⁠Of reflections delicate
On the beauty that is truth,
⁠On the art that saves, forsooth.
(Hear the fools there in the passage
⁠Mourn the blindness of their youth!)

I have lived the utter life,
⁠Loved the color, loved the word,
Let no light die unresisting,
⁠Let no far flute fail unheard.
All my days and nights are lit
⁠With a secret exquisite
(Hear the little voice come calling
⁠All the weary pain of it!)

Little voice that used to laugh,
⁠Little voice that used to sing—
Somewhere in those eighty years—
⁠Lullaby and love-longing. 
I must listen, I must weep
⁠For the voice I could not keep.
(Oh, the silence of the darkness
⁠Where was breath of her asleep!)

Here they come to bring me praise,
⁠Here they come, there they go,
Lauding loud the work I've done,
⁠Books a-many in a row.
And they envy me and sigh,
⁠And they think those books are I.
Fools there, with some heart to love you,
⁠Pass the larger wisdom by!

by American writer Zona Gale 

Zona Gale was born on August 26th, 1874 in Portage, Wisconsin.
She was the first female to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, 100 years ago, in 1921 

Image via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
Sally Benson whose stories were used as the basis for the classic musical film Meet Me in St. Louis was born on September 3rd, 1897 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Image of Sally Benson in 1941 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Ernest Hemingway in 1917 before he became an ambulance driver in Italy during WWI

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
when God lets my body be

From each brave eye shall sprout a tree
fruit that dangles therefrom

the purpled world will dance upon
Between my lips which did sing

a rose shall beget the spring
that maidens whom passion wastes

will lay between their little breasts
My strong fingers beneath the snow

Into strenuous birds shall go
my love walking in the grass

their wings will touch with her face
and all the while shall my heart be

With the bulge and nuzzle of the sea

by E.E. Cummings, published in 1920

Image of a stamp featuring American writer E.E. Cummings via Shutterstock
“Sometimes with the Heart
Seldom with the Soul
Scarcer once with the Might
Few — love at all.”

- Emily Dickinson

“Coolness, ripeness and repose; 
The smell of gathered grains 
and fruits, 
The musky odor of melons everywhere. 
The very dust is fruity, and the click 
Of locusts' wings is like the close 
Of gates upon great stores of wheat. 
The gathered grain bleaches in shock, 
The corn breathes on me from the west, 
And the sky-line widens on and on, 
Until I see the waves of yellow-green 
Break on the hills that face the snow and lilac 
Peaks of Colorado mountains. 

The sun, half-sunk, 
Burns through the dusty crimson sky. 
Streamers of gold and green soar 
In radiating bands, like spokes 
Of God's immeasurable chariot wheels, 
Half-sunk and falling.  

The cattle feed about me, here, 
Sociably, gnawing the scant dry grass. 
I hear their quick short sighs 
As one by one they settle for the night. 
All is peaceful save the dull report 
Of murderous, quick-repeating gun 
Of some insatiate sportsman. 

Through the hot haze 
The rapid rattle of a hay-rack goes, 
And as it passes leaves a trail 
Of boyish memories, fading, falling 
Like the yellow dust that drifts 
Behind the hay-rack's wheels.”

By Hamlin Garland 

From: Prairie songs: being chants rhymed and unrhymed of the level lands of the great West, published in 1893
Source says not in copyright 

American writer Hamlin Garland was born on September 14th, 1860 in West Salem, Wisconsin
“Before Man made us citizens, great Nature made us men.”

- James Russell Lowell