Born on December 17, 1807, in Haverhill, Massachusetts, John Greenleaf Whittier was an American Quaker poet whose maximum poems have turned into hymns. Started as a shoemaker and school teacher, Whittier by the age of 20 became quite famous for his plethora of verse and antislavery writings for abolitionist newspapers and magazines. All his essays and articles around the time of civil war are based on the theme of abolition of slavery and he even founded the Antislavery Liberal Party in 1840 out of his strong pining to end slavery in America.
Whittier though less popular has his own smack in writing. He wrote on nature, religion, rural life etc and became the most popular Fireside poet.
1. For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, ‘It might have been’.
2. The smile of God is victory.
3. You don’t always win your battles, but it’s good to know you fought.
4. From the death of the old the new proceeds, and the life of truth from the death of creeds.
5. The best of a book is not the thought which it contains, but the thought which it suggests; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones but in the echoes of our hearts.
6. Beauty seen is never lost, God’s colors all are fast.
7. It is no use trying to sum people up. One must follow hints, not exactly what is said, nor yet entirely what is done.
8. Peace hath higher tests of manhood, than battle ever knew.
9. One brave deed makes no hero.
10. When faith is lost, when honor dies, the man is dead.
How subtly he said “I’ll lift you and you lift me, and we’ll both ascend together.”
Only if the human race could imbibe this in life, earth can be a better place to live. No more would we need to go out searching for more planets with life conditions.
“O Brother Man, fold to thy heart thy brother:
Where pity dwells, the peace of God is there;
To worship rightly is to love each other,
Each smile a hymn, each kindly word a prayer,” – John Greenleaf Whittier