Thursday, September 11, 2014

Literary Site: William Cullen Bryant Homestead, Cummington, MA

William Cullen Bryant Homestead
Cummington, MA

GPS: N42° 28.236; W072° 56.101

Quick Description: 

The William Cullen Bryant Homestead is located at 207 Bryant Road off Route 112 in Cummington, MA.

Long Description:

The William Cullen Bryant Homestead is the boyhood home of one of America's earliest and foremost 19th century poets. William Cullen Bryant was born on November 3, 1794. He published his first major poem at age 13. He published Thanatopsis, his most famous poem, when he was living here at age 17. Much of his poetry was inspired by his rural home in Cummington, MA. The Rivulet, a small stream that ran through the property, was the subject of a 1823 poem of the same name.

In 1825 he married Frances Fairchild, gave up his law practice, and to moved to New York City to begin a career as an editor of literary publications and then to become editor-in-chief and publisher of the New York Evening Post, a position he held until he died in 1878.

The family sold the Homestead in 1835. However, in 1865, Bryant repurchased the property. From 1865 until 1878 he would leave New York City during the hot summer months to make the Cummington homestead his summer home. Bryant became a noted celebrity, even after his death. In 1894, the centennial of his birth, many people flocked to the Homestead to celebrate his life and accomplishments. Bryant Park adjacent to the main branch of the New York Public Library is named in his honor.

The grounds of the Bryant Homestead are open, for free, daily from sunrise to sunset. Allow at least one hour for the self-guided landscape tour. When the Homestead is open, guided tours are available. Tours of the interior vary. Visitors should call for more information.

Poems by William Cullen Bryant:

The Ages
The Yellow Violet
Inscription for the Entrance to a Wood
Song.—"Soon as the glazed and gleaming snow"
To a Waterfowl
Green River
A Winter Piece
The West Wind
The Burial-place. A Fragment
Blessed are they that Mourn
No Man knoweth his Sepulchre
A Walk at Sunset
Hymn to Death
The Massacre at Scio
The Indian Girl's Lament
Ode for an Agricultural Celebration
The Old Man's Funeral
The Rivulet
An Indian Story
Summer Wind
An Indian at the Burial-place of his Fathers
Song—"Dost thou idly ask to hear"
Hymn of the Waldenses
Monument Mountain
After a Tempest
Autumn Woods
Song of the Greek Amazon
To a Cloud
The Murdered Traveller
Hymn to the North Star
The Lapse of Time
Song of the Stars
A Forest Hymn
"Oh fairest of the rural maids"
"I broke the spell that held me long"
A Song of Pitcairn's Island
The Skies
"I cannot forget with what fervid devotion"
To a Musquito
Lines on Revisiting the Country
The Death of the Flowers
A Meditation on Rhode Island Coal
The New Moon
The Damsel of Peru
The African Chief
Spring in Town
The Gladness of Nature
The Disinterred Warrior
The Greek Partisan
The Two Graves
The Conjunction of Jupiter and Venus
A Summer Ramble
Scene on the Banks of the Hudson
The Hurricane
Sonnet.—William Tell
The Hunter's Serenade
The Greek Boy
The Past
"Upon the mountain's distant head"
The Evening Wind
"When the firmament quivers with daylight's young beam"
"Innocent child and snow-white flower"
To the River Arve
Sonnet.—To Cole, the Painter, departing for Europe
To the fringed Gentian
The Twenty-second of December
Hymn of the City
The Prairies
Song of Marion's Men
The Arctic Lover
The Journey of Life

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