Francis Turner Palgrave

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Francis Turner Palgrave in 1872

Francis Turner Palgrave (September 28, 1824October 24, 1897) was a British critic and poet, most famous for his anthology, the Golden Treasury of English Songs and Lyrics.


  • This little Collection differs, it is believed, from others in the attempt made to include in it all the best original lyrical pieces and songs in our language, by writers not living, and none besides the best. The Editor will regard as his fittest readers those who love poetry so well, that he can offer them nothing not already known and valued.
    • Golden Treasury of English Songs and Lyrics (1861) Preface.
  • When once the mind has raised itself to grasp and to delight in excellence, those who love most will be found to love most wisely.
    • Golden Treasury of English Songs and Lyrics (1861) Summary of Book Fourth.
  • The azure lake is argent now
    Beneath the pale moonshine:
    I seek a sign of hope in heaven:
    Fair Polestar! thou are mine.
    A thousand other beacons blaze;
    I follow thee alone...
    • "Midnight At Geneva".
  • In the season of white wild roses
    We two went hand in hand:
    But now in the ruddy autumn
    Together already we stand.
    • "A Song of Spring and Autumn".
  • Time's corrosive dewdrop eats
    The giant warrior to a crust
    Of earth in earth and rust in rust.
    • "A Danish Barrow".
  •  Let the children play
    And sit like flowers upon thy grave
    And crown with flowers,—that hardly have
    A briefer blooming-tide than they.
    • "A Danish Barrow".

Past and Present

  • Sleep puts out silent fingers,
    And leads me back to the roar
    Of the dead salt sea that vomits
    Wrecks of the past ashore.
  • I see the lost Love in beauty
    Go gliding over the main:
    I feel the ancient sweetness,
    The worm and the wormwood again.
  • Earth all one tomb lies round me,
    Domed with an iron sky:
    And God Himself in His power,
    God cannot save me! I cry.
  • With the cry I wake;—and around me
    The mother and child at her feet
    Breathe peace in even whispers;
    And the night falls heavy and sweet.

The Golden Land

  • In the hollow
    Silver voices ripple and cry
    Follow, O follow!
  • Follow, O follow!—and we follow
  • The Sun whispers, O remember!
    You have but thirty days to run,
    O sweet September!
  • Kiss and cling to them, kiss and leave them,
    Bright and beguiling:

    Bright and beguiling, as She who glances
    Along the shore and the meadows along,
    And sings for heart's delight, and dances
    Crowned with apples, and ruddy, and strong:—
    Can we see thee, and not remember
    Thy sun-brown cheek and hair sun-golden,
    O sweet September?


  • There is a garden where lilies
    And roses are side by side;
    And all day between them in silence
    The silken butterflies glide.
  • I may not enter the garden,
    Though I know the road thereto;
    And morn by morn to the gateway
    I see the children go.
  • They bring back light on their faces;
    But they cannot bring back to me
    What the lilies say to the roses,
    Or the songs of the butterflies be.

The Ancient And Modern Muses

  • The monument outlasting bronze was promised well by bards of old.
  • Our hope is less to last through Art than deeper searching of the heart, than broader range of uttered truth.
  • Shakespeare's stage must hold the glass to every age.
  • A thousand forms and passions glow
    Upon the world-wide canvas.
    With larger scope our art we ply;
    And if the crown be harder won,
    Diviner rays around it run,
    With strains of fuller harmony.

Quotes about Palgrave

  • I thought that the poets in the anthologies were the only real poets, that their being in the anthologies was proof of this, though some were classified as "great" and others as "minor." I owed much to those anthologies: Silver Pennies; the constant outflow of volumes edited by Louis Untermeyer; The Cambridge Book of Poetry for Children; Palgrave's Golden Treasury; the Oxford Book of English Verse. But I had no idea that they reflected the taste of a particular time or of particular kinds of people.
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