James Gates Percival

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James Gates Percival

James Gates Percival (September 15, 1795May 2, 1856) was an American poet, born at Berlin, Connecticut.


  • Theirs is no vulgar sepulchre--green sods
    Are all their monument, and yet it tells
    A nobler history than pillared piles
    Or the eternal pyramids.
    • "The Graves of the Patriots," first published in the United States Literary Gazette, Vol. 2 (1825).
  • Hail to the land whereon we tread,
    Our fondest boast!
    The sepulchres of mighty dead,
    The truest hearts that ever bled,
    Who sleep on glory’s brightest bed,
    A fearless host:
    No slave is here:—our unchained feet,
    Walk freely as the waves that beat
    Our coast.
    • New England, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • On thy fair bosom, silver lake,
    The wild swan spreads his snowy sail,
    And round his breast the ripples break
    As down he bears before the gale.
    • To Seneca Lake, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • The water is calm and still below,
    For the winds and waves are absent there,
    And the sands are bright as the stars that glow
    In the motionless fields of upper air.
    • The coral Grove, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).

Quotes about James Gates Percival[edit]

  • Percival, the most popular poet before Bryant, a poet who made the first attempt in our history to write the meeting-place between the kind of experience which may be called scientific, and poetry, is ignored. More than ignored: he is referred to in all the anthologies as a one-poem poet, and then a poor imitative poem, "The Coral Grove," is printed.

External links[edit]

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