James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

February 4


By Paul Hamilton Hayne (1830–1886)

(Died Feb. 4, 1881)

O GRANITE nature; like a mountain height

Which pierces heaven! yet with foundations deep,

Rooted where earth’s majestic forces sleep,

In quiet breathing on the breast of night:—

Proud thoughts were his that scaled the infinite

Of loftiest grasp, and calm Elysian sweep;

Fierce thoughts were his that burnt the donjon keep

Of ancient wrong, to flood its crypts with light;

Yet o’er his genius, firm as Ailsa’s rock,

Large, Atlantaen, with grim grandeur dowered,—

Love bloomed, and buds of tender beauty flowered:—

Yet down his rugged massiveness of will

Unscarred by alien passion’s fiery shock,

Mercy flowed melting like an Alpine rill!