The Romantics:

Nature, Beauty, Power



"How fiercely, devoutly wild is Nature in the midst of her beauty-loving tenderness!--painting lilies, watering them, caressing them with gentle hand, going from flower to flower like a gardener while building rock mountains and cloud mountains full of lightning and rain."

John Muir, The Yosemite, Chapter 5. 1911

"The strongest reason why we ask for woman a voice in the government under which she lives; . . . a place in the trades and professions, where she may earn her bread, is because of her birthright to self-sovereignty; . . . . No matter how much women prefer to lean, to be protected and supported . . . , they must make the voyage of life alone . . . ."

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, "Solitude and Self," 1892

*Selected British Romantics

William Wordsworth

John Keats

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Percy Bysshe Shelley

The Sensitive Plant

Whether the sensitive Plant, or that

Which within its boughs like a Spirit sat,

Ere its outward form had known decay,

Now felt this change, I cannot say.

Whether that Lady's gentle mind,

No longer with the form combined

Which scattered love, as stars do light,

Found sadness, where it left delight,

I cannot guess; but in this life

Of error, ignorance, and strife,

Where nothing is, but all things seem,

And we the shadows of the dream,

It is a modest creed,and yet

Pleasant if one considers it,

To own that death itself must be,

Like all the rest, a mockery.

That garden sweet, that lady fair,

And all sweet shapes and odours there,

In truth have never passed away;

'Tis we, 'tis ours, are changed; not they.

For love, and beauty and delight,

There is no death nor change; their might

Exceeds our organs, which endure

No light, being themselves obscure.

--Percy Bysshe Shelley

*American Transcendentalists: Male

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Henry David Thoreau

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

William Cullen Bryant

John Muir

Walt Whitman

Thomas Wentworth Higginson

*American Transcendentalists: Female

Helen Hunt Jackson

Margaret Fuller

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Emma Lazarus

  • Emma Lazarus--biography.
  • Selected Poems of Emma Lazarus-- e-texts for "The Crowing of the Red Cock," "In the Jewish Synagogue at Newport," "The New Colossus," and "The New Ezekiel."
  • The New Colossus--"Statue of Liberty" poem and commentary.
  • Poems--many poems; see especially "The Colossus" and "Assurance." Also of interest are her many sonnets to musicians Chopin and Shubert.
  • Collection of Poems--many poems


Late-born and woman-souled I dare not hope,

The freshness of the elder lays, the might

Of manly, modern passion shall alight

Upon my Muse's lips, nor may I cope

(Who veiled and screened by womanhood must grope)

With the world's strong-armed warriors and recite

The dangers, wounds, and triumphs of the fight;

Twanging the full-stringed lyre through all its scope.

But if thou ever in some lake-floored cave

O'erbrowed by rocks, a wild voice wooed and heard,

Answering at once from heaven and earth and wave,

Lending elf-music to thy harshest word,

Misprize thou not these echoes that belong

To one in love with solitude and song.

--Emma Lazarus

*The Temptations of Emily Dickinson

"I have dared to do strange things--bold things, and have asked no advice from any--I have heeded beautiful tempters, yet do not think I am wrong."

(Dickinson Letter 35).

"Two things I have lost with Childhood - the rapture of losing my shoe in the Mud and going Home barefoot, wading for Cardinal flowers  and  the mothers reproof which was more for my sake than her weary own for she frowned with a smile - now Mother and Cardinal flower are parts of a closed world - But is that all I  have lost - memory  drapes  her lips."

Dickinson fragment found on a
scrap of paper, written c.1880

Dickinson Biographies

Poem 722

Sweet Mountains--Ye tell Me no lie--

Never deny Me--Never fly--

Those same unvarying Eyes

Turn on Me--when I fail--or feign,

Or take the Royal names in vain--

Their far--slow--Violet Gaze--

My Strong Madonnas--Cherish still--

The Wayward Nun--beneath the Hill--

Whose service--is to You--

Her latest Worship--When the Day

Fades from the Firmament away--

To life Her Brows on You--

--Emily Dickinson

Dickinson E-texts and Criticism

Other Dickinson Resources

*Resources on Gender and Romanticism

  • Go to Dr. Nichols' Home Page
  • Go to Dr. Nichols' Home Page
  • Go to Dr. Nichols' Home Page

Return to Dr. Nichols' Home Page

Painting left margin: Narcissus by John W. Waterhouse

Background graphics by Dana Lea's Graphics

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