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A Forest Hymn


This great 19th-century poem of Nature-mysticism contains intimations of Cosmotheism.

by William Cullen Bryant, 1824

THE GROVES were God’s first temples. Ere man learned
To hew the shaft, and lay the architrave,
And spread the roof above them, — ere he framed
The lofty vault, to gather and roll back
The sound of anthems; in the darkling wood,
Amidst the cool and silence, he knelt down,
And offered to the Mightiest solemn thanks
And supplication. For his simple heart
Might not resist the sacred influences,

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