No Longer Forward Nor Behind

Representative Text

1 No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope or fear;
but, grateful, take the good I find,
the best of now and here.
I break my pilgrim staff,
I lay aside the toiling oar;
the angel sought so far away
I welcome at my door.

2 For all the jarring notes of life
seem blending in a psalm,
and all the angles of its strife
slow rounding into calm.
And so the shadows fall apart,
and so the west winds play;
and all the windows of my heart
I open to the day.

Source: Singing the Living Tradition #9

Author: John Greenleaf Whittier

Whittier, John Greenleaf, the American Quaker poet, was born at Haverhill, Massachusetts, Dec. 17, 1807. He began life as a farm-boy and shoemaker, and subsequently became a successful journalist, editor and poet. In 1828 he became editor of the American Manufacturer (Boston), in 1830 of the New England Review, and an 1836 (on becoming Secretary to the American Anti-Slavery Society) of the Pennsylvania Freeman. He was also for some time, beginning with 1847, the corresponding editor of the National Era. In 1840 he removed to Amesbury, Massachusetts, where most of his later works have been written. At the present time [1890] he lives alternately at Amesbury and Boston. His first poetical piece was printed in the Newburyport Free Press in 182… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: No longer forward or behind
Title: No Longer Forward Nor Behind
Author: John Greenleaf Whittier
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain



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Singing the Living Tradition #9

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