Sidney Lanier

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Sidney Lanier – 24 March 2008

Sidney Lanier, one of the most important American poets of the 1800’s, was born in Macon, Georgia, 3 February 1842. He loved music and played the flute in the Peabody Orchestra of Baltimore, wrote several popular children’s books, and taught literature at Johns Hopkins University.

As a Confederate soldier, he was captured in 1864 and held in prison where he caught tuberculosis, which led to his early death. On 7 September 1881 Sidney Lanier died in a cabin in the mountains of North Carolina with his wife and family at his side.

I think this poem, which I found in an old book of great religious poetry, expresses Sidney Lanier’s love of the Lord and of nature:

By Sidney Lanier
3 February 1842 – 7 September 1881

Into the woods my Master went,
Clean forspent, forspent.
Into the woods my Master came,
Forspent with love and shame,
But the olives they were not blind to Him;
The little gray leaves were kind to Him;
The thorn-tree had a mind to Him,
When into the woods He came.

Out of the woods my Master went,
And He was well content.
Out of the woods my Master came,
Content with death and shame.
When Death and Shame would woo Him last,
Under the trees they drew Him last:
’Twas on a tree they slew Him – last
When out of the woods He came.

For more inspirational poetry and stories, visit:

"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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