Frases de James Russell Lowell

James Russell Lowell Foto
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James Russell Lowell

Fecha de nacimiento: 22. Febrero 1819
Fecha de muerte: 12. Agosto 1891

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James Russell Lowell fue un poeta, crítico, editor y diplomático estadounidense, del movimiento romántico. Se le asocia con los llamados Fireside Poets. En 1877 fue nombrado embajador en España.

Lowell se graduó en el Harvard College de la Universidad de Harvard, en 1838, pese a su reputación problemática. Posteriormente cursó estudios de Derecho en la Harvard Law School. Publicó su primera colección de poesía en 1841 y contrajo matrimonio con Maria White en 1844. Ambos se involucraron pronto en la causa abolicionista; el escritor expresó sus pensamientos sobre el particular en su poesía y trabajó como editor en un periódico abolicionista de Filadelfia, Pennsylvania. El matrimonio tuvo varios hijos, aunque sólo uno sobrevivió a la niñez. Tras regresar a Cambridge, fue uno de los fundadores del periódido llamado The Pioneer, del que sólo salieron tres números. Lowell alcanzó notoriedad en 1848 con la publicación de A Fable for Critics, largo poema satírico contra escritores y poetas contemporáneos. Ese mismo año publicó The Biglow Papers, que incrementó su fama. Posteriormente publicaría más ensayos y libros poéticos.

Maria White murió en 1853 y Lowell, un año después, entró a trabajar como profesor de lenguas en Harvard, aunque efectuó un largo viaje por Europa antes de ocupar su puesto, que conservó durante veinte años. Contrajo segundas nupcias con Frances Dunlap en 1857. Ese año se convirtió en editor del The Atlantic Monthly. Veinte años más tarde recibió su primer cargo político, el de embajador en España. Luego lo sería del Reino Unido. Pasó sus últimos años en Cambridge, Massachusetts, el mismo estado donde había nacido. Allí murió en 1891.

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Frases James Russell Lowell

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„The Holy Supper is kept, indeed,
In whatso we share with another's need,—“

—  James Russell Lowell
Context: The Holy Supper is kept, indeed, In whatso we share with another's need,— Not that which we give, but what we share,— For the gift without the giver is bare; Who bestows himself with his alms feeds three,— Himself, his hungering neighbor, and me. Pt. II, st. 8

„They were not seduced by the French fallacy that a new system of government could be ordered like a new suit of clothes. They would as soon have thought of ordering a new suit of flesh and skin. It is only on the roaring loom of time that the stuff is woven for such a vesture of their thought and experience as they were meditating.“

—  James Russell Lowell
Context: The framers of the American Constitution were far from wishing or intending to found a democracy in the strict sense of the word, though, as was inevitable, every expansion of the scheme of government they elaborated has been in a democratical direction. But this has been generally the slow result of growth, and not the sudden innovation of theory; in fact, they had a profound disbelief in theory, and knew better than to commit the folly of breaking with the past. They were not seduced by the French fallacy that a new system of government could be ordered like a new suit of clothes. They would as soon have thought of ordering a new suit of flesh and skin. It is only on the roaring loom of time that the stuff is woven for such a vesture of their thought and experience as they were meditating. They recognized fully the value of tradition and habit as the great allies of permanence and stability. They all had that distaste for innovation which belonged to their race, and many of them a distrust of human nature derived from their creed.

„What men call treasure, and the gods call dross,
Life seems a jest of Fate's contriving,
Only secure in every one's conniving,
A long account of nothings paid with loss.“

—  James Russell Lowell
Context: The little that we do Is but half-nobly true; With our laborious hiving What men call treasure, and the gods call dross, Life seems a jest of Fate's contriving, Only secure in every one's conniving, A long account of nothings paid with loss. St. 3.

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„If ye do not feel the chain,
When it works a brother's pain,
Are ye not base slaves indeed,
Slaves unworthy to be freed?“

—  James Russell Lowell
Context: If there breathe on earth a slave, Are ye truly free and brave? If ye do not feel the chain, When it works a brother's pain, Are ye not base slaves indeed, Slaves unworthy to be freed? St. 1

„Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side;“

—  James Russell Lowell
Context: Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide, In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side; Some great cause, God's new Messiah, offering each the bloom or blight, Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right, And the choice goes by forever 'twixt that darkness and that light. St. 5

„God, give us Peace! not such as lulls to sleep,
But sword on thigh and brow with purpose knit!“

—  James Russell Lowell
Context: God, give us Peace! not such as lulls to sleep, But sword on thigh and brow with purpose knit! And let our Ship of State to harbor sweep, Her ports all up, her battle lanterns lit, And her leashed thunders gathering for their leap. The Washers of the Shroud, st. 20

„Though the cause of Evil prosper, yet ’tis Truth alone is strong,
And, albeit she wander outcast now, I see around her throng
Troops of beautiful, tall angels, to enshield her from all wrong.“

—  James Russell Lowell
Context: Hast thou chosen, O my people, on whose party thou shalt stand, Ere the Doom from its worn sandals shakes the dust against our land? Though the cause of Evil prosper, yet ’tis Truth alone is strong, And, albeit she wander outcast now, I see around her throng Troops of beautiful, tall angels, to enshield her from all wrong. St. 6

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