Chambers Baird (1811-1887?)

"A lawyer, who resides at Ripley, Ohio.  Atlantis appeared in Every Other Saturday; the other sonnet, in the Beta Theta Pi magazine." (Crandall)


As one who hears beside a quiet shore,
When seas are stilled and winds and waves are spent,
Faint murmurs of that vanished continent
Whose storied plains reach out on ocean's floor,
O'er which the dark, pulsating waters pour,
With sounds of bells by the swaying flood impent,
Tolling, now lone and low, now full and blent,
Then lost again amid the surfy roar,
So through the silent spaces of the dark,
When lulls the world-hum on the muffled blast,
There strays a tender chord of some far strain
From time when love was sweet and hope not vain;
And pulses throb, and with dear longing mark
The distant echoes of a buried past.

After Many Years

Old Age!  I harbor thee a welcome guest:
Thou mad'st me sage, if aught I am, and skilled
To learn life's broadest arts.  No more I build
Vain temples by forgetful Fame unblest,
Nor madly brave some luring phantom-quest.
I count no fretting hopes yet unfulfilled;
But know, with passionate youth's wild tremor stilled,
The lulling cadences of pulseless rest.
The tide of time flows on, still as a dream,
Its margin crowned with calm and presage-spanned.
The years enrich me, as a silt-fraught stream,
Laden with opulent spoil from many a field,
Gilds with its golden hoard some mellow strand.
Ah, would this lustrum might full fruitage yield!

(Text from Representative Sonnets by American Poets)

return to sonnet central return to 19th century Americans