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John Greenleaf Whittier

1807–1892. American poet. { Encyclopaedia Britannica } { Whittier Birthplace }

At a Glance

Chronicles of Avonlea (1)
Jane of Lantern Hill (1)

Index to This Page

The Eternal Goodness (1)
Songs of Labor (1)

The Eternal Goodness (1865 poem)

I know not where His islands lift
   Their fronded palms in air
I only know I cannot drift
   Beyond His love and care. (Lines 77–80)

Jane of Lantern Hill, chapter 9 (“islands that lifted their fronded palms in air”).

Songs of Labor (1850 poem)

So haply these, my simple lays
Of homely toil, may serve to show
   The orchard bloom and tasselled maize
   That skirt and gladden duty’s ways,
The unsung beauty hid life’s common things below. (Dedication, lines 26–30)

Chronicles of Avonleaepigraph (“The unsung beauty hid / life’s common things below”).


Whittier, John Greenleaf. The Complete Poetical Works of John Greenleaf Whittier: Household Edition. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company; Cambridge: The Riverside Press, 1894. Online at

“The Eternal Goodness,” pp. 318–19; “Songs of Labor: Dedication,” p. 112.

Published on 8 July 2020; last updated on 26 January 2021. Please contact the site owner with additions, corrections, questions, and suggestions.