The Rough Sketch


The Rough Sketch was included in her biography, Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910), published in 1915. Laura E. Richards and Maud Howe Elliott won the Pulitzer Prize for the book in 1917.
A great grieved heart, an iron will,
As fearless blood as ever ran;
A form elate with nervous strength
And fibrous vigor,—all a man.

A gallant rein, a restless spur,
The hand to wield a biting scourge;
Small patience for the tasks of Time,
Unmeasured power to speed and urge.

He rides the errands of the hour,
But sends no herald on his ways;
The world would thank the service done,
He cannot stay for gold or praise.

Not lavishly he casts abroad
The glances of an eye intense,
And did he smile but once a year,
It were a Christmas recompense.

I thank a poet for his name,
The "Down of Darkness," this should be;
A child, who knows no risk it runs,
Might stroke its roughness harmlessly.

One helpful gift the Gods forgot,
Due to the man of lion-mood;
A Woman's soul, to match with his
In high resolve and hardihood.

You may also enjoy reading Howe's best-known poem, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, featured in our collection of Civil War Stories.


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Return to the Julia Ward Howe library , or . . . Read the next poem; These Are My People, Quaint and Ancient

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