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Hero.



Claudio. Know you any Hero?
Hero. None my lord! As You Like it.


Gentle and modest Hero! I can see
Her delicate figure, and her soft blue eye,
Like a warm vision - lovely as she stood,
Veiled in the presence of young Claudio.
Modesty bows her head, and that young heart
That would endure all suffering for the love
It hideth, is as tremulous as the leaf
Forsaken of the Summer. She hath flung
Her all upon the venture of her vow,
And in her trust leans meekly, like a flower
By the still river tempted from its stem,
And on its bosom floating.
Once again
I see her, and she standeth in her pride,
With her soft eye enkindled, and her lip
Curled with its sweet resentment, like a line
Of lifeless coral. She hath heard the voice
That was her music utter it, and still
To her affection faithful, she hath turned
And questioned in her innocent unbelief,
"Is my lord well, that he should speak so wide?" -
How did they look upon that open brow,
And not read purity? Alas for truth!
It hath so many counterfeits. The words,
That to a child were written legibly,
Are by the wise mistaken, and when light
Hath made the brow transparent, and the face
Is like an angel's - virtue is so fair -
They read it like an over-blotted leaf,
And break the heart that wrote it.
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

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Nathaniel Parker Willis

Nathaniel Parker Willis, also known as N. P. Willis, was an American author, poet and editor who worked with several notable American writers including Edgar Allan Poe and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He became the highest-paid magazine writer of his day. For a time, he was the employer of former slave and future writer Harriet Jacobs. His brother was the composer Richard Storrs Willis and his sister wrote under the name Fanny Fern. Born in Portland, Maine, Willis came from a family of publishers. His grandfather Nathaniel Willis owned newspapers in Massachusetts and Virginia, and his father Nathaniel Willis was the founder of Youth's Companion, the first newspaper specifically for children. Willis developed an interest in literature while attending Yale College and began publishing poetry. After graduation, he worked as an overseas correspondent for the New York Mirror. He eventually moved to New York and began to build his literary reputation. Working with multiple publications, he was earning about $100 per article and between $5,000 and $10,000 per year. In 1846, he started his own publication, the Home Journal, which was eventually renamed Town & Country. Shortly after, Willis moved to a home on the Hudson River where he lived a semi-retired life until his death in 1867. more…

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    "Hero." Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 8 Dec. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/56261/hero.>.

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