Born: July 24, 1819, Belchertown, Massachusetts.
Died: October 12, 1881, New York City.
Buried: Springfield Cemetery, Springfield, Massachusetts.
Holland started his career as a doctor, but switched to teaching, and finally became an editor.
He was on the editorial staff of the Springfield, Massachusetts, Republican until 1866, where he wrote the column of Timothy Titcomb Letters.
He helped found Scribner’s Magazine, and worked there until his death.
He also found time to write a number of novels and volumes of poetry.
What glory then! What darkness now!
A glimpse, a thrill, and it is flown!
I reach, I grasp, but stand alone,
With empty arms and upward brow!
Ye may not see, O weary eyes!
The band of angels, swift and bright,
That pass, but cannot wake your sight,
Down trooping from the crowded skies.
O heavy ears! Ye may not hear
The strains that pass my conscious soul,
And seek, but find no earthly goal,
Far falling from another sphere.
Ah! soul of mine! Ah! soul of mine!
Thy sluggish senses are but bars
That stand between thee and the stars,
And shut thee from the world divine.
For something sweeter far than sound,
And something finer than the light
Comes through the discord and the night
And penetrates, or wraps thee round.
Nay, God is here, couldst thou but see:
All things of beauty are of Him:
And Heaven, that holds the cherubim,
As lovingly embraces thee!
If thou hast apprehended well
The tender glory of a flower,
Which moved thee, by some subtle power
Whose source and sway thou couldst not tell;
If thou hast kindled to the sweep
Of stormy clouds across the sky,
Or gazed with tranced and tearful eye,
And swelling breast, upon the deep;
If thou hast felt the throb and thrill
Of early day and happy birds,
While peace, that drowned thy chosen words
Has flowed from thee in glad good-will,
Then hast thou drunk the heavenly dew;
Then have thy feet in rapture trod
The pathway of a thought of God:
And death can show thee nothing new.
For Heaven and beauty are the same—
Of God the all-informing thought,
To sweet, supreme expression wrought,
And syllabled by sound and flame.
The light that beams from childhood’s eyes,
The charm that dwells in summer woods,
The holy influence that broods
O’er all things under twilight skies—
The music of the simple notes
That rise from happy human homes,
The joy in life of all that roams
Upon the earth, and all that floats,
Proclaim that Heaven’s sweet providence
Enwraps the homely earth in whole,
And finds the secret of the soul
Through channels subtler than the sense.
O soul of mine! Throw wide thy door,
And cleanse thy paths from doubt and sin:
And the bright flood shall enter in
And give thee Heaven forevermore!
Josiah Gilbert Holland
The Marble Prophecy, 1872