Monday, 30 June 2014

Day 710: Bonuses

Yes  - William Stafford

It could happen any time, tornado,
earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen.
Or sunshine, love, salvation.

It could you know. That's why we wake
and look out - no guarantees
in this life.

But some bonuses, like morning,
like right now, like noon,
like evening.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Day 709: Summer Night (Love Poem)


In keeping with yesterday's romantic mood, here is the grand lyricist of language, Tennyson, with a wooing song to his beloved on a summer night.  And by 'romantic' I mean not just love -  but the defining sentiment present in these starry summer nights,  the atmosphere full of possibility, magic and beauty.

Summer Night - Alfred Lord Tennyson

Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font:
The firefly wakens: waken thou with me.

Now droops the milk-white peacock like a ghost,
And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.

Now lies the Earth all Danaë to the stars,
And all thy heart lies open unto me.

Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves
A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.

Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake:
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom and be lost in me. 

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Day 708: Solo for Saturday Night Guitar

Have I mentioned how much I love Carl Sandburg's dreamy star-studded poetry? Here is the perfect reverie for a summer Saturday night. Every line is swoon-worthy, with originality and sentiment well met: 'Love is...maybe a rainbow around your shoulders...'  Read it and reel :)

Solo For Saturday Night Guitar - Carl Sandburg

Time was. Time is. Time shall be.
Man invented time to be used.
Love was. Love is. Love shall be.
Yet man never invented love
Nor is love to be used like time.
A clock wears numbers one to twelve
And you look and read its face
And tell the time pre-cise-ly ex-act - ly.
Yet who reads the face of love?
Who tells love numbers pre-cise-ly ex-act-ly?
Holding love in a tight hold for keeps,
Fastening love down and saying
“It's here now and here always.”
You don’t do this off hand, careless-like.
Love costs. Love is not so easy.
Nor is the shimmering of star dust.
Nor the smooth flow of new blossoms.
Nor the drag of a heavy hungering for someone.

Love is a white horse you ride
or wheels and hammers leaving you lonely
or a rock in the moonlight for rest
or a sea where phantom ships cross always
or a tall shadow always whispering
or a circle of spray and prisms —
maybe a rainbow round your shoulder.

Heavy heavy is love to carry
and light as one rose petal,
light as a bubble, a blossom,
a remembering bar of music
or a finger or a wisp of hair
never forgotten.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Day 707: Power of Words

Introducing the new American Poet Laureate, Charles Wright.
(You can read more about him: here)

Body and Soul (excerpt)  - Charles Wright
(for Coleman Hawkins)

I used to think the power of words was inexhaustible,
That how we said the world
            was how it was, and how it would be.
I used to imagine that word-sway and word-thunder
Would silence the Silence and all that,
That worlds were the Word,
That language could lead us inexplicably to grace,
As though it were geographical.
I used to think these things when I was young.
            I still do.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Day 706: The Dream Keeper

The Dream Keeper - Langston Hughes

Bring me all of your dreams,
You dreamer,
Bring me all your
Heart melodies
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Day 705: Forest

Getting totally 'lost' in love or in life, does seem like getting lost in a forest, doesn't it? Can't see the wood for the trees, so to speak. In fairytales, a forest is always representative of an obstacle of some sort to get through. Carol Ann Duffy fleshes out this idea here to dramatic and devastating effect.

Forest - Carol Ann Duffy

There were flowers at the edge of the forest, cupping
the last of the light in their upturned petals. I followed you in,
under the sighing, restless trees and my whole life vanished.

The moon tossed down its shimmering cloth. We undressed,
then dressed again in the gowns of the moon. We knelt in the leaves,
kissed, kissed; new words rustled nearby and we swooned.

Didn’t we? And didn’t I see you rise and go deeper
into the woods and follow you still, till even my childhood shrank
to a glow-worm of light where those flowers darkened and closed.

Thorns on my breasts, rain in my mouth, loam on my bare feet, rough
bark grazing my back, I moaned for them all. You stood, waist deep,
in a stream, pulling me in, so I swam. You were the water, the wind
in the branches wringing their hands, the heavy, wet perfume of soil.

I am there now, lost in the forest, dwarfed by the giant trees. Find me.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Day 704: Midsummer Magic

Midsummer Dream - Robert Edward Hughes 

Today is International Fairy Day! Yes, Midsummer magic and madness.  Here is an excerpt from 'A Midsummer's Night's Dream' by Shakespeare - the quintessential text of fairies and summer magic - to mark the occasion and maybe add some sparkle to your day:
*(If you haven't read or seen the play - I'd highly recommend it! )

A Midsummer Night's Dream

(Act V, Scene I. Athens. The palace of THESEUS.)

'Tis strange, my Theseus, that these lovers speak of.

More strange than true: I never may believe
These antique fables, nor these fairy toys.
Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover and the poet
Are of imagination all compact:
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,
That is, the madman; the lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt:
The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And, as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
Such tricks hath strong imagination,
That if it would but apprehend some joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Or in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush supposed a bear!

But all the story of the night told over,
And all their minds transfigured so together,
More witnesseth than fancy's images
And grows to something of great constancy;
But, howsoever, strange and admirable.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Day 703: The Rapture of Summer Days

Best way to start the week - with Mary Oliver's unbridled joy:

The Rapture - Mary Oliver

All summer
I wandered the fields
that were thickening
every morning,

every rainfall,
with weeds and blossoms,
with the long loops
of the shimmering, and the extravagant-

pale as flames they rose
and fell back,
replete and beautiful-
that was all there was-

and I too
once or twice, at least,
felt myself rising,
my boots

touching suddenly the tops of the weeds,
the blue and silky air-
passion did it,

called me forth,
addled me,
stripped me clean
then covered me with the cloth of happiness-

I think there is no other prize,
only rapture the gleaming,
rapture the illogical the weightless-

whether it be for the perfect shapeliness
of something you love-
like an old German song-
or of someone-

or the dark floss of the earth itself,
heavy and electric.
At the edge of sweet sanity open
such wild, blind wings.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Day 702: The Crowd at the Ball Game

Substitute 'ball game' for World Cup and here is a poem that perfectly describes the atmosphere sweeping the globe right now. 


The Crowd at the Ball Game - William Carlos Williams

The crowd at the ball game
is moved uniformly

by a spirit of uselessness
which delights them—

all the exciting detail
of the chase

and the escape, the error
the flash of genius—

all to no end save beauty
the eternal—

So in detail they, the crowd,
are beautiful

for this
to be warned against

saluted and defied—
It is alive, venomous

it smiles grimly
its words cut—

The flashy female with her
mother, gets it—

The Jew gets it straight— it
is deadly, terrifying—

It is the Inquisition, the

It is beauty itself
that lives

day by day in them

This is
the power of their faces

It is summer, it is the solstice
the crowd is

cheering, the crowd is laughing
in detail

permanently, seriously
without thought

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Day 701: Summer Solstice

A short and simple poem for today, the Summer Solstice. It's almost like a mantra in its brevity, an affirmation in its quiet insistence on contentedness.

*(You might also enjoy reading Summer Solstice by Stacy Cassarino, last year's post. It's such a beautiful gorgeously written poem that I have to draw attention to it again! And, as it's the sun's day, Mary Oliver's ode The Sun is also choice reading :)

The Rising Sun - Sri Chinmoy

The rising sun
blesses my mind
with joy.
The setting sun
blesses my heart
with peace.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Day 700: Summer Stars

Now is the ideal time to be sitting outside at night soaking up starry summer skies (sigh). 

Summer Stars - Carl Sandburg

Bend low again, night of summer stars.
So near you are, sky of summer stars,
So near, a long-arm man can pick off stars,
Pick off what he wants in the sky bowl,
So near you are, summer stars,
So near, strumming, strumming,
So lazy and hum-strumming. 

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Day 699: Butterfly

“Literature and butterflies are the two sweetest passions known to man.”~ Vladimir Nabokov

According to my inspiring almanac - The Awe-Manac - today is National Butterfly Day! 

So many poems about butterflies, so many meanings and metaphors related to them. Butterflies can be happiness, elusive like Thoreau famously pointed out, or they can be markers of beauty, of freedom, transformation, and in many traditions around the world, a symbol for the soul. 

I was torn between a few choices on what to post today - surprisingly, for all their variety of meaning, there are not that many good poems about butterflies out there! (Please, if you have any suggestions, do let me know!) A few weeks ago I posted a really good poem about a butterfly 'The Example' by William Henry Davies (you can read it here). Others I like are a little too melancholy ('Mariposa' - Edna St Vincent Millay') or twee for the occasion, so today it's Emily, who's written extensively on the 'fellows' of the natural world,  on maybe the most alluring aspect of the butterfly and a most powerful metaphor - metamorphosis.

From the Chrysalis - Emily Dickinson

My cocoon tightens, colors tease,
I'm feeling for the air;
A dim capacity for wings
Degrades the dress I wear. 

A power of butterfly must be
The aptitude to fly,
Meadows of majesty concedes
And easy sweeps of sky. 

So I must baffle at the hint 
And cipher at the sign, 
And make much blunder, if at last
I take the clew divine.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Day 698: June Joy

Don't you just love June? With all its new blooms and lushness and promise of sun, it's an amiable month alright. The first step into summer,  high-point of growth, the embodiment of youth, exactly as Marge Piercy puts it here: 'The green will never/again be so green, so purely and lushly/new..' And these last few sunny days it seems as if we do 'stagger into' the month 'smeared with pollen' (what a great image) sun-happy and sun-stunned and glowing.


More Than Enough - Marge Piercy

The first lily of June opens its red mouth.
All over the sand road where we walk
multiflora rose climbs trees cascading
white or pink blossoms, simple, intense
the scene drifting like colored mist.

The arrowhead is spreading its creamy
clumps of flower and the blackberries
are blooming in the thickets. Season of
joy for the bee. The green will never
again be so green, so purely and lushly

new, grass lifting its wheaty seedheads
into the wind. Rich fresh wine
of June, we stagger into you smeared
with pollen, overcome as the turtle
laying her eggs in roadside sand.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Day 697: A Day in June


'All I wanted was to be a pea of being/at rest inside the pod of time...'

Ah this poem perfectly describes these sunny June days! 

The Moment - Billy Collins

It was a day in June, all lawn and sky,
the kind that gives you no choice
but to unbutton your shirt
and sit outside in a rough wooden chair.

And if a glass of ice tea and an anthology
of seventeenth-century devotional poetry
with a dark blue cover are available,
then the picture can hardly be improved.

I remember a fly kept landing on my wrist,
and two black butterflies
with white and red wing-dots
bobbed around my head in the bright air.

I could feel the day offering itself to me,
and I wanted nothing more
than to be in the moment - but which moment?
Not that one, or that one, or that one,

or any of those that were scuttling by
seemed perfectly right for me.
Plus, I was too knotted up with questions
about the past and his tall, evasive sister, the future.

What churchyard held the bones of George Herbert?
Why did John Donne's wife die so young?
And more pressingly,
what could we serve the vegetarian twins

we had invited for dinner that evening
not knowing then that they travel with their own grapes?
And who was the driver of that pickup
flying down the road toward the single railroad track?

And so the priceless moments of the day
were squandered one by one -
or more likely several thousand at a time -
with quandary and pointless interrogation.

All I wanted was to be a pea of being
at rest inside the pod of time,
but that was not going to happen today,
I had to admit to myself

as I closed the blue book on the face
of Thomas Traherne and returned to the house
where I lit a flame under a pot
full of water where some eggs were afloat,

and, while they were cooking,
stared into a little oval mirror by the sink
just to see if that crazy glass
had anything particular to say to me today.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Day 696: Ode to the Bee

Lately I've taken to curiously admiring bees as they buzz about their work in the garden (instead of  being afraid of an incoming sting.) Bees are threatened in our modern world, and so important to the working ecology of it. It's hard not to admire them, and, cherish them, as Pablo Neruda does in a big way here. 

Ode to the Bee - Pablo Neruda

Plentiness of the bee!
Coming and going
from orange, blue and yellow
from the softest softness of the world -
she hastily enters on business the flower crown
and exits with golden coat and yellow boots.

Perfect with a waist of lines of dark bands
with tiny always busy head and watery wings
she enters scented windows, opens silken doors
enters the sanctum of the most fragrant love,
stumbles over small droplets of diamond dew
and from all visited houses she takes mysterious honey,
rich and heavy, of dense fragrance
and liquid light that falls down in drops
until she reaches the bee palace
and deposes the product of the flower, of the flight
and of the seraphic, secret sun.

Plentiness of the bee!
Sacred elevation of the unity,
palpitating school! 

Sonorous buzzing multitudes that tune the nectar
passing swiftly drops of ambrosia -
it is the siesta of the summer of green and of the solitudes of Osorno.
Above the sun stitches his lances in the snow, lighting the volcanoes
wide as the oceans is the earth, blue is the space
but  there is something trembling,
it is the burning heart of the summer
the heart of multiplied honey,
the noisy bee in the living comb of golden flights.

Bees, pure selfless workers,
thin, flashing proletarians, perfect fearsome militia
that in war attack with suicidal stings
buzz, buzz over the earth’s realms
family of gold, windy multitudes
shake the fire of the flowers
the thirst of the stamens
the sharp thread of fragrances
that unite the days and make the honey
surpassing the wet continents
and the farthest islands of the sky of the West

Let the wax raise green statues
let the honey overflow in infinite tongues
let the ocean be a comb
and the Earth be a tower and tunic of flowers
Let the world be a cascade,
magnificent head of hair,
unceasing growth of Beedom!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Day 695: Starlight


Short and (starry) sweet:

Starlight - Ted Kooser

All night, this soft rain from the distant past.
No wonder I sometimes waken as a child.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Day 694: Letter & The Moon

Staying with the honey moon still high in the sky today/tonight, here's a poem 'spattered with moonlight', beautifully written, about love. But in contrast to yesterday's calm love lyric, it's a troubled sort of love here, with revolt brewing.

The Letter - Amy Lowell

Little cramped words scrawling all over the paper
Like draggled fly’s legs,
What can you tell of the flaring moon
Through the oak leaves?
Or of my uncertain window and the bare floor
Spattered with moonlight?
Your silly quirks and twists have nothing in them
Of blossoming hawthorns,
And this paper is dull, crisp, smooth, virgin of loveliness
Beneath my hand.

I am tired, Beloved, of chafing my heart against
The want of you;
Of squeezing it into little inkdrops,
And posting it.
And I scald alone, here, under the fire
Of the great moon.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Day 693: Honey Moon

Tonight is June's full moon, the honey moon. 

Some moon lore for you: the name 'honey moon' comes from the moon's slightly gold appearance this month, due to it rising so low in the sky and as such, our image of it being reddened by the earth's atmosphere. In keeping tandem with the natural world's cycles (as all the names of the moons do), honey makes reference to the bees' hives, full at this time of year. Its honorary namesake, 'honeymoon', arose due to this time of year being the optimum one for weddings, the June nuptials trend dating back centuries.

Or maybe it's just the sweetest of all the moons as it falls in high summer, nearest to the Solstice, when nights are brightest and everything is glowy and warm and sun-kissed gold!  Anyway, here's a poem inspired by both the honey moon and the honeymoon.

To-night - Sara Teasdale

The moon is a curving flower of gold,
The sky is still and blue;
The moon was made for the sky to hold,
And I for you.

The moon is a flower without a stem,
The sky is luminous;
Eternity was made for them,
To-night for us.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Day 692: Summer Rain


'the circus pageantry of rain...'

Another way of looking at this bout of summer rain we've been having!


Summer Rain - Elizabeth Coatsworth

What could be lovelier than to hear the summer rain
Cutting across the heat, as scythes cutting across grain?
Falling upon the steaming roof with sweet uproar,
Tapping and rapping wildly at the door?
No, do not lift the latch, but through the pane
We'll stand and watch the circus pageant
Of the rain,
And see the lightening, like a tiger, striped and dread,
And hear the thunder cross the shaken sky
With elephant tread.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Day 691: Brave Sun

And the sun makes us brave too! 

The Brave Man - Wallace Stevens
The sun, that brave man,
Comes through boughs that lie in wait,
That brave man.

Green and gloomy eyes
In dark forms of the grass
Run away.

The good stars,
Pale helms and spiky spurs,
Run away.

Fears of my bed,
Fears of life and fears of death,
Run away.

That brave man comes up
From below and walks without meditation,
That brave man.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Day 690: Mustard Field


I love Alice Oswald's poetry. Visual, subtle, essential.

The Mustard Field - Alice Oswald

From love to light my element
was altered when I fled
out of your house to meet the space
that blows about my head.

The sun was rude and sensible, 
the rivers ran for hours
and whoops I found a mustard field
exploding into flowers;

and I slowly came to sense again
the thousand forms that move 
all summer through a living world
that grows without your love.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Day 689: Emeralds

This poem reminds me somewhat of Superman and his Fortress of Solitude... It certainly reinforces that idea of solitude as a place of fortitude. 

The Jewel - James Wright

There is this cave
in the air behind my body
that nobody is going to touch:
a cloister, a silence
closing around a blossom of fire.
When I stand upright in the wind,
my bones turn to dark emeralds. 

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Day 688: Pentecost

Pentecost - Derek Walcott
Better a jungle in the head
than rootless concrete.
Better to stand bewildered
by the fireflies' crooked street;

winter lamps do not show
where the sidewalk is lost,
nor can these tongues of snow
speak for the Holy Ghost;

the self-increasing silence
of words dropped from a roof
points along iron railings,
direction, in not proof.

But best is this night surf
with slow scriptures of sand,
that sends, not quite a seraph,
but a late cormorant,

whose fading cry propels
through phosphorescent shoal
what, in my childhood gospels,
used to be called the Soul. 

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Day 687: Epitaph

9,000 Fallen Soldiers Etched into the Sand on Normandy Beach to Commemorate Peace Day WWII war sand Normandy installation

Yesterday was the 70th anniversary of D-Day. After watching all the programmes and documentaries on it I feel inclined to post a poem about it today. So many poems written about war. And what's more surprising - so many of the poets, soldiers from the front. 

D-Day was a victory yes, for democracy, for freedom, but it came at a terrible price, a colossal loss. Karl Shapiro echoes this two-sided sentiment here I think. 

Epitaph - Karl Shapiro 

Underneath this wooden cross there lies

a Christian killed in battle.
You who read,

remember that this stranger died in pain;
and passing here if you can lift your eyes
upon a peace kept by human creed,
know that one soldier has not died in vain.

Underneath this wooden cross there lies
A Christian killed in battle.
You who read,

Remember that this stranger died in pain;
And passing here, if you can lift your eyes
Upon a peace kept by human creed,
Know that one soldier has not died in vain.

- See more at:
Underneath this wooden cross there lies
A Christian killed in battle.
You who read,

Remember that this stranger died in pain;
And passing here, if you can lift your eyes
Upon a peace kept by human creed,
Know that one soldier has not died in vain.

- See more at:
Underneath this wooden cross there lies
A Christian killed in battle.
You who read,

Remember that this stranger died in pain;
And passing here, if you can lift your eyes
Upon a peace kept by human creed,
Know that one soldier has not died in vain.

- See more at:

Friday, 6 June 2014

Day 686: In Need of Music

I Am In Need Of Music - Elizabeth Bishop

I am in need of music that would flow
Over my fretful, feeling fingertips,
Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,
With melody, deep, clear, and liquid-slow.
Oh, for the healing swaying, old and low,
Of some song sung to rest the tired dead,
A song to fall like water on my head,
And over quivering limbs, dream flushed to glow!

There is a magic made by melody:
A spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool
Heart, that sinks through fading colors deep
To the subaqueous stillness of the sea,
And floats forever in a moon-green pool,
Held in the arms of rhythm and of sleep. 

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Day 685: Vacation

If you're heading off somewhere soon, this poem is for you! 
Vacation - Rita Dove
I love the hour before takeoff,
that stretch of no time, no home
but the gray vinyl seats linked like
unfolding paper dolls. Soon we shall
be summoned to the gate, soon enough
there'll be clumsy procedure of row numbers
and perforated stubs - but for now
I can look at these ragtag nuclear families
with their cooing and bickerin
or the heeled bachelorette tryin
to ignore a baby's wail and the baby's
exhausted mother waiting to be called up early
while the athlete, one monstrous hand
asleep on his duffel bag, listens,
perched like a seal trained for the plunge. 
Even the lone executive
who has wandered this far into summer
with his lasered itinerary, briefcase
knocking his knees - even he
has worked for the pleasure of bearing
no more than a scrap of himself
into this hall. He'll dine out, she'll sleep late,
they'll let the sun burn them happy all morning
- a little hope, a little whimsy
before the loudspeaker blurts 
and we leap up to become 
Flight 828, now boarding at Gate 17. 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Day 684: Summer Has Come

I can't believe it's summer already! It slips in so quickly and so silently, only its green fingerprints everywhere give it away.

After the Spring - WS Mervin

The first hay is in and all at once
in the silent evening summer has come
knowing the place wholly the green skin
of its hidden slopes where the shadows will
never reach so far again and a few
gray hairs motionless high in the late
sunlight tell of rain before morning
and of finding the daybreak under green
water with no shadows but all still the same
still known still the known faces of summer
faces of water turning into themselves
changing without a word into themselves 

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Day 683: Metamorphosis in Green


I will never tire of being awed at the greening of trees. All of them are in bloom now, 'multiplied green' everywhere making familiar places brand new with their fanfares of foliage.

I was watching one late bloomer keenly from my window the past few weeks, waiting for its spindly branches to sprout green, every day observing carefully, trying to tally up any change. Then looked out one morning, and it was there, just like that, a bright lime green foliage waving in the air, that seemed to have popped up overnight. A metamorphosis is the only word for it alright!

Metamorphosis - May Sarton

Always it happens when we are not there -
The tree leaps up alive into the air,
Small open parasols of Chinese green
Wave on each twig. But who has ever seen
The latch sprung, the bud as it burst?
Spring always manages to get there first.

Lovers of wind, who will have been aware
Of a faint stirring in the empty air,
Look up one day through a dissolving screen
To find no star, but this multiplied green,
Shadow on shadow, singing sweet and clear.
Listen, lovers of wind, the leaves are here!

Monday, 2 June 2014

Day 682: Blooming

Is there anything more beautiful than a rose? And in this month of newly-bloomed roses, is there anything nicer than taking the time to enjoy them?

How Perfectly - Mary Oliver

How perfectly
    and neatly
      opens the pink rose

this bright morning,
    the sun warm
      on my shoulders,

its heat
    on the opening petals.

it is the smallest,
    the least important event
      at this moment

in the whole world.
    Yet I stand there,
      utterly happy.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Day 681: June Days

'And what is so rare as a day in June?/Then, if ever, come perfect days;'

It's June! Some lovely sentiments in this poem that prove why the first month of summer is also  the nicest.

What is So Rare as a Day in June - James Russell Lowell

And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries earth if it be in tune,
And over it softly her warm ear lays;
Whether we look, or whether we listen,
We hear life murmur, or see it glisten;
Every clod feels a stir of might,
An instinct within it that reaches and towers,
And, groping blindly above it for light,
Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers;
The flush of life may well be seen
Thrilling back over hills and valleys;
The cowslip startles in meadows green,
The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice,
And there's never a leaf nor a blade too mean
To be some happy creature's palace;
The little bird sits at his door in the sun,
Atilt like a blossom among the leaves,
And lets his illumined being o'errun
With the deluge of summer it receives;
His mate feels the eggs beneath her wings,
And the heart in her dumb breast flutters and sings;
He sings to the wide world, and she to her nest,
In the nice ear of Nature which song is the best?

Now is the high-tide of the year,
And whatever of life hath ebbed away
Comes flooding back with a ripply cheer,
Into every bare inlet and creek and bay;
Now the heart is so full that a drop overfills it,
We are happy now because God wills it;
No matter how barren the past may have been,
'Tis enough for us now that the leaves are green;
We sit in the warm shade and feel right well
How the sap creeps up and the blossoms swell;
We may shut our eyes but we cannot help knowing
That skies are clear and grass is growing;
The breeze comes whispering in our ear,
That dandelions are blossoming near,
That maize has sprouted, that streams are flowing,
That the river is bluer than the sky,
That the robin is plastering his house hard by;
And if the breeze kept the good news back,
For our couriers we should not lack;
We could guess it all by yon heifer's lowing,
And hark! How clear bold chanticleer,
Warmed with the new wine of the year,
Tells all in his lusty crowing!

Joy comes, grief goes, we know not how;
Everything is happy now,
Everything is upward striving;
'Tis as easy now for the heart to be true
As for grass to be green or skies to be blue,
'Tis for the natural way of living:
Who knows whither the clouds have fled?
In the unscarred heaven they leave not wake,
And the eyes forget the tears they have shed,
The heart forgets its sorrow and ache;
The soul partakes the season's youth,
And the sulphurous rifts of passion and woe
Lie deep 'neath a silence pure and smooth,
Like burnt-out craters healed with snow.