Page images


A SONG FOR THE SEASONS WHEN the merry lark doth gild

With his song the summer hours, And their nests the swallows build In the roofs and tops of towers, And the golden broom-flower burns All about the waste,

And the maiden May returns

With a pretty haste,—

Then, how merry are the times!

The Spring times! the Summer times!

Now, from off the ashy stone

The chilly midnight cricket crieth,

And all merry birds are flown,

And our dream of pleasure dieth;

Now the once blue, laughing sky/
Saddens into gray,

And the frozen rivers sigh,

Pining all away!

Now, how solemn are the times!
The Winter times! the Night times!

Yet, be merry; all around

Is through one vast change revolving;

Even Night, who lately frowned,

Is in paler dawn dissolving;

Earth will burst her fetters strange,

And in Spring grow free;

All things in the world will change,
Save-my love for thee!

Sing then, hopeful are all times!
Winter, Spring, Summer times!

Bryan Waller Procter [1787-1874]

A Song of the Seasons 1289


SING a song of Spring-time,
The world is going round,
Blown by the south wind:
Listen to its sound.
'Gurgle" goes the mill-wheel,
"Cluck" clucks the hen;
And it's O for a pretty girl
To kiss in the glen.

Sing a song of Summer,

The world is nearly still,

The mill-pond has gone to sleep,

And so has the mill.

Shall we go a-sailing,

Or shall we take a ride,

Or dream the afternoon away
Here, side by side?

Sing a song of Autumn,

The world is going back; They glean in the corn-field, And stamp on the stack.

Our boy, Charlie,

Tall, strong, and light: He shoots all the day

And dances all the night.

Sing a song of Winter,

The world stops dead;

Under snowy coverlid

Flowers lie abed.

There's hunting for the young ones

And wine for the old,

And a sexton in the churchyard

Digging in the cold.

Cosmo Monkhouse [1840-1901]


THIS is the time when bit by bit
The days begin to lengthen sweet
And every minute gained is joy—
And love stirs in the heart of a boy.

This is the time the sun, of late
Content to lie abed till eight,
Lifts up betimes his sleepy head—
And love stirs in the heart of a maid.

This is the time we dock the night
Of a whole hour of candlelight;

When song of linnet and thrush is heard-
And love stirs in the heart of a bird.

This is the time when sword-blades green,
With gold and purple damascene,
Pierce the brown crocus-bed a-row-

And love stirs in a heart I know.

Katharine Tynan [1861


A LADY red upon the hill

Her annual secret keeps;
A lady white within the field
In placid lily sleeps!

The tidy breezes with their brooms
Sweep vale, and hill, and tree!
Prithee, my pretty housewives!
Who may expected be?

The neighbors do not yet suspect!
The woods exchange a smile,-
Orchard, and buttercup, and bird,
In such a little while!

Early Spring

And yet how still the landscape stands,

How nonchalant the wood,

As if the resurrection

Were nothing very odd!


Emily Dickinson [1830-1886]


From "Pippa Passes"

THE year's at the spring,
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;

The hill-side's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;

The snail's on the thorn;

God's in His Heaven

All's right with the world!

Robert Browning [1812-1889]


ONCE more the Heavenly Power

Makes all things new,

And domes the red-plowed hills

With loving blue;

The blackbirds have their wills,

The throstles too.

Opens a door in Heaven;

From skies of glass

A Jacob's ladder falls

On greening grass,
And o'er the mountain-walls

Young angels pass.

Before them fleets the shower,

And burst the buds,
And shine the level lands,

And flash the floods;

The stars are from their hands

Flung through the woods,

The woods with living airs
How softly fanned,

Light airs from where the deep,
All down the sand,

Is breathing in his sleep,
Heard by the land.

O, follow, leaping blood,

The season's lure!

O heart, look down and up,
Serene, secure,

Warm as the crocus cup,
Like snow-drops, pure!

Past, Future glimpse and fade
Through some slight spell,
A gleam from yonder vale,
Some far blue fell,
And sympathies, how frail,

In sound and smell!

Till at thy chuckled note,

Thou twinkling bird,
The fairy fancies range,
And, lightly stirred,
Ring little bells of change
From word to word.

For now the Heavenly Power

Makes all things new,
And thaws the cold, and fills

The flower with dew;

The blackbirds have their wills,

The poets too.

Alfred Tennyson [1809-1892]


I HEARD a thousand blended notes,

While in a grove I sat reclined,

In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

« PreviousContinue »