Page images
[blocks in formation]

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



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.

In Early Spring

To her fair works did Nature link

The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What Man has made of Man.

Through primrose tufts, in that sweet bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And 'tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure,-

But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan
To catch the breezy air;

And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature's holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament

What Man has made of Man?


William Wordsworth [1770-1850]


O SPRING, I know thee! Seek for sweet surprise
In the young children's eyes.

But I have learnt the years, and know the yet
Leaf-folded violet.

Mine ear, awake to silence, can foretell

The cuckoo's fitful bell.

I wander in a gray time that encloses
June and the wild hedge-roses.

A year's procession of the flowers doth pass
My feet, along the grass.

And all you sweet birds silent yet, I know

The notes that stir you so,

« PreviousContinue »