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From the Prelude to "The Vision of Sir Launfal"
OVER his keys the musing organist,
And builds a bridge from Dreamland for his lay:
Gives hope and fervor, nearer draws his theme,
Not only around our infancy
Doth heaven with all its splendors lie;
Over our manhood bend the skies;
The great winds utter prophecies;
With our faint hearts the mountain strives; Its arms outstretched, the druid wood
Waits with its benedicite;
And to our age's drowsy blood
Still shouts the inspiring sea.
Earth gets its price for what Earth gives us;
At the devil's booth are all things sold,
And what is so rare as a day in June?
And over it softly her warm ear lays;
An instinct within it that reaches and towers,
Thrilling back over hills and valleys;
The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice,
The little bird sits at his door in the sun,
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
Into every bare inlet and creek and bay;
We may shut our eyes, but we cannot help knowing
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;
We could guess it all by yon heifer's lowing,
Tells all in his lusty crowing!
James Russell Lowell [1819-1891]
WHEN the bubble moon is young,
In the tops of blackened trees,
When the Spring has dipped her foot,
Like a bather, in the air,
And the ripples warm the root
Till the little flowers dare,
But the moon of middle night,
Harrison Smith Morris [1856
SWEET, Sweet, sweet,
Astir in the rippled wheat
It hath the brook's wild gayety,
Sweet, sweet and clear,
Above the locust's whirr
And hum of bee
Rises that soft, pathetic harmony.
In the meadow-grass
The innocent white daisies blow,
The dandelion plume doth pass
The unquiet spirit of a flower
Now doth a little cloud all white,
Drift down the warm, blue sky;
And now on the horizon line,
Where dusky woodlands lie,
A sunny mist doth shine,
Like to a veil before a holy shrine,
Sweet, sweet, sweet,
Is the wind's song,
Astir in the rippled wheat
All day long.
The reaper everywhere—
The golden harvest falls.
So doth all end,
Science and Art,
The bloom of the heart;—
Master, Consoler, Friend,
Make Thou the harvest of our days
Ellen Mackay Hutchinson Cortissoz [18
MOWERS, weary and brown, and blithe,
Sings to the blades of the grass below?
Hush, ah hush, the Scythes are saying,
Andrew Lang [1844-1912]
SWEET is the voice that calls
From babbling waterfalls
In meadows where the downy seeds are flying;
And soft the breezes blow,
And eddying come and go,
In faded gardens where the rose is dying.