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Full text of "All round the year verses from Sky farm"

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HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY 

fftOJf THE LIBRARY OF 

BLISS PERRY 

FRANCIS LEE II1GGINSON PROFESSOR 
OF ENGLISH LITERATURE, EMERITUS 

PRESENTED TO THE COLLEGE 
SEPTEMBER 25,1947 



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BY THE SAME AUTHORS. 

Apple Blossoms. Poems by two children (Elaine 
and Dora Read Goodale), with portraits. i6mo, 

cloth, $1.25; red edges $1.50 

New red line edition. 8 vo, cloth, $2.50; Morocco. 5.00 

" No reader can forget these children ; their book has won for them 
hosts of friends."— Boston Advertiser. 

" Simply wonderful * * * their poetry, while charming in its 
grace and sweetness, has no sham sentiment." — Baltimore American. 

" Here is delight and wonder too * * * The one thing to be said 
of the verses as a whole is this: that wonderful as they are in poetic spirit, 
they are still the pure, sweet, natural utterances of children."— Boston 
Watchman. 

In Berkshire with the Wild Flowers. By Elaine 
and Dora Read Goodale, authors of " Apple Blos- 
soms." Octavo, profusely illustrated with designs 
by W. H. Hamilton Gibson. Cloth, $2.50; 
Morocco 5.00 

The very effective and carefully drawn designs of Mr. Gibson add 
greatly to the value of the volume. 

" Really there has never been a time before in literature when a young 
thrush and a bobolink have printed a book.*'— *'H. H" 

"The Lyrics of these gifted children have a sustaining charm. 1 ' — 
Atlantic Monthly, 

" These poems have the pulse and effervescence of a fountain, its music 
and sparkle Moo."— National Quarterly Review, 

" The Berkshire Wild Flower Poems are so far the most attractive 
upon our list.'*— The Nation, 

This little volume has been carefully prepared, and it is confidently 
believed that it will prove one of the most attractive gift books of the 
season. 



G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK. 



ALL ROUND THE YEAR 



VERSES FROM SKY FARM. 



WITH WHICH ARE INCLUDED THE THIRTY* POEMS ISSUED 

119 ILLUSTRATED FORM IN THE VOLUME ENTITLED 

"IN BERKSHIRE WITH THE WILD FLOWERS" 



ELAINE GOODALE 



i 



AMD 

DORA READ GOODALE 



ILLUSTRATED 



NEW YORK 

G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS 

l82 FIFTH AVENUE 
l88l 



AL \3l\*. A. H 



•s. 



UNIVERS.TYI 
j LlirRAKY | 

\ vrv 7* J 



Copyright, x88o, by G. P. Putkam's Sons. 



CONTENTS 



IN BERKSHIRE WITH THE WILD FLOWERS. 

PAGB 

Opening Poem, E. G. . .3 

Trailing Arbutus, E. G. 6 

Hepatica, D. R. G. . .10 

Anemone, E. G. . . 12 

Bloodroot, E. G. . .14 

Blue Violets, . . . . D. R. G. • ■ 17 

White Violets, . . . . E. G. . .19 

Meadow Rue, E. G. . . 21 

Trillium, D. R. G. . .23 

Wild Oat, D. R. G. .25 

Columbine, E. G. . . 27 

Blue-Eyed Grass, . . . E. G. . 28 

Wild Azalea, D. R. G. . .30 

Moccasin Flower, . . . E. G. . 32 

Daisies, D. R. G. . . -35 

Sweet-Brier, D. R. G. .37 

Harebell, E. G. . . 39 



IV CONTENTS, 

PAGE 

Mountain Laurel, . . . E. G. . . 41 

White Clover, D. R. G. . .43 

Red Clover, D. R. G. 45 

Meadow Lilies, . . . . D. R. G. . .46 
Wood Lilies, ....£. G. .. 48 

Wild Clematis, . . . . D. R. G. . .50 

Indian Pipe, £. G. . . 52 

Thistle, E. G. . .54 

Spirea, D. R. G. .57 

GOLDENROD, E. G. . .58 

Asters, D. R. G. .60 

Cardinal Flower, . . . . D. R. G. . .62 

Fringed Gentian, E. G. . . 64 

Closing Poem E. G. . .66 



EARLY AND LATE 

Along the Way, . . . . E. G. . 71 

Only a Little, E. and D. R. G. 74 

A Fragment, D. R. G. . .76 

Birds of Passage, . . . . D. R. G. . 77 

October Sonnet, . . . . D. R. G. . .79 

Fifteen Years, D. R. G. . 80 

On a Violet, . . • . D. R. G. . .82 



CONTENTS 



On Two Panel Pictures, 
Flowers of Memory, . 
In Grandma's Chair, 
Welcome Home, . 
O Sky, .... 
Wind Sonnet, 
Thanksgiving Hymn, 
Woods in Winter, 
A New-Year's Song, 
To the New- Year, 
Valentines, 
A Twilight Fancy, 
The Round of Life, 
Up Before the Sun, . 
A Welcome to Berkshire, 
Rain Verse, . 
Summer Morning, 
Song of a Swing, 
Love's Silences, 
Earth and Sky, . 
In Mowing Time, 
The Fingers of the Rain, 
In Nature's Drama, 
A Storm at Night, 
•The Chestnut Flower, . 



E. G. . 

D. R. G. 

E. G. . 
E. G. 

D. R. G. 

D. R. G. 

E. G. . 

D. R. G. 

E. G. . 
D. R. G. 



PACK 
83 

• 84 

86 

. 88 

90 

. 91 
92 

. 94 
96 

• 97 



. E. and D. R. G. 98 

D. R. G. . 100 

. D. R. G. . . 102 

D. R. G. . 104 
. D. R. G. . . 105 

E. G. . . 107 
. E. G. . . 108 

D. R. G. . 109 

. E. G. . . in 

D. R. G. . 114 

. D. R. G. . . 115 

D. R. G. .116 

. D. R. G. . . 118 

D. R. G. . 119 

. E. G. . . 121 



VI 



CONTENTS. 



December 14TH, 

Song, 

Through the "Holy Days 
Christmas Carol, 
Christmas Eve, 
Christmas Morning, 
When the New- Year Came 
With Day and Night, . 
A Portrait, . 
March, 1880, 

Grandfather's Birthday, 
Forever New, . 
The Songs of Birds, . 
Love in a Garden, . 
To Mary, 
Decoration Day, 
The Rose, 

June, 

Under the Grasses, 
To Hattie, 
Mother's Garden, 
Land and Home, 



E. G. . 
E. G. 

D. R. G. 

E. G. 

D. R. G. 

E. G. 

E. G. • 
E. G. 
E. G. . 

D. R. G. 

E. G. • 
D. R. G. 

D. R. G. 

E. G. 

E. G. . 
D. R. G. 
D. R. G. 
D. R. G. 
D. R. G. 
D. R. G. 

D. R. G. 

E. G. 



The Whippoorwill and the Poet, D. R. G. 

Follow Me, D. R. G. 

Wood Life D. R. G. 



PAGE 
124 

. 127 

129 

• 131 
133 

• 135 
138 

. I40 
144 

. 147 
149 

. 150 

152 

• 154 
156 

. 157 

159 
. l60 

162 

. I63 

165 
. I67 

I69 
. I70 
. 172 



CONTENTS. 



VII 



Hold Fast, . 
Field, 
Forest, . 
Grainfields, 

Wheat, . 

Corn, 

Buckwheat, 
Song, 

A Berrying, . 
Pasture, . 
Orchard, 
The First Frost, 
Song, 

Summer is over, 
Beyond, 
Nobody Knows, 
Harvest-Home, 



HARVEST-HOME. 

D. R. G. . 



D. R. G. . 
D. R. G. . 
D. R. G. . 
D. R. G. . 
D. R. G.. 
D. R. G.. 
D. R. G.. 
D. R. G.. 
D. R. G.. 
D. R. G. . 
D. R. G.. 
D. R. G. 
D. R. G. 
D. R. G. 
D. R. G. 
D. R. G. 



179 

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1 04 

....... *95 

....... XQy 

....... IQO 

«•••••• m <&^3 

....... 20X 

••<»•*. 203 
2O4 



IN BERKSHIRE WITH THE WILD 

FLOWERS. 




IN BERKSHIRE WITH THE WILD 

FLOWERS. * 

STRANGE sweet season of upheaving birth, 
O oft-returning miracle of grace, 
To whose pure sources once again we trace 
Love's tides that yearning beat the strong, self-cen- 
tered earth ! 

No weight of ages on her swelling breast 
Can dull the keen delight of opening Spring ; 
Warmed with a heavenly hope the bluebirds sing, 

And soar beyond the hills on some forgotten quest. 

The tide of being mounting high and higher, 
Joy crests the wave that breaks along the shore, — 
We give ourselves to Nature's arms once more, 

And yield to her control our unfulfilled desire ! 



Lo ! wind and rain are striving in her voice, 
She bares her bosom to the ardent sun, 
And we must feel her victories lost and won 

Ere in her riper gains our eager hearts rejoice. 

No idler fancy holds her serious eyes, 
No lighter feeling drains the happy hours, 
And he who stoops to find her lowliest flowers, 

May fail with outstretched arms to grasp their 
mysteries. 

With steadfast mind we pass her threshold o'er, — 
She takes our trust, she gives us greeting warm, 
Withholds the rudeness of her sudden storm, 

And casts her blossoming vines about the open door. 

Her flowers, sun-fed, their tender leaves unfold, 
With rosy, joyous lips that kiss and cling, 
Breathe fire and perfume through warm gusts of 
Spring, 

And worship at her shrine with incense never cold. 

Such would we follow thro* the varying year, 
And know with such its lightest phase of change, — 
To Nature's deep emotions, deep and strange, 

The impress of a smile, the passion of a tear ! 



Lingering with few among the countless throng, 
Yet loyal to the ones that seem forgot, 
We fain would learn the secret of their lot, 

And voice its hidden charm in kindred grace of 
song! 

In these, perchance, no ready sequence lies, 
Linked only by the season's rise and fall ; 
Yet thro', and over, and around them all 

There flows the current strong of Time's great 
ministries. 

So would we keep among these scattered flowers 
A thread of graver purpose interwound, 
A hint of something only to be found 

Where from God's holiest heights unroll the golden 
hours ! 




TRAILING ARBUTUS. 

INCE the winds of March, gave outlet to the 
tidings they should bear, 
Since the breath of inspiration swept upon the lis- 
tening air, 
Weeks have brought but varying chances, 
Soft restraints and shy advances, 
Warm desire, impetuous longing, met with tenderest 
delay ; 
Ours the restless hope and yearning, 
Theirs the slow but sure returning, — 
Song and bloom and rosy weather growing nearer 
day by day. 

We have known the wrath of Winter, in his moun- 
tain fastness strong, 
Driving storms have raged against us, baffled and 
besieged us long ; 
Locked in snows, without repining 
We have watched their crystal shining, 



TRAILING ARBUTUS. 7 

Dazzled back with steadfast vision that still ra- 
diance, cold and clear ; 
Now we gaze with lips a- tremble, 
Now we soften and dissemble, 
For those same compelling forces move us with the 
moving year ! 

Thus by random fancies fettered, with what rapture 

may we greet 
One who shared our long probation, where the 
Spring and Winter meet ; 
Wind and snow about her flying, 
Safe her clustered buds were lying, 
Folded close in russet woodlands, sheltered from the 
chilly air, — 
Sweet her slumbers, all unbroken 
By a trifler's fancied token, 
Till the magic kiss of April laid her virgin passion 
bare ! 

Then our darling, hid in silence where no careless 

footstep trod, 
Felt the earliest beams of sunlight quicken in the 
yielding sod ; 
Half confessed her heart's undoing 
At the south-wind's whispered wooing, 



8 TRAILING ARBUTUS. 

Heard the blue-bird's liquid warble dropping all the 
woodlands thro' ; 
While, thro* long and quiet hours, 
Fell the warm unceasing showers 
From a sky of tender saffron slow dissolving in the 
blue. 

Needless doubt and pain of April, hope that baffles 

and eludes, 
Thro' the waiting weeks she followed, patient with 
his changing moods ; 
Now the long suspense is over, 
Now she turns to greet her lover, 
With the soft auroral color mantling over cheek and 
brow ; 
And her dewy lips he presses, 
And she thrills with light caresses, — 
Shy and cold while yet unbidden, wifely chaste and 
tender now ! 

Hail the flower whose early bridal makes the festival 

of Spring ! 
Deeper far than outward meaning lies the comfort 
she doth bring ! 
From the heights of happy winning, 
Gaze we back on hope's beginning, 



TRAILING ARBUTUS. 9 

Feel the vital strength and beauty hidden from our 
eyes before ; 
And we know, with hearts grown stronger, 
Tho' our waiting seemeth longer, 
Yet, with love's divine assurance, we should covet 
nothing more. 




HEPATICA. 

|LL the woodland path is broken 
By warm tints along the way, 
And the low and sunny slope 
Is alive with sudden hope, 
When there comes the silent token 
Of an April day, — 

Blue hepatica ! 

O the earth's unconscious bosom 
Such rare color never knew ! 
All unknown to shy delay, 
All unheeded by the May, 
Starts to life the varying blossom, 
Fed by sun and dew, — 
Faint hepatica ! 

Come ! for long has been our waiting, 
Wayward impulse of the Spring, — 
Longings by the March wind stirred 
Have been lost through hope deferred ; 
You, from utter darkness breaking, 
Newer light may bring, 
Fair hepatica ! 



HEP A TICA. 1 1 

Clear the brook beside you singing — 
Do you hear it and obey ? 
Does it bid you now lift up 
The blue light within your cup, 
All your earth-born perfume bringing 
To the open day, — 

Sweet hepatica ? 




ANEMONE. 

WINDFLOWER by the mountain stream, 
Where April's wayward breezes blow, 
And still in sheltered hollows gleam 
The lingering drifts of snow : 

Whence are thou, frailest flower of Spring ? 

Did winds of heaven give thee birth ? 
Too free, too airy-light a thing 

For any child of earth ! 

O palest of pale blossoms borne 

On timid April's virgin breast, 
Hast thou no flush of passion worn, 

No mortal bond confessed ? 

Thou mystic spirit of the wood, 
Why that ethereal grace that seems 

A vision of our actual good 

Linked with the land of dreams ? 



ANEMONE. 13 

Thou didst not start from common ground, — 
So tremulous on thy slender stem ; 

Thy sisters may not clasp thee round 
Who art not one with them. 

Thy subtle charm is strangely given, 

My fancy will not let thee be, — 
Then poise not thus 'twixt earth and heaven, 

O white anemone ! 




BLOODROOT. 

|OT pressing close on crowded ways. 
Not shrinking back from any eye, 
But calm beneath the open sky, 
And slow to meet our curious gaze : 

In April's hour of virgin fame 
The bloodroot gives her blossom birth. 
And trusts within the kindly earth 

The hidden sources of her shame. 

Along the teeming meadow-side, 
Hard by the river-banks are seen 
Her close-veined sheaths of tender green, 

With generous frankness opening wide. 

When lo ! the secret of an hour 

By throbbing April warmth unsealed, 
In sudden splendor stands revealed 

The glowing whiteness of the flower : 



BLOODROOT. 1 5 

A pure large flower of simple mold, 
And touched with soft peculiar bloom, 
Its petals faint with strange perfume, 

And in their midst a disk of gold ! 

bloodroot ! in thy tingling veins 
The sap of life runs cold and clear ; 
I break thy shining stem, and fear 

No conscious guilt, no lasting stains. 

1 brand with shame thy peerless brow, 
Whose golden coronet is riven, 
And cast to all the winds of heaven 

Thy drifts of many-petaled snow ! 

Yet, ere the reckless deed appears, 
Thy truth compels my heart's disguise, 
Thy beauty pains my mortal eyes, 

Thy pulse-beats hammer in my ears. 

I seem myself the panting earth, 
The Spring within me newly born ; 
I feel thee from my breast uptorn — 

I grapple with a larger birth. 



L 



1 6 BLOODROOT. 

My narrow senses downward hurled. 
In upper air I blindly grope — 
I strive to reach a living hope, 

And blossom in the other world ! 

Go, struggles deep, and visions wild, 
From heart and brain I set you free ; 
Thro* human need I still must see 

And grasp the human undefiled. 

Go, wondrous flower — thy soul is mine — 
My gazing cannot do thee wrong ; 
To me the conscious pangs belong ! 

To me, at last, the right divine ! 




BLUE VIOLETS. 

[HE violet blooms with every Spring, 
With every Spring the breezes blow, 
And once again the robins sing 
A song more sweet than June can know. 

So with the violet comes desire 

For something else than common gain, — 
The glow of more than earthly fire, 

The sting of more than actual pain. 

A thousand slackened memories start, 
Encompassed by a violet's breath, — 

The vital wish of every heart, 
The Life that triumphs over Death. 

A blossom of returning light, 
An April flower of sun and dew ; 

The earth and sky, the day and night 
Are melted in her depth of blue ! 



1 8 BLUE VIOLETS. 

So comes and goes an April day. 
And so the violet comes and goes, — 

A few pale blossoms grace the May, 
A last faint breath the May-wind blows. 

But now the air is full and free, 
With quickening pulses of the Spring, 

And longing for the life to be 
The phoebes of a sudden sing. 

And on a green and shaded slope 
The air is stirred with sweet perfumes, 

Where, in the heat and light of hope, 
Again the rare blue violet blooms ! 




WHITE VIOLETS. 

|AIN above the thirsting sod, 
Rain within the budding wood, 
Dropping earthward, dropping ever soft and slow ; 
Rain its solemn chant repeating, 

On the hushed and darkened air, 
Rain with even pulses beating 
Thro* the fitful fever there ; 
We, who live and long for much, 
Still divine its magic touch, 
Drink its silver cadence still, 
Open to its inmost thrill, — 
Gone from us the restless pain, 
Ours the blessing of the rain, 
Ours the grace benign that hallows all below ! 

Flowers amid the dripping moss, 
Tearful flowers that sweeten loss, 
Pressing closer on the myriads in their train ; 



20 WHITE VIOLETS. 

White as milk, and perfume-laden, 

Purple- veined and golden -eyed, — 
Still with sweeter solace waiting 

Where the swollen streams divide ; 
We, released from strifes and cares, 
Press our burning lips to theirs, 
Share their mood of still delight, 
Drink their unimpassioned light ; 
Gone from us the fever-heats, 
Ours the breath of violets, — 
These we follow in the footsteps of the rain ! 




MEADOW RUE. 

|ELOW the slopes of tender green, 
Starred thick with pale forget-me-nots, 
Below the hedge-row's milk-white bloom, 
Where bees hum deep in faint perfume, 
The brook winds in and out between 

Its grassy knolls and alder-knots ; 
There dewy stillness cools the burning brow, 

There restful shade shuts out the random day ; 
Sweet refuge from the virginal overflow, 
The blossomed grace of May ! 

'Tis there a modest floweret grows, 
Whose lightest touch renews the place ; 

With drooping leaves, but half unrolled, 

And tasselled fringe of tawny gold, 

O'er all the shady bank she throws 
A timid and caressing grace ; 

Adown the steep with careless freedom flung, 
Caught up by wandering fringes, loose and cool 

And left the dripping, deep-green moss among, 
Beside some quiet pool. 



22 MEADOW RUE. 

Now circled by the dizzying tide, 
And wet with drift of blinding spray ; 

Now on the sloping turf reclined, 

And stirred by breezes soft and kind ; 

Now half-way up the jagged side 
Of cliffs that break the narrow way ; — 

Hers is a native lightness, fine and free, 
A rich and changeful lustre, fitting best, 

A grave, quaint charm of bare simplicity, 
And most, a sense of rest. 

When emerald slopes are drowned in song, 

When weary grows the unclouded blue, 
When warm winds sink in billowy bloom, 
And flood you with a faint perfume, 
One moment leave the rapturous throng 
To seek the haunts of meadow rue ! 
, There dewy stillness cools the aching brow, 
There grateful shade shuts out the oppressive 
day; 
Sweet refuge from the sensuous overflow, 
The wanton grace of May ! 




TRILLIUM. 



HERE the landlocked wind-storm rages, 
Rushing thro* the wild ravine, 
Where the gathered dust of ages 
Is renewed in tenderest green ; 
Where the passionate pulse of power 

Beats along its strong career, 
You may find a three-cleft flower 
In the spring-time of the year ! 



Winter winds thro' mountain passes 

Break athwart the frosty night ; 
Spring among the seething grasses 

Stirs a newer pulse of light ; 
Sweet and strange the April weather, — 

Generous she of heart and hand, 
Sun and storm she brings together, 

Strong to conquer and command. 



24 TRILLIUM. 

Now about the rugged places 

And along the ruined way, 
Light and free in sudden graces 

Comes the careless tread of May,- 
Born of tempest, wrought in power, 

Stirred by sudden hope and fear, 
You may find a mystic flower 

In the spring-time of the year! 




WILD OAT. 

INDS are growing sweeter 
Day by day ; 
Spring is here, the fields have seen her, 
And are growing greener, greener, 
And the woods have found so much 
In the magic of her touch, 
That the golden mist of April 
Deepens with the May ! 



Now we feel the new enchantment 

Of the May ; 
April days were less than living, 
Ours the asking, hers the giving, — 
In the golden May-tide weather 
We can ask and give together, 
Now no more we wait and listen 

Day by day. 



26 WILD OAT. 

To the green and sunlit forest, 

Late so gray, 
Come the careless robins daily, 
There to call and carol gayly, 
And the chime of blossom-bells 
Fuller harmony foretells, 
In the borders of the forest 

Ringing in the May ! 

Waits the flower amid her shadows 

All the day, 
And the slender birch-tree glistens, 
Where she droops her head and listens 
And her footprints I discover 
Where the sweet-fern closes over, 
Round the edges of the woodlands 

Tender with the May ! 

O the lights of earth and heaven, 

Growing day by day ; 
O the winds among the grasses, — 
Showers, along the mountain passes 
O the shy, straw-colored bell 
In the shadow of the dell, 
Heir to all the early freedonr 
Of the May ! 




COLUMBINE. 

[PRUNG in a cleft of the wayside steep, 
And saucily nodding, flushing deep, 
With her airy tropic bells aglow, — 
Bold and careless, yet formed Ught, 
And swung into poise on the stony height, 
Like a challenge flung to the world below ! 

Skirting the rocks at the forest edge 
With a running flame from ledge to ledge, 
Or swaying deeper in shadowy glooms, 
A smoldering fire in her dusky blooms ; 
Bronzed and molded by wind and sun, 
Maddening, gladdening every one 
With a gypsy beauty full and fine, — 
A health to the crimson columbine ! 




BLUE-EYED GRASS. 

N the blind meadow, overflowing 
With sweet, new life in every place, 
Where ferns and lightest grasses growing 
Mingle in one harmonious grace ; 

deeper than all conscious being 

Still throbs the quickened pulse of Air, 
For something lies beyond the seeing, 
Divinely fair ! 

Low down among the daisies lying, 
Near to the great warm heart of Earth, 

My secret clue eludes the trying, 
Merged in a new and larger birth ; 

1 lose myself in holy union, 

I cannot stand and gaze apart, 

In that unbroken, close communion 

Heart learns of heart. 



BLUE- EYED GRASS. 2<j 

What impulse stirs the feathery grasses, 
And dips along their wavering line ? 

While, as the sudden tremor passes, 

Two strange, sweet eyes look up to mine ! 

Eyes with a more than human pleading, 
So poet-deep, so maiden-shy ; 

Till all my soul is drowned in gazing, — 
O rare blue eye ! 

My spirit-flower, my heaven-sent blossom, 

I held your secret in my hand, 
I caught and clasped you to my bosom, 

I thought to see and understand : 
O fatal haste ! thou hast undone me, 

Yet, yet unsolved the mystery lies ; 
They closed, and shut the wonder from me, 
Those deep, dark eyes ! 




WILD AZALEA. 



NEWEST longing, O most dear desire, 
Unsatisfied, unknown ! 
All the broken woodland path 
Little light or color hath, 
Save the glory breaking in 
Thro* the depth of tender green, — 
We are here alone ! 

Whence is the sacred music of the wood, 

The clear, the tireless tone ? 
Thro' misty ways we blindly grope 
To catch the earliest signs of hope, 
Sun or shade or restless wind, 
Whatso pleasures we may find, — 

We are here alone. 



WILD AZALEA 3 1 

A sudden presence stirs the soiemn wood, 
1 A secret not its own, 

A youthful light, an open grace, 
An equal strength in every place, 
And, far up the steep ascent, 
Warmth and quick desire are lent 
Where we wait alone ! 



O far away in yonder leafy copse 

The wandering thrush has flown, 
And close along the wooded steep 
We know an influence passing deep, 
The Summer light, the Summer tone, 
The rare azalea makes her own, — 
And we are not alone ! 




MOCCASIN FLOWER. 

[TATELY and calm the forest rears its crown 
Above the eternal height, — 
Wide sweeps of early color, shimmering down, 

Renew its gracious might ! 
Along the farthest ridge tall chestnuts grow, 

Mixed dark with rugged pines, 
And follow all the gentler slopes below 

In grand, harmonious lines. 
Their slender limbs toss upward to the sky 

A billowy spray of green, — 
The massive oak-tree's richer canopy 

Weaves ample shade between. 
Alike thro' coppice warm and rocky dell 

The rare azaleas press, — 
Long vistas touched with rosy bloom reveal 

Their truant loveliness ; 
Young growths with tender leafage springing light, 

Crowd up on every side, 



MOCCASIN FLOWER. 33 

And paths whose flow is rhythmic with delight, 

Their magic open wide ! 
Yet shy and proud among the forest flowers, 

In maiden solitude, 
Is one whose charm is never wholly ours, 

Nor yielded to our mood : 
One true-born blossom, native to our skies, 

We dare not claim as kin, 
Nor frankly seek, for all that in it lies, 

The Indian's moccasin. 
Graceful and tall the slender drooping stem, 

With two broad leaves below, 
Shapely the flower so lightly poised between, 

And warm her rosy glow ; 
Yet loneliest rock-strewn haunts are all her bent, 

She heeds no soft appeal, 
And they alone who dare a rude ascent, 

Her equal charm may feel. 
We long with her to leave the beaten road, 

The paths that cramp our feet, 
And follow upward thro* the tangled wood, 

By highways cool and sweet ; 
From dewy glade to bold and rugged steep 

Pass fleet as winds and showers, — 
For lightly ever falls the tireless foot 

That's only shod with flowers ! 



34 MOCCASIN FLOWER. 

No lagging step outruns the happy days, — 

Our tread is soft as rain ; 
With careless joy we thread the woodland ways 

And reach her broad domain. 
Thro' sense of strength and beauty, free as air, 

We feel our savage kin, — 
And thus alone with conscious meaning wear 

The Indian's moccasin ! 




DAISIES. 

| HE hills are faint in a cloudy blue, 

That loses itself where the sky bends over, 
The wind is shaking the orchard thro', 
And sending a quiver thro' knee- deep clover. 

The air is sweet with a strange perfume, 

That comes from the depths of the woodland 
places, 

The fields are hid in a wealth of bloom, 
And white with the sweep of the ox-eye daisies ! ' 

And farther down, where the brook runs thro', 
Where the ferns are cool in the prisoned shadow, 

We still may see, thro' the morning dew, 
The swell and dip of the daisied meadow. 

'And then when the wind across it blows, 
And the wavering lines of silver follow, 

We catch the gleam of her heart of gold, 
While over her skims the fleet-winged swallow. 



36 DAISIES. 

Clear and simple in white and gold. 
Meadow blossom of sunlit spaces, — 

The field is full as it well can hold 
And white with the drift of the ox-eye daisies ! 




SWEET-BRIER, 

CHANCED upon a rose the other day, 
A pale and faded flower y forgotten long % 
And with it these unfinished verses lay, 
The faltering echo of a deeper song : — 

A perfect day in June, — the golden sun 

Looks down upon the green and tangled way ; 

The Summer song and silence are as one, — 
The light and longing of a Summer's day ! 

O untaught harmony of Summer days ! 

The distant tinkle of a waterfall, 
The blue, blue sky that deepens as you gaze, 

The wayward rose that blossoms by the wall ! 

Unspoiled and sweet in every country lane, 
All dewy cool in maiden pink she blooms, 

Still green and fragrant thro' the Summer rain, 
When freer airs are thrilled with light perfumes. 



38 SWEET-BRIER. 

She blossoms close beside the dusty way, 
Her heart the careless passer-by may see, — 

Sweet is her fragrance thro' the burning day, 
But sweeter is her open secrecy ! 



Though he who will may pierce her leafy green, 
Where sits the brooding robin on its nest, 

The secret of her life is all unseen, 
Unknown the impulse of her sweet unrest. 

All day the winds about her cool the air, 
Faint sounds the tinkle of the waterfall, — 

What is the sudden answer you may bear, 
O wayward rose, that blossoms by the wall ? 




HAREBELL. 

|0W adown the gracious meadow, dappled close 
with sun and shadow, 
Rounded soft by waving grasses, thro' a hundred 
falling lines, 
Drowsy as the noontide found her, with her ample 
robes around her, 
Summer, lost in idle musing, at her ease reclines. 

Floating free in dell and hollow, ere the fleetfoot 
daisies follow, 
Springing light where swoon the breezes, warm 
against her throbbing breast, 
Pure and deep, yet swaying lowly to a rhythm sweet 
and holy, 
Myriad harebells meet and tremble o'er her dream- 
less rest. 



40 HAREBELL. 

High above the quiet valley, where she loves to 
dioop and dally, 
All along the windy headlands, where the rock is 
steep and bare, 
Summer stays a moment only, — leaves her kingdom 
wild and lonely, 
And her warm breath chills to vapor on the frosty 
•air. 

Yet in bleak and barren places, fresh with unex- 
pected graces, 
Leaning over rocky ledges, tenderest glances to 
bestow, 
Dauntless still in time of danger, thrilling every 
wayworn stranger, 
Scattered harebells earn a triumph never known 
below ! 




MOUNTAIN LAUREL. 

|OW comes the fullness of the year, 
The flood-tide of a living joy, 
When never hope admits of fear, 

Nor any pleasures cloy ; 
From birds that stir the meadow grass, 

From winds that sweep the woodland ways, 
A thousand voices come and pass 
In chants of love and praise. 

Now swells the forest, calm and wide, 

In rippling waves of deepest green, 
And all the rugged mountain side 

Thro' billowy curves is seen ; 
The roadsides meet in ample shade, 

With showers of light and golden glooms, 
And bubbling up the rocky ways 

The clustered laurel blooms. 



42 MOUNTAIN LAUREL. 

As beauty breaks thro' graver truth, 

With press of forms and flush of hues, 
Her blushes, warm with conscious youth, 

The shadowy darks suffuse ; 
The Summer owns her wide control, 

She holds it to her regal place, 
Her art completes the gracious whole, 

Herself the central grace ! 

Each chalice holds the infinite air, 

Each rounded cluster grows a sphere ; 
A twilight pale she grants us there, 

A rosier sunrise here ; 
She broods above the happy earth, 

She dwells upon the enchanted days, — 
A thousand voices hail her birth 

In chants of love and praise ! 




WHITE CLOVER. 

[HE distant hills, the long day thro', 
Have fainted in a haze of blue, 
The sun has been a burning fire, 
The day has been a warm desire, — 

But all desire is over ; 
The lights are fading from the west, 
The night has brought a dreamy rest, 
And deep in yonder wood is heard 
The sudden singing of a bird,— 
While here an evening wind has stirred 

A slope set thick with clover. 

The fields have lost their lingering light, 
The path is dusky thro' the night, — 
The clover is too sweet to lose 
Her fragrance with the gathering dews, — 
The skies are warm above her : 



44 WHITE CLOVER. 

The cricket pipes his song again, 
The cows are waiting in the lane, 
The shadows fall adown the hill, 
And silent is the whippoorwill : 
But thro' the summer twilight still 
You smell the milk-white clover. 



The glory of the day has ceased. 
The moon has risen in the east, 
The distant hills, the meadows near, 
Are bathed in moonlight soft and clear, 

That vails the landscape over ; 
And born of rare and strange perfume, 
Pure as the clover's odorous bloom, 
Dear hopes, that are but half confessed, 
Dim thoughts and longings fill the breast, 
Till lost again in deeper rest 

Among the blossomed clover. 




RED CLOVER. 

[RIMSON clover I discover 
By the garden gate, 
And the bees about her hover, 
But the robins wait. 
Sing, robins, sing, 

Sing a roundelay, — 
'Tis the latest flower of Spring, 
Coming with the May ! 

Crimson clover I discover 

In the open field, 
Mellow sunlight brooding over, 
All her warmth revealed. 
Sing, robins, sing, 

'Tis no longer May, — 
Fuller bloom doth Summer bring, 
Ripened thro' delay ! 




MEADOW LILIES. 



O the meadow, where the swallows 
Dip and soar the long day through, 
And among the hills and hollows 

Harebells hang their cups of blue, 
Comes a flower of dusky splendor, 

With a rare and queenly grace, 
And a stately beauty, lent her 
By the golden August days. 

Round about her birds are singing, 

Grasses nodding, with the bloom 
Of the passing Summer clinging 

To each tall and slender plume ; 
Proud she stands, yet all unconscious 

(As a princess, strong to win), 
Of the deepening shadows round her, 

And the mellow light within. 



MEADOW LIUES. 47 

Winds across the uplands flying, 

Sink in whispers at her feet. 
Murmuring in the grass, and dying 

Where her beauty stands complete ; 
Not to heaven her head she raises, — 

Fairest flower along the dell, — 
But to meet the upturned daisies 

Low she droops her dusky bell ! 

Young with morning's first awaking, 

Languid thro' the burning noon, 
With a warmth and fullness breaking 

Thro' the round of life and tune ; 
Half concealed her sumptuous beauty, 

Grave yet gracious is her mien, 
In the close, oppressive stillness 

Folding all the meadow's green. 

Clustered lilies in the shadows, 

Lapt in golden ease they stand, 
Rarest flower in all the meadows, 

Richest flower in all the land ; 
Royal lilies in the sunlight, 

Brave with Summer's fair array, 
Drowsy thro' the evening silence, 

Crown of all the August day ! 




WOOD LILIES. 



HRO' trellised roadway edges, 
And open woodland range, 
By ruined walls and hedges, 

Laid low thro' endless change, 
They kindle sparks of being, 
Flame upward ever higher, 
And break the moveless verdure 
With shifting lines of fire. 

The laden bee hums past them, 

The wind sweeps idly by, 
And higher swells above them 

A dome of sapphire sky ; 
Each broken arch of shadow 

Lies strewn in fragments there, 
Each shaft of sunlight shivered 

Athwart the crystal air. 



WOOD LILIES, 49 

O lilies, upturned lilies, 

How swift their prisoned rays 
To smite with fire from Heaven 

The fainting August days ! 
Tall urns of blinding beauty, 

As vestals pure they hold, — 
In each a blaze of scarlet 

Half blotted out with gold ! 

Thro' trellised roadway edges, 

And open woodland range, 
By ruined walls and hedges, 

In every phase of change, 
They lift in holy vigils 

The year's unquenched desire, 
And break the moveless verdure 

With shifting lines of fire ! 




WILD CLEMATIS. 

HERE the woodland streamlets flow, 
Gushing down a rocky bed, 
Where the tasseled alders grow, 

Lightly meeting overhead, 
When the fullest August days 
Give the richness that they know, 
Then the wild clematis comes, 
With her wealth of tangled blooms, 
Reaching up and drooping low. 

And her fresh leaves only shade 

That which is within her bower, 
Like a curtain, lightly made, 

Half to hide her virgin flower ; 
None too close to let the wind 
Find a place to breathe between, 
Where the wild bee cannot miss 
All the sweetness that there is, 
Underneath her tent of green. 



WILD CLEMATIS. 51 

And the sunlight flickers in, 

So to touch her maiden breast ; 
And between her twists of vine 

Sings the woodbird to his nest ; 
And the air is wondrous sweet, 
And the twilight lingers long, — 
And the young birds learn to fly 
In among her greenery, 
And she hears their earliest song. 

But when Autumn days are here, 

And the woods of Autumn burn, 
Then her leaves are black and sere 
Quick with early frosts to turn ! 
As the golden Summer dies, 
So her silky green has fled, 
And the smoky clusters rise 
As from fires of sacrifice, 
Sacred incense to the dead ! 




INDIAN PIPE. 



[EATH in the wood,— 
Death, and a scent of decay ; 
Death, and a horror that creeps with the 
blood, 
And stiffens the limbs to clay ; 

For the rains are heavy and slow, 
And the leaves are shrunken and wan, 

And the winds are sobbing weary and low, 
And the life of the year is gone. 

Death in the wood, — 
Death in its fold over fold, 

Death, — that I shuddered and sank where 
I stood, 
At the touch of a hand so cold, — 

At the touch of a hand so cold, 
And the sight of a clay-white face, 

For I saw the corse of the friend I loved, 
And a hush fell over the place. 



INDIAN PIPE. 53 

Death in the wood, — 
Death, and a scent of decay, 

Death, and a horror but half understood, 
Where blank as the dead I lay ; 

What curse hung over the earth, 
What woe to the tribes of men, 

That we felt as a death what was made for 
a birth, — 
And a birth sinking deathward again ! 

Death in the wood, — 
In the death-pale lips apart ; 

Death in a whiteness that curdled the blood, 
Now black to the very heart : 

The wonder by her was formed 
Who stands supreme in power ; 

To show that life by the spirit comes 
She gave us a soulless flower ! 




THISTLE. 

E knew her mocked by thoughtless youth, 

He knew her left to ways forlorn ; 
Full well he knew the shallow scorn 
That mocks on earth the noblest born, 
And blinds our eyes to deeper truth. 

He sought her thro' the feverish days, 
In rocky pastures, hot and dry ; 
Alone beneath the burning sky, 
He knew her deepest truth must lie 

Beyond his pity or his praise. 

Neglect and care to her were one, — 
She read no glance, she made no sign, 
But, safe from speech of his or mine, 
Inspired, controlled, by light divine, 

Her spirit drank the eternal sun ! 



THISTLE. 55 

He soiled her not with touch profane, 
Nor stabbed her with unholy eyes ; 
A truer instinct made him wise, 
With her he shared the earth and skies, 

And still forebore a nearer claim. 



Outstretched beneath the absolute heaven, 
Along the parching earth he lay, 
Till, thro' the breathless August day, 
He felt a conscious sympathy, 

A subtle knowledge, subtly given. 



A life intense within him grew ; 
His thought a second self became, 
And mixt his youthful blood with flame,- 
Her separate throes of passion-pain 

Swept all his tingling pulses thro' ! 



The sun, a throbbing ball of fire, 

Dropped slowly down the blanching west,- 
He staggered by, as one possessed, 
Still dizzy with the thought unguessed, 

The ache and throb of strong desire. 



5*> THISTLE. 

She flinched not from the truth revealed, 
Nor thirsted for a soul complete ; 
Her being yearns with forceful heat, — 
Yet He thro* whom her heart doth beat 

Hath left her lips forever sealed ! 




SPIREA. 



ROCKY path winds slowly down 
Hard by the steep ravine below ; 
The ferns are green beside the ledge, 
And light along its broken edge 
The scattered daisies grow. 

And yet she follows eyery turn 
With spires of closely clustered bloom, 
And all the wildness of the place, 
The narrow pass, the rugged ways, 
But give her larger room. 

And near the unfrequented road, 

By waysides scorched with barren heat, 
In clouded pink ox softer white 
She holds the Summer's generous light,- 
Our native meadow-sweet ! 




GOLDENROD. 



|HEN the wayside tangles blaze 
In the low September sun, 
When the flowers of Summer days 

Droop and wither, one by one, 
Reaching up through bush and brier, 
Sumptuous brow and heart of fire, 
Flaunting high its wind-rocked plume, 
Brave with wealth of native bloom, — 
Goldenrod! 

When the meadow, lately shorn, 

Parched and languid, swoons with pain, 
When her life-blood, night and morn, 

Shrinks in every throbbing vein, 
Round her fallen, tarnished urn 
Leaping watch-fires brighter burn ; 
Royal arch o'er Autumn's gate, 
Bending low with lustrous weight, — 
Goldenrod ! 



GOLDENROD. 5£ 

In the pasture's rude embrace, 

All o'errun with tangled vines, 
Where the thistle claims its place, 

And the straggling hedge confines, 
Bearing still the sweet impress 
Of unfettered loveliness, 
In the field and by the wall, 
Binding, clasping, crowning all, — 
Goldenrod ! 

Nature lies disheveled, pale, 

With her feverish lips apart, — 
Day by day the pulses fail, 

Nearer to her bounding heart ; 
Yet that slackened grasp doth hold 
Store of pure and genuine gold ; 
Quick thou comest, strong and free, 
Type of all the wealth to be, — 
Goldenrod ! 




ASTERS. 

ALLED in with fire on either hand 
I walk the lonely wood-road thro* ; 
The maples flame above my head, 
And spaces whence the wind has shed 
About my feet the living red, 
Are filled with broken blue. 

And crowding close along the way, 

The purple asters blossom free ; 
In full profusion, far and wide, 
They fill the path on every side, 
In loose confusion multiplied 

To endless harmony ! 

I 

i 

The Autumn wood the aster knows, S 

The empty nest, the wind that grieves, 
The sunlight breaking thro' the shade, 
The squirrel chattering overhead, * 
The timid rabbit's lighter tread 

Among the rustling leaves. 



ASTERS. 6l 

And still beside the shadowy glen 
She holds the color of the skies ; 
Along the purpling wayside steep 
She hangs her fringes passing deep, 
And meadows drowned in happy sleep 
Are lit by starry eyes ! 




CARDINAL FLOWER. 

| LOWLY the black water gathers in 
To itself a hundred folded lines ; 
Thro' the yellow willows at its brim 

Pale and cold the waning sunlight shines, 
As the Autumn color waxes dim. 

To the westward burns the smoldering day, 
Still and solemn, in the sunset sky ; 

In the purple hollows far away 
Shadowy veils of early evening lie, 

And the distant mountain-tops are gray. 

In the stagnant pool, stirred by a breath, 
All the shifting light and color lies, 

In its shallows, dim with brooding death, 
All the sweeping splendors of the skies 

Glass themselves, and scatter light beneath. 



CARDINAL FLOWER. 6$ 

Whence is yonder flower so strangely bright ? 

Would the sunset's last reflected shine 
Flame so red from that dead flush of light ? 

Dark with passion is its lifted line, 
Hot, alive, amid the falling night. 

Still it burns intenser as I gaze, 
Till its heart-fire quickens with my own, 

And when night shuts in the dusky ways 

Red and strange shine out the lights of home, 

Where my flower its parting sign delays. 




FRINGED GENTIAN. 

| LONG this quiet wood-road, winding slow, 
When free October ranged its sylvan ways, 
And, vaulting up the terraced steep below, 

Chased laughing sunbeams thro' the golden days, 
In matchless beauty, tender and serene, 
The gentian reigned, an undisputed queen. 

One sudden break, half down the lengthening shade, 
Revealed a dark-rimmed circle, still and lone, — 

Her presence filled that sun-illumined glade, 
She made the enchanted solitude her own ; 

The heavens above their watch eternal kept, 

And, steeped in light, the embracing woodland slept. 

Pale knots of grasses fringed the open space, 
Her lifted cups passed lightly thro' and thro', — 

Each chalice molded, in divinest grace, 
Each brimmed with pure, intense and perfect 
blue; 

Alone, and spotless in her virgin fame, 

Her life upheld the year's immortal claim. 



FRINGED GENTIAN. 6$ 

Now wail low winds about the forest eaves, 

Now life grows cold 'neath cold and dreary skies, 

And rustling ankle-deep in fallen leaves, 

The lone, deserted wood-path blanching lies ; 

Yet, pinched and wan, of youthful charm bereft, 

The last forsaken gentian still is left. 

A wondrous fairness hath the perfect flower, 
Serenely calm beneath a sapphire sky, 

But holier far, in Autumn's wildest hour, 
The constant love that cannot wholly die ; 

To me her radiant youth new faith did bring, 

Yet now her pallor seems a higher thing. 

Thrilled by her gaze, I deem no fancy wild 
Where spirit grace outlasts the ruder clay ; 

For me, the Autumn's last and loveliest child 
Takes not even now her haunting charm away, 

But when cold storms have stripped the snow-clad 
hill, 

In finer spirit-presence lingers still ! 




|N blackness sinks the dull November day, 
With gathering night the air grows bitter 
chill, 
While, over sodden field and leafless hill, 
The wind, in sullen mood, disturbs the curtained 
gray. 

No tardy color breaks the dreary line, 
No bird-note lingers in the frosty air, 
The skies are blank, the earth is cold and bare, — 

Hope droops her shining wings, and gives no hap- 
pier sign. 

Mute Sorrow broods above the lonely heath, 
And folds us closer in her funeral pall ; 
Our sinking hearts accept the doom of all, 

And still obey her word who bringeth life and death. 

Yet not alone the symbols of decay, 
We can but see the signs of newer birth ; 
Pillowed on quiet snows, the sleeping earth 

Holds all her power in check, and waits the coming 
day! 



The stately hemlocks keep their mantled green, 
► And front the blast with all their ancient pride ; 
And even the pencilled alders still abide, — 
Their catkins tightly closed droop blackly o'er the 
stream. 

O wild-wood flowers, we knew and loved you well, 
Yet cannot mourn for that which is not lost'; 
No piercing blast, no hard relentless frost, 

Can reach the inner world where you were wont to 
dwell ! 

The reigning year no absolute power can bring, 
Beyond its rule our true allegiance lies ; 
We brave the night with glad, prophetic eyes, 

And lo ! returns afar our hope's immortal Spring ! 



EARLY AND LATE. 




ALONG THE WAY. 

[Y spirit struggles thro' the mists of earth 
Toward outer day ; 
I feel a depth of calm beneath the strain, 
Yet often stagger under care and pain, 

And faint along the way ; 
I would not sing the path by which I climb, 
And voice the errors of my schooling-time, — 
When on some height more surely I rejoice 
The world shall hear my voice. 

" Not so," he said, li the world is with you, friend, 

You are but one ; 
We too are striving upward, faint and blind, 
We too are weak to labor, slow to find, 

Our work each day begun ! 



72 ALONG THE WAY. 

Yours is a braver hope than many know, 
Yours is the power to speak, to tell them so ; 

Sing on ; if singers farther up you find, 1 

Then sing to those behind." 

Sadly I answered — "Shall I sing the fight 

Whose bays were lost ? 
How crush the wrong, so doubtful of the right, 
Or guide the homeless to a faltering light, 

By many shadows crossed ? 
I dare not say how often I have turned, 
I dare not teach what I have never learned. 
Alas ! by all my highest thoughts I see 
How low they needs must be ! " 

" Nay, the great battle," gravely he replied, 

" Is never lost ! 
Tho* creeds are narrow, know that truth is wide, — 
Be strong, and in your noblest faith abide, 

However torn and crossed ; « 

Ask no tired heart to rest upon your will, 
But point him to a Haven surer still ; 
From highest heights all strength and solace 

bring, 
So wisely may you sing 1 " 



ALONG THE WAY. 73 

I felt his benediction on my brow, — 

I owned him just ! 
On good beyond all good I made my vow 
To work and wait, to learn and conquer now, 

In this my solemn trust ; 
Each day some victory or some hope shall bring, 
Each day a fuller anthem I may sing, — 
So struggle on from lengthening day to day, 
And sing along the way. 




ONLY A LITTLE. 

BIRD has little, — only a feather, 
Plucked, it may be, from a tender breast. 
Only a thread to bind together 

The delicate fabric of its nest ; 
Yet he sings : " The wide free air is mine, 

The dews of earth, the clouds of heaven ! " 
He sits and swings with the swinging vine, 
And all he looks on to him is given. 



A child has little, — only a blossom 

Caught at random from fields of bloom, 
Only the love in a tender bosom, 9 

Freed from the shadows of care and gloom ; 
Yet he laughs all day from the deeps of lightness, 

And feels his joy in the joy of heaven, 
He loses himself in a world of brightness, 

And all he asks for to him is given. 

S 



ONLY A LITTLE. 7$ 

A man has little, — only a longing 

Higher than labors of sword or pen, 
Only a vision whose lights are thronging 

Over the tumult and toil of men ; 
Yet wealth is his from the wealth of being, 

His are the glories of earth and heaven, 
He feels a beauty too deep for seeing, 

And all he dreams of to him is given. 




A FRAGMENT. 

SAW, as I walked the woodlands through, 
Under September's skies of blue, 
A spray of leaves in a dress of gold, 
Too fair and fragile for mortal hold. 

For, as I broke the stem, I found 
A shower of light had strewn the ground, — 
Those who would grasp too much, will find 
All worth having is left behind. 




BIRDS OF PASSAGE. 

N the budding woods on April days, 
Faint with fragrance from the life begun, 
Where the early fluttering sunbeam, plays 

Like a prisoned creature of the sun, 
With sweet trill or plaintive note, 
Quick pulsation of a throat, 
With the life and light of Spring, 
There the birds of April sing. 

When the sunny Summer days are long, 
And the woods are green and full and fair, 

Richer, stronger, freer falls the song, 
Warm, melodious, on the vibrant air ; 

Though more seldom comes the tune 

In the golden days of June, 

Yet, upborne on restless wing, 

Happy birds of Summer sing. 



78 BIRDS OF PASSAGE. 

When the glowing Autumn days are past. 
And the woods stand brown against the sky, 

When the north wind breathes a chilling blast, 
Southward see the birds of Autumn fly ! 

As they sing a parting strain 

To the music of the rain, 

Spring and Summer cannot bring 

What the birds of Autumn sing ! 




OCTOBER SONNET. 

|HAT does a day in mid-October mean ? 

Free life, strong feeling, new and quick de- 
light, 
All things that are most warm, most rich and 
bright, 
All things that are most sudden, stirring, keen ! 
The glowing hills, the mountain gaps between, 
The sharp, fringed outlines of the wooded height, 
The blue, blue sky, the clouds of rifted white, — 
The something that is felt and heard and seen ! 
The genial sun, the strong and breezy air, 
The depth of color ere the year shall die, 
The sense of life that comes before decay ; 
The trees that glow ere Winter strips them bare, 
The birds that sing before they southward fly, 
— All these are in a mid-October day ! 




FIFTEEN YEARS. 

[iFTEEN years have asters blown 
In the open woodland spaces, 
Lifting to October's sun 
All their thousand starry faces. 

Fifteen years the gentian's eyes. 
Where the quick'ning sunlight flashes. 

Have looked up to Autumn skies 
Through their soft and silken lashes. 

Fifteen years, with bee-hung bloom, 
Where the woods are cool and shaded, 

Golden-rod has tossed its plume, 
Glowed in gold, and slowly faded. 

Fifteen years the leaves have burned 
Rich and warm, or soft and mellow ; 

All the green of Summer turned 
To the red and brown and yellow. 



FIFTEEN YEARS. 8 1 

Fifteen years have passed among 
Lights and shadows, pain and pleasure, 

Since the sweetness of her song 
Came to earth for love to treasure. 

Let us thank her for the past, 
In the stead of all who love her ; 

May her noblest influence last 

Long as skies that bend above her. 

For the present thank her too ; 

For her brave and strong endeavor ; 
And for all things good and true 

Let us love and thank her ever. 

Wish her loving wishes then, 

Help and hope may well surround them ; 
Strength to leave her fellow-men 

Wiser, better than she found them ! 



ON A VIOLET, 
Found the i$th of October. 

SWEET blue violet, lingering late, 
Is bright October glad as May ? 
Why did your spring-time instinct wait, 
And bid you blossom 'mid decay ? 





ON TWO PANEL-PICTURES. 

|HE simplest blossom cannot die, 
It fades not with the fading year, 
But blooms beneath the coldest sky 

For those who hold it dear : 
Our constant hearts the image keep 

Of many a tender azure bell ; 
Tall lilies droop in happy sleep 
Adown the quiet dell. 

But lo ! among us one has come 

Who adds to Memory's spirit power, 
More lasting, more material force 

To conjure up a flower ; 
Beneath his touch the lilies bloom, 

In softened splendor, warm and clear, 
His daisies lighten all the room 

From changing year to year ! 




FLOWERS OF MEMORY. 

| HE drifted snow, in foldings deep, 
Old Winter soon shall bring ; 
Our dainty flowers will go to sleep 
And will not wake till Spring. 

The soft blue sky he'll turn to gray, 

The blossoms make to fall ; 
Then shall he steal them quite away, 

And we forget them all ? 

Nay ! even tho* his touch shall bring 
The frost, the chill, the snow, 

In memory still the birds shall sing 
And still the flowers blow ! 

The purple pansies, one by one, 
Shall lift their fragrant heads, 

And cooled by rain and kissed by sun 
Shall light the garden beds. 



FLOWERS OF MEMORY. 85 

The summer sunlight still shall stream, 

The roses deeper glow, 
The warm nasturtiums brightly beam, 

And fainting breezes blow. 

The tulips still shall flaunt their fires, 

Tho' winter winds are high, — 
What loving heart of beauty tires 

In memory laid by ! 




IN GRANDMA'S CHAIR. 

|ER empty chair ! About it cling 

All memories thrilling-sad and tender, 
Our hearts invest the vacant thing 

With some divine and distant splendor ; 
We pray, and weep, and love her there, 
But would not use our Grandma's chair. 

Once, day by day and year by year, 

She sate within it, unrepining ; 
Her love made perfect daylight here, — 

Now set it where no sun is shining, 
And let no careless laughter there 
Mock deeper grief by Grandma's chair. 

Nay, draw it forth all tenderly, 
As sacred to the friend departed, 

And lay him down — the only one 
Whom loss can leave so happy-hearted ; . 

Our blinding tears he cannot share, — 

Then let him smile in Grandma's chair ! 



IN GRANDMA'S CHAIR. Zj 

He late hath passed the pearly gates 
Where her sweet spirit entered in ; 

On both the heavenly blessing waits, 
For Birth and Death are near of kin ; 

His mortal dower, so angel fair, 

Will not profane her empty chair. 

O Love ! his life, in thee begun, 
With thy pure light alone doth shine ; 

Through her thy grandest triumphs won, 
Her chastened spirit still is thine ! 

That hallowed place such memories share, — 

Our Baby sleeps in Grandma's chair. 

O may the life so calmly closed 
Give strength to that so soon made free ; 

Where late her gentle head reposed, 
His baby slumbers holier be ! 

May some sweet influence linger there, 

And bless him in his Grandma's chair ! 




WELCOME HOME. 

|ELCOME home ! O mother, do we doubt you ? 
Welcome to what is not home without you ! 
Welcome to the dwelling, sweet and lowly, 
Which your presence keeps serene and holy, 
Which has long been life and light sustaining 
On the tender hope of your regaining,— 
Welcome home ! 



In our home strong thoughts are ever burning, 
Tender fancies ever faint with yearning; 
Fires within a genial glow are raising, 
Stars without in still, cold glory blazing ; 
All is love, and you the loving center, — 
O our star, our happy hearth-fire, enter ; 
Welcome home ! 



WELCOME HOME. 89 

Yours the love that's faithful, pure, abiding, 
Yours the hope that meekens to your guiding ; 
Yours, all yours, the ecstasy of longing,— 
At your beck our inmost thoughts are thronging ; 
In your heart the home must ever blossom, 
AH its love be nourished at your bosom ; 
Still we pause, for time and words are fleeting, 
ktill in tenderest cadences repeating,— . 
Welcome home ! 




SKY ! why must you lose your tender blue ? 
O wood ! why must you lose your frosty 

glow? 
Why is it all that is must be 
Forever moving toward Eternity ? 
All things are changeful, and is nothing true ! 
At least, while Life lasts, rains shall fall, 
And winds shall blow. 




WIND SONNET. 

[OR two long days the wind has beat the air ; 
With rushing tumult and undying force 
Has still pursued its wild and angry course, 
And left the maples and the elm- trees bare. 
The wind — most strange of all things I Who shall 
dare 
Say where its resting-place, or whence its source ? 
Onward ! untiring and without remorse, 
Still flying onward, — pausing, ending, where ? 
No limit hath the wind, it will not stay, 
Nor change its path for any human will ; 
Seeming a wayward and unguided power ; 
Beating along its ever-restless way, 
With stormy sighs the empty air to fill, 
And hushing to a whisper in an hour 1 




THANKSGIVING HYMN. 

|NE day there is, of all the changing year, 
One day which makes all other days more 
dear, 
Which, in the compass of one magic word, 
Sets all the jarring tune to sweet accord. 
Through fire and frost in endless round we go, 
Caught in Life's whirl, its plan we cannot know ; 
Yet, be the complex problem what it may, 
We all accept it on this happy day. 
Whate'er the griefs that wring our hearts in twain, 
Whate'er the bliss that binds them up again, 
Whate'er the chain that holds our lives in thrall, 
To Him whose love transcends we bring them all. 
Our blasted hopes, our dwarfed, imperfect dreams, 
Our finished work, unfinished though it seems, 
The petty cares that make our soul-sight dim, 
He asks them all, we bring them all to Him, 
And give Him thanks ! He bids us praise Him still. 
Through all the blinding maze of good and ill ; 



THANKSGIVING HYMN 93 

And thus we know, bewildered though we be, 
There is a Light, and we shall sometime see ; 
He keeps for us the suns of all the spheres, — 
We struggle upward through the darkening years ! 
We know the harmony is deep and vast, 
We know the petty discoid may not last, 
We lay our sins and sorrows at His feet, 
In thanks to Him we make our lives complete. 
Thanks for the power that triumphs over ills, 
Thanks for the love that strengthens and fulfills, 
In heartfelt thanks our half-formed longings run, 
And all Life's eddying currents flow as one. 




WOODS IN WINTER. 

|HEN falls the snow on grey and silent days, 
How much they lose who do not seek the 
wood, 
Where, thro* the hush that wraps the woodland ways, 
The storm has reached that wintry solitude ! 

Then come with me by some forgotten path, 
Where late the Autumn sunlight wandered through, 

And all the biting frost of Winter hath 
But lately quenched the gentian's heavenly blue. 

The oaks alone their richer leafage hold, 
That clinging raiment falls with Spring at last ; 

And still we catch in every rustling fold 

The faded purple of the glowing past. i 



Above the snow such dainty things appear, 

You wonder that the north wind left them there ; 

The latest treasures of the dying year, 

They hold their own when all the woods are bare. 



WOODS IN WINTEX. 95 

The feathery outlines of the golden-rod 
Bring to your mind its fullest Autumn glow, — 

And still, thro' all the darkness of the wood, 
Is blown the filmy veil of drifting snow. 

The pine-tree stands in sombre silence now, 
Forgetful of the life that stirred its veins 

When liquid notes fell from the topmost bough, 
And thrilled the air made soft by April rains ! 

The fair young wheat that started with the May 

Is safely harvested in golden sheaves, 
And with the rustling Autumn passed away 

The sudden glory of her changing leaves. 

'Tis thus the secret of the early Spring, 
When first the winds of hope and promise blow, 

The fruitage of her tenderest blossoming, 
Is told — fulfilled — with Winter's drifted snow. 




A NEW YEAR'S SONG. 

|0 fragile bloom of unsubstantial hope 
The New Year brings, 
No random wealth of wishes burdens now 

His spirit wings ; 
He knows full well that cloud and storm befall, 
Yet looks, and smiles, and sees beyond them all, 

And thus his minstrel sings : — 



friends, your lives have strayed beyond the sun 

In other years ; 
You know the dream in careless joy begun, — 
Fulfilled through tears ; 

1 mock you not, for care and grief befall, 
I bid you smile and see beyond them all, — ( 

Beyond the hopes and fears ! ^ 




TO THE NEW YEAR. 

YOUNG, young Year, to us be kind ! 
What secrets do you hold in store ? 
What pain or pleasure shall we find 
That we have never found before ? 

O fresh young year, to us be kind ! 

The Old, the New, we wish for both ! 
This reaching out of instincts blind 

Must quicken to a larger growth. 

O strong New Year, to us be kind ! 

Give Truth and Life, we ask not more, 
We leave the vain regret behind, 

We reach for fuller light before. 

O New, New Year, to us be kind ! 

We cannot wait ; we feel our way ; 
We live for that we hope to find 

With each returning New Year's day ! 




VALENTINES TO GRANDFATHER GOOD 
ALE IN HIS 8 9 th YEAR. 



|HIS is the festival of Youth, 

Of Youth and frolic Love together, 
They mock at Winter's bitter truth, 

And roses bloom whate'er the weather ; 
With many a gay and tender line 
They lightly toss the Valentine. 



But Youth in youthful hearts doth dwell, 
Whate'er the hurrying years may say, 

And that true warmth we know so well 

Time's changing flights could ne'er betray ,- 

That sweet immortal grace is thine, 

And binds me still thy 

Valentine. 



VALENTINE TO GRANDFATHER. 99 




I HE years may pass in strange disguises, 
With weight of care or merry cheer, 
And many are the quick surprises 

That come and go from year to year ; 
But still one day we hold apart 

That we may be more glad and gay, 
And feel a touch from heart to heart 
Upon this sweet and happy day. 

And now again the day has found you 

The same strong spirit as of yore, 
That* gathers love and light around you 

And still increases more and more ; 
And so to-day we give to you 

The tender love that still reveres, 
And may St. Valentine renew 

The blessings of the by-gone years. 




A TWILIGHT FANCY. 

SIT here and the earth is wrapped in snow. 
And the cold air is thick with falling night : 
I think of the still, dewy summer eves, 
When cows came slowly sauntering up the lane, 
Waiting to nibble at the juicy grass ; 
When the green earth was full of changing life, 
When the warm wind blew soft, and slowly passed, 
Caressing now and then some wayside flower, 
Stopping to stir the tender maple-leaves, 
And breathing all its fragrance on the air ! 
I think of the broad meadows, daisy-white, 
With the long shade of some stray apple-tree 
Falling across them, — and the rustlings faint 
When evening breezes shook along the grass. 
I think of all the thousand summer sounds, — 
The cricket's chirp, repeated far and near ; 
The sleepy note of robins in their nest ; 
The whippoorwill, whose sudden cry rang out, 
Plaintive, yet strong, upon the startled air. 



A TWILIGHT FANCY. 101 

And so it was the summer twilight fell, 
And deepened to the darkness of the night : 
And now I lift my heart out of my dream 
And see instead the pale, cold, dying lights, 
The dull grey skies, the barren, snow-clad fields, 
That come to us when winter evenings come. 




THE ROUND OF LIFE. 

HE earth is tried thro' every clime 
By every eager race, 
And does not lose, thro' lapse of time, 

Her first primeval grace. 
The new year comes amid the snow, 

The little untried year, 
And on the steep the violets blow, 
What time the Spring is here i 

Oh, the new year is begun, 
And the battle is not won ! 
Ere another year begin 
Shall we lose or shall we win ? 

The eager grass shall lift its head 
From out the withered sheath ; 

Even so a newer life is made 
The fruit of last year's death ; 



THE ROUND OF LIFE. IO3 

The year has come, the year has gone, 

The worn, forgetful year ; 
The violets on the slope have blown 

And are no longer here ! 

O the new year shall begin ; 

Who shall lose and who shall win ? 

Is the battle won or lost 

With the blackening of the frost ? 

Oh, the earth is young, is young ! 

Wait ! the new year is not old — 
Half the song is yet unsung, 

Half the tale is yet untold ; 
For the living tree shall bud, 

And the rotten limb shall fall, 
And the birds sing in the wood, 

And the year be young for all. 

Ah ! the new year is begun 
And the victory is not won ! 
But it shall be ours to win 
Ere another year begin ! 




|p, before the sun is risen, 
Out, before the shadows fly, 
And the morning twilight trembles, 

Broken by the shafts of day. 
As we ride, the summer sunrise 

Paints with red the eastern sky, 
Dew, that bends the meadow grasses, 
Like a rainbow melts away- 




A WELCOME TO BERKSHIRE. 

|ROM the city's sultry heat, 
Ceaseless noise, and tread of feet, 
From its close, oppressive air, 
Life and turmoil everywhere, 
Welcome to the cooling breath 
Of the wind, the trees beneath ; 
Welcome to the earth's large room, 
In her fullest summer bloom ! 
Woodlands deep and cool and green, 
Laurels glowing red between ; 
Bees that hum, and birds that sing, 
Fields with daisies whitening; 
Fragrance sweet, and music free, 
'Tis to these we welcome thee ! 

'Neath the city's scorching sun, 
Each can only think of one ; 
Here, from all the world apart, 
Heart shall closely cling to heart. 



106 A WELCOME TO BERKSHIRE. 

Welcome to the hills and glades, 
Welcome to the sun and shades, 
But to loving hearts and free 
Most of all we welcome thee ! 




RAIN VERSE. 

HE skies are veiled in floating mist, 
The hills are lost in vagueness 'dim, 
With showery wood and glistening field 

Beneath their silver rim ; 
The dripping vine-leaves lie outspread 

Against the pearl-dropt window-pane. 
With underneath and overhead 
In soft, monotonous cadence shed, 
The pattering of the rain. 




SUMMER MORNING. 

HE rising sun I go to meet, 
Swathed ankle-deep in dewy grass ; 
Rare fragrance stirs beneath my feet, 
And round my pathway gather sweet 
The scents of morning as I pass. 

The tented maples o'er my head 
Flash out aloft in leafy sheen, 
While broken notes of flitting birds 
Break in across my faltering words, 
And drift along the shadowy green. 

A glistening veil of purple haze 

On nearer mountains softly lies ; 
The distance swims in liquid light, 
Where blue peaks, rising height on height, 
Dissolve like dreams in fainting skies. 




SONG OF A SWING. 

ETWEEN the leafy trees that toss 
Their branches to the summer sky, 
Their hangs an open swing ; 
And now a footstep passes by, 
And float a maiden's words across 
The summer silence, deep and high, 
And reach me where I listening lie, 
And thus I hear her sing : 

The winds blow over the open plain, 

And free as the air I swing ; 
The birds dip deep in the quivering sky, 
And free as the swallow can be am I, 
Tho' never so high I dare to fly, 

As merrily may I sing ! 

Low, winds, and lower, dip among the grass, 
Sweep along your emerald floor, touch me as I pass, 
High, birds, and higher, reach the infinite sky, 
Wishful hearts may well aspire — you can only fly ! 



I IO SONG OF A SWING. 

Now about me falters in 

Sunlight through the shade ; 
Higher ! for I cannot rest 
'Till I see the robin's nest, 
And the four blue eggs within 

That the mother-bird has laid ! 

Now is folded faster round me 

All the tree's intenser green, 
Leafy arches close about me 

As I sweep between. 
Fly the birds and I fly with them, 

Farther would I dare to range, 
Beating to a boundless rhythm, 

Set to music wild and strange ! 

Low, winds, and lower, dip among the grass, 
Sweep along your emerald floor, touch me as I pass, 
High, birds, and higher, reach the infinite sky, 
Wishful hearts may well aspire — you can only fly ! 




LOVE'S SILENCES. 

|HEN steeped in the dews of Summer our up- 
land meadows lie, 
And grow to their prime of beauty, all under the 

Summer sky, 
When slow through the brimming grasses the warm 

wind sinks and swells, 
For a whispered thrill with the daisies, or a chime of 

the azure bells : 
Then swept on the tide of being, o'erflooded with 

love and bliss, 
And throbbing deep with a rapture that most forget 

or miss, 
The fall of a golden cadence floats down through a 

hundred zones, 
And we feel our hearts go with it, dissolved in its 

liquid tones ! 



112 LOV&S SILENCES. 

Yet follow the meadow songster in his swaying, 

tremulous flight, — 
Music wedded to motion, and set to a rare delight, — 
Mark where the rich voice falters, and the rhythm 

breaks at last, 
While slowly fluttering downward, he drops in the 

waving grass ! 
There never a note may linger, for a mute delight is 

there, 
That nook of earth is dearer than the fetterless 

realms of air ; 
The flashing wings are folded, and the carol sinks to 

rest, 
And the depth of a tender silence is the safeguard 

of his nest ! 



Remember the birds, we pray you, if our tribute 

seemeth small, 
So warm is the true home feeling, no words could 

hold it all. 
In the fair green hills of Berkshire we've found 

our happiest days, 
And have only our love to offer, — a love that is 

more than praise ! 



LOVES SILENCES. 113 

Of the blue on its distant mountains, afar in the 

land of dreams, 
Of the breadth of its stately forests, the flash of its 

crystal streams, 
We never could speak as strangers, — as friends we 

bid you come 
Where the depth of a tender silence is the safeguard 

of our home. 




EARTH AND SKY. 

|OLD a group of meadow grasses 
Up against a clear blue sky ; 
You may search the wide world over, 
But you never will discover 
A more perfect harmony, 
Than a group of meadow grasses, 
Brown and purple meadow grasses, 
Touched by every wind that passes, 
Held against a soft blue sky. 




IN MOWING-TIME. 

HE grasses lie in ridges 
Across the fragrant meadow, 
While golden threads of sunlight 
And broader bands of shadow 
Fall lightly over ; 
They fall on crumpled daisies, 

On drooping leaf and blossom, * 
They fall, in flickering silence, 
On earth's own close-shorn bosom, 
Deep-scarfed with crimson clover. 




THE FINGERS OF THE RAIN. 

SUN, that has burned deep down with a heat 
that is fierce and intense, 
O Earth, that has risen in freshness, and drooped 
again and again, — 
The world is smitten and scorched thro' every fibre 
and sense, 
And now, at last, there is rain ! 

O Earth, that is parched and white in the rage of 
a mad desire, 
All in the sun-tide of Summer, darkened in 
deathly pain, 
Hot to the centre and core, and mad in a living fire, 
Now, there is rain, — there is rain ! 

Rain thro' the quivering air ; rain on the misty hill ; 
Rain on the soul-touched seed, that long in the 
earth has lain ; 
Under the blaze of the sun, it has holden its secret 
still, 
And now, out of Heaven, is rain ! 



THE FINGERS OF THE RAIN. 117 

Upward and outward to being, from a life that was 
incomplete, 
Up, thro' a shadowy impulse, — up, thro' a power, 
a pain, 
Up, in a nameless longing, that was sudden and 
strange and sweet, 
Up, at the touch of the rain ! 




IN NATURE'S DRAMA. 

N Nature's drama each is an actor, 
But Nature herself is sole director. 



Tis at her will the daisies grow, 
At her command the winds blow free, 

And man, with much to do and know, 
Can never reach her harmony. 

The painter longs in vain to find 

What she has known a thousand years, 

In vain the poet's eager mind 

Strives for her lore, through wishful fears. 

The lowest or the loftiest creature 
Can never know the heights of Nature. 

A poet lives to do his part, 

Tho' Nature moves the endless whole, — 
A heart alone can reach a heart, 

A living soul translate a soul ! 







A STORM AT NIGHT. 

REY, broken clouds along the showery skies 
Lie dim behind the broad horizon line ; 
The night-wind through the outer darkness flies ; 
Amid the green the fitful fireflies shine. 

The lightning tears the heavens with sudden shock,— 
Each separate leaf stands clear against the light, — 

The thunder crashes down from rock to rock 
Across the broken silence of the night. 

The earth leaps up beneath the lurid glare, 
One second all its midnight grace reveals, — 

Then drops the darkness on the stifling air 
That lifts and opens to the thunder-peals. 

And through the moment's throbbing hush between 
The flash of lightning and the wild refrain, 

You hear, amid the maple's shifting green, 
The drip and patter of the summer rain. 



120 A STORM AT NIGHT. 

Now the long echoings mutter far away, 

Like some great organ, strong in gracious might, — 
A voice which Nature's forces must obey, 

A grand compelling power along the night. 

Lower and lower sinks the mighty tone, 
Faint are the lines of fire along the sky ; 

The night is left in darkness and alone ; 
The storm has died, — and darkness too shall die ! 

The robins chirp within the rocking nest, 
The eastern skies are flushing far away ; 

The phantom moon hangs waning in the west, 
The birds are singing at the break of day. 




THE CHESTNUT FLOWER. 

ROUD young head so lightly lifted, 
Crowned with waves of gleaming hair, 
Eyes that flash with tell-tale mischief, — 

Fearless eyes to do and dare ; 
Cheeks that start to sudden flame, 
Wilful mouth that none can tame. 

Nodding plumes of cream-white blossom, 
Crisp-cut leaves from greener shade, 

Laid against the beating bosom, 
'Mid the rippling tresses laid ; 

Lo, in beauty's fullest dower 

Sylvia wears the chestnut flower ! 

Dark against yon forest margin 

Richard .found a chestnut tall, 
Clambered through the leafy branches, 

Broke the top and crown of all ; 
This he brought, and, bolder now, 
Gave to her his blossomed bough. 



122 THE CHESTNUT FLOWER. 

So she took and shyly wears it, — 

Sweet and stately where she stands ; 
Subtle perfumes floating ronnd her, 

Drooping tassels in her hands ; 
Like a Dryad, fair and free, 
Wandering from her chestnut tree. 

Nay, the human passion enters, — 

Fateful thought for good or ill ! 
For its beauty half she wears it, 

Half for reasons sweeter still ; 
Flushed with girlhood's conscious power 
Sylvia wears the chestnut flower ! 

Summer goes with startled footsteps, 

Autumn strews the yellowing leaves, 
Lengths of bloom lie black and shrivelled 

Where the parting robin grieves ; 
Gone the maiden's careless glee, — 
Buried 'neath the chestnut tree. 

Drooping head and cheek grown paler, V 

Wistful mouth and heavy eyes, 
Still repeat the same old story,— 

How the light of Summer dies ; 
Both are vanished, gift and giver, — 
One a year and one forever. 



THE CHESTNUT FLOWER. 1 23 

Years have passed with bloom and beauty, — 

Bloom and love are torn apart ; 
Still a woman, sad and lonely, 

Keeps one Summer in her heart, 
When, in boyhood's reckless glee, 
Richard climbed the chestnut tree. 

Still thro* life's unresting fever, 

Dark with passion, wrung with woe, 

Dreams a man, in stiller moments, 
Of one Summer, long ago, 

When, in girlhood's freshest hour, 

Sylvia wore the chestnut flower. 




December 14, 1879. 

HE cold rain drips beneath the eaves 
On scattering heaps of russet leaves, 
And close upon its feet is seen 
A broken line of vivid green. 
The rugged hemlock near at hand 
Apart and proudly seems to stand, 
Thro* Winter's frowns, thro' Summer's smiles, 
No tempest shakes its dusky piles ; 
But far along the horizon's rim 
The outlined trees grow black and dim, 
Their tremulous branches lifted high 
Against a grey and sullen sky. 
This picture only seemeth fair S 

To her who stands beside my chair, 
The moaning wind her sole refrain, 
With tearful sound of falling rain ; 
The hills shut out in purple pall, 
And mist and cloud to compass all. 



DECEMBER 14, 1879. 125 

I turn to him, so far away, 

Who shares with her this self-same day, 

And loving fancy strives in vain 

To lift the curtain of the rain. 

I know not what his skies may be, 

Nor what the hills he fain would see, 

Nor whether trees or walls of clay 

May bound his little world to-day. 

This thought alone comes sure and strong 

To make and mould my fitful song, 

That each his fortune makes or mars 

Behind his own horizon bars. 

I know that light and shade are given 

Beneath the equal eye of Heaven ; 

That Spring and Winter touch and stay 

Within the limits of a day ; 

That storm and calm and star and sun 

On this wide .earth are all as one. 



Still drips the rain beneath the eaves 
On scattering heaps of russet leaves, 
The wintry air is piercing chill, 
The grass is white beneath the hill, 
And tho' my thought be far from gay 
It keeps the spirit of the day, — 



126 DECEMBER 14, 1879. 

I say it o'er and o'er again, 
Faint with the rhythm of the rain. 
The day that gave them life is one, 
Yet far apart their lives begun ; 
Their friendship holds the silken thread, 
Yet far apart their lives are led. 
Only, if love be swift and strong 
Beyond the broken wing of song, 
By kindling thoughts that nearer press 
They know a common tenderness, — 
And softer steals the wild refrain, 
The solemn music of the rain. 



1 




SONG. 

OULD'ST thou tame the poet-nature, 
Would'st thou wrong its high intent, 
Would'st thou spoil its nobler uses, 

On a sordid purpose bent ? 
Time and space are cruel fetters ; 

Riches prove a fatal snare ; 
Would'st thou tame the poet-nature, — 
Think'st thou that the power is there ? 

Look upon yon soaring eagle, — 

Thou may'st wrong his heavenly birth, 
Thou may'st clip his mighty pinions, 

Chain him to the groveling earth ; 
Vain, in vain thy low endeavor, 

Vain to work thy sovereign will, 
For the eagle, hurt and humbled, 

Is a kingly eagle still. 



128 SONG. 

Would'st thou tame the poet-nature, 

Would'st thou hold it in control ? 
Take thy caged and wounded eagle, 

Change him to a barn-door fowl ! 
Ah ! the poet is but human, 

He can suffer, he can die ; 
But the look of worlds unconquered 

Is the triumph in his eye ! 




THROUGH THE "HOLY DAYS." 

4 

LAD the light of Christmas comes, 
Merry is the Christmas feast, 
Through a thousand happy homes, 

North and south and west and east ; 
Blithe the song the traveler sings, 
Blithe the wish the reveler says. 
Lifting hearts to happier things 
Through the Christmas holidays. 

Other dear desires were ours, 

Few fulfilled and many lost, — 
Though we catch, in rarer hours, 

That which we have longed for most ; 
Life hath found a fuller measure, 

When we tread forgotten ways, 
In the sudden stress of pleasure, 

Through the Christmas holidays. 



I30 THROUGH THE "HOLY DAYS." 

In the future we shall see 

Much to promise and forget, — 
There are tendencies that be 

Which we cannot fathom yet ; 
Still a song the traveler sings, 

Still a toast the reveler says, 
Trifling with familiar things 

Through the Christmas holidays. 




CHRISTMAS CAROL. 

UR walls are wreathed with trailing pine, 
And hemlock boughs are leaning 
Dark where the blood-red berries shine, 

With leaves of Autumn's gleaning ; 
Yet ah ! how pale the Summer's pride, 

How barren field and fallow, — 
For why ? the year must be so wide, 
And Summer still so narrow ! 

Our chimneys glow with generous heat, 

And all our lamps are burning, 
We list the music wild and sweet, 

With dance and song returning ; 
Yet oh ! the vaster dark outside, 

How cold and dumb with sorrow ! 
For still the world must be so wide, 

And joy, alas ! so narrow ! 



132 CHRISTMAS CAROL. 

Our home throws wide its doors to-night, 

Our threshold laughs with greeting ; 
With clasp as warm and step as light 

The old-time friends are meeting ; 
Yet oh ! the few who stand aside 

Bowed down by hopeless sorrow. 
And weep that hearts should be so wide, 

And love, alas ! so narrow ! 

Nay, further press the strong desire, 

The questioning, swift yet tender, 
And lifted ever strangely higher, 

Divine a holier splendor ; 
On Christmas-day, whate'er betide, 

We have no room for sorrow, 
For though man's need be e'er so wide, 

God's help grows never narrow. 




CHRISTMAS EVE. 

HILE the Christmas bells are ringing 
And the tapers burning clear, 
Join us, friends and travelers, bringing 

Music for the closing year. 
We have borne the wintry weather, — 
Wind and storm we would not miss, 
We will now be glad together, — 
Drink ! to health and happiness ! 

Hear the merry sleigh-bells jingle 

Clear above the creaking snow, 
While our pulses leap and tingle, 

Fancy following where they go. 
Others' errands we are finding, 

For our hearts are one beneath ; 
Many right good wishes binding 

In the magic holly wreath ! 



134 CHRISTMAS EVE. 

We are with them gayly, kindly, 

And their burden one with ours ; 
We forsake our sorrow, blindly. 

Cover up our grief with flowers ; 
Clasp we hands above our altar, 

Thus forget a conscious wrong, 
Tho' our happy voices falter 

In the old-time Christmas song ! 




CHRISTMAS MORNING. 

SHINING arrow, swift and keen, 
The young and eager morn lets fly,- 
A shaft to pierce the pallid dawn, 

And part the curtains of the sky ! 
The frosty casement, glimmering chill, 

Across the shadowy room I see, 
When, with the first awakening thrill, 
A message comes to me. 

Without, the cold grey hills stand fast 

Before the silver rim of heaven, 
Within, the shuddering night is past, 

And light and hope are newly given ; 
I gaze, and lift my soul in prayer, 

Awed by the solemn stress of morn, 
For lo ! the immortal Day is here, — 

To us a Child is born ! 



I3<5 CHRISTMAS MORNING. 

We slept beneath the ban of night, 

Whose seal on brow and eyelids lay, 
But with the dawn receive our sight 

And hail the Christ at break of day ! 
On yonder height we see her rise, 

The morning, passionless and pale ; 
Our priestess, with the vestal eyes 

Behind her twilight veil. 

I leave the childish voices mute 

Whose Christmas greetings sweeter chime. 
And steal below with noiseless foot, 

To seek alone the household shrine ; 
The hearth is cold, the altar bare, 

But gifts and tokens piled above 
Attest the old-time offering there, — 

The sacrifice of love ! 

A stir, a whisper overhead, 

A pattering sound of baby feet ; 
A burst of stifled laughter, led 

By voices ringing sweet : 
The wintry twilight slips away 

And leaves my silent homage done ; 
While forward leaps the exultant day, 

Touched by the rising sun I 



CHRISTMAS MORNING. Itf 

What eyes the holy vigil kept, 

What hand prepared the Christmas cheer, 
While still the votive maidens slept, — 

The hallowed hoar drew near ? 
Beyond our ken the mystery lies, 

The love Divine we dare not say ; 
Yet hearts by human love made wise 

May welcome Christmas Day ! 




WHEN THE- NEW YEAR CAME. 

WONDERED long on New Year's Eve, a 
week and more ago, 
I wondered why the New Year came across the 

crusted snow, — 
The snow that flashed through the crystal light in a 

splendor cold and clear, 
Till the star-dust dazzled the lifted eyes of the little 

unknown Year. 
So warm, I thought, on southern slopes the wooing 

April day, 
So sweet the touch of flower-lips in the rosy hours 

of May, 
With leaf and blossom and bud of hope might the 

glad New Year begin, 
Were the foot of Spring on the threshold what time 

he entered in ! 



WHEN THE NEW YEAR CAME. 1 39 

All night I watched by the dying fire, and fanned 

its breath of flame, 
And I lifted the creaking casement when the stroke 

of midnight came ; 
The chill air took away my breath, all under the 

virgin heaven, 
And swift and keen as the light of the stars, God's 

answering word was given. 
The wonderful shining struck me dumb, but my 

eyes recall it now, 
And I dare not breathe one April sigh, thro' my 

soul's unspoken vow ; 
For I see, tho' the flush and fulness of life in the 

springtime of youth are dear, 
There's an angel stands with a shining sword at the 

gate of the new-born Year 




WITH DAY AND NIGHT. 

|\VAS late and cold, when, like some lingering 
spell. 

O'er wood and field the winter twilight fell ; 
We, taught to face a darkness lone and wide, 
Wound slowly down the mountain's rugged side, 
And caught our breaths in watching, hour by hour, 
One perfect phase in Nature's boundless power, — 
By whose swift magic countless worlds do range 
Through all the rapid splendors born of change. 

The Wind, outpouring from some mighty source, 
Surged through the hill-gaps with unwonted force, 
And, flinging loose her close-drawn robes of grey, 
Clasped in rude arms the chilled and swooning Day. 
The while she trembled in his locked embrace, 
He snatched the veil from off her drooping facej 
Gave its light vapors to the empty sky, 
And, while the shimmering tissue wavered by, 
About her wrapped in many a floating fold 
Her dark blue mantle with its hood of gold. 



.J 



WITH DA Y AND NIGHT. 141 

The Day each moment grew more strangely fair, — 

Struggling with fate, and lovely in despair, — 

Grew wildly beautiful, till, freed at last, 

She flung defiance to the raging blast. 

Grandly she looked, as scorning all disguise, 

A dream of distance in her violet eyes, 

A faint flush burning on her cheek the while, 

And on her lips the semblance of a smile. 

But slight the impassioned form that swayed the 

hour, 
And vain the conflict with a mightier power. 

We left behind the hills' impetuous strain, 
Our hearts still throbbing with tumultuous pain, 
And cross the level meadows took our way 
With stolen glances toward the dying Day. 
Thrown from her feet, she escaped the rising storm, 
Her garments huddled round her passive form, 
With outflung arms and tresses streaming wide, 
While in her breast its smoldering passion died. 
Low in the west flared up a lurid light, 
A dull red glow burned outward toward the Night, 
And through the dusk, along the forest dim, 
The strong Wind moaned a solemn requiem. 



142 WITH DA Y AND NIGHT. 

When, later still, we left the village street, 

In her long mantle wrapped from head to feet, 

The Night advanced, with grave and noble mien, 

In all the sable state befits a queen. 

Black were the clinging robes she chose to wear, 

Black, black the glorious masses of her hair ; 

Her lifted arm revealed to gazing worlds 

The shifting darkness sown with Orient pearls. 



The ungoverned Wind, at once her cruel foe, 
Flung wide the chilly mantle of the snow, 
And, rushing on, opposed in open fight 
His turbulent fury to her gracious might. 
Up the black steep he followed fast and far, 
Though blinding flakes his voice was still for war, 
Now here, now there, the blows rained thick and 

fast; 
His all the strife, the victory hers at last ! 
Through deepest woods we blindly followed still, 
And there, ah ! there, she worked her sovereign will ; 
So softly splendid all the uplands lay 
That darkness seemed a lovelier thing than day ; 
And, gazing long on beauty seldom seen, 
We owned the simple grandeur of a queen. 



w*m 



WITH DA Y AND NIGHT. 143 

But one act more, — the last, impatient friend ! 
For this, our wondrous journey, nears its end. 
The farthest height is reached, and now once more 
The Wind is hushed beside our cottage door. 
Rest here, the world must needs again begin ; 
Yet one more look before you enter in. 
Far to the north a vaster glory lies : 
In mercy hide it from our mortal eyes ! 
Night's meeting glance a moment burns and thrills 
Beyond the circle of the steadfast hills. 
The angry Wind his stormy passion stays, 
Unveils the piercing splendors of her gaze, 
And shows, above the horizon's cloudy bars, 
The crystal heavens all blossomed thick with stars. 




A PORTRAIT. 

| HE says she'll have no picture taken, 
No impress of these later years ; 
I beg her try, and trust her fortune, — 
She has her fears ! 

I see her picture, fair and blooming, 
A score of happy summers past, 

And think, " 'Tis still the sweetest woman 
Whose beauties last ! " 

She says she's old, and grey, and wrinkled,- 
I smile, with truer vision blest ; 

For grief and care have made her fairest 
Who bore them best. 

On her sweet brow my eyes will linger, 
I muse upon its woman's grace, 

And strive to paint, with tender touches, 
That dear-loved face. 



A PORTRAIT. 145 

Beyond the forehead, straight and high, 
Along the shadowed temples lie 
Smooth bands of hair, as soft and brown 
As leaves in Autumn settling down, 
Just touched and saddened, day by day, 
With mingling threads of quiet grey. 
Below, two eyes of cloudy blue, — 
The 'morning's subtly changing hue,— 
Their meeting glance is ever felt 
As slow to kindle, quick to melt. 
No tame or inexpressive feature, — 
(Hers is a proud though gentle nature ;) 
But stamped on every one we find 
The impress of a willing mind, 
All native power of wit and will 
To humblest duties subject still. 



Those lucid eyes have looked through tears, 
That mouth has known the seal of years, 
Yet must I grant, with simple truth, 
Her birthright of immortal youth ; 
How else define the laughing grace 
That lifts and changes in her face ! 
She meets my eyes and turns to speak,— 
The color rises in her cheek, — 



I46 A r OR TRAIT. 

(A trifle worn, that cheek still shows 
As sweet a pink as girlhood knows ;) 
Then passes by, and leaves the while 
The treasured guerdon of her smile. 

I stop to find my brush unruly,— 
I learn to doubt the wondrous art 

That bids me paint a portrait truly 
With all my heart. 

I care not if the background darkens. 
Nor yet how vague the outline lies, 

So that the soul looks out unshadowed 
From those sweet eyes. 

But vain these idle rhymes to fashion,- 
So cold my tenderest phrases fall 

Beside the look of swifter passion 
That tells you all. 

Love is her secret, simple seeming; 

Yet love alone can understand 
With what a wealth of tender meaning 
I kiss her hand. 




MARCH, 1880. 

O winter twilight chills us now, but rather 
The night is waning, and the day is near ; 
Far to the northern distance, and yet farther 

Fades the unheeded splendor of the year. 
No flower, in truth, may cheer the eager sight, 

No lonely bird is calling for its mate ; 
We have the sense of earth's forthcoming light, 

Spring broods above the hills, and we can wait. 

The meadow does not heed the warmth returning, 

The starry coltsfoot still withholds her buds, 
The wishful eye, far-sighted and discerning, 

Can choose no spot of green amid the woods ; 
There is no winsome odor in the winds, 

But with a pulse of living strength they blow, 
Though in spme hollow still the traveler finds 

Half-sheltered from the sun, the lingering snow. 



148 MARCH, 1880. 

The Spring reveals herself in secret only, 

Thro' hidden signs we guess her mystic power. 
The fields are bare, the woodlands wild and lonely, 

But lo ! beneath the earth she hides the flower. 
The willows quicken at the river's brim, 

The eager alder breaks her tawny buds, 
The upland hills are wrapt in hazes dim, 

And sweet, impulsive life has stirred the woods. 




C. G. 

April 24, 1880. 
" Love is the Fulfilling of the Law." 

HE earth is builded strong and well, 
Its* statues noble are and free ; 
By that wise rule in which we dwell 

Obedience waits on liberty. 
Eternal law within him grew, 

With temperate will he faced the strife ; 
A blessing his vouchsafed to few,— 
The knowledge of a well-spent life. 

Mysterious power to bless and ban, 

Be thine the wrong, be ours the woe, — 
For evil passions wrecked the man 

Whose manhood stooped to such a blow. 
O life-long kindness crossed by fears ! 

O life-long patience sorely tried ! 
O sufferings weighted down with years, 

By love Eternal sanctified ! 




FOREVER NEW. 

NCE more the sweet, unrivaled Spring 
Makes green the grass about our doors 
In living light the phoebe soars. 
And thrilled with life, forbears to sing. 

Yet to those broken notes belong 
Sweet ecstasies, too deep for words, 
For we must leave to eager birds 

That which we fail to put in song. 



Though no new tidings she may beai 
The same with each succeeding May — 
Yet must we listen and obey 

And find immortal passion there ! 

Though hills are green, and country ways, 
And were since Life and Time began, 
There comes anew to every man 

The hope and power of April days. 



FOREVER NEW. 151 

So might these eager lines contain 

A breath of Spring that stirs me through ; 
The springtime is forever new, 

The April sunlight and the rain. 




THE SONGS OF BIRDS. 



|HE songs of birds are only broken voices 

That are forever lost in endless blue ; 
The thoughts of man are but a little stronger, 
The words of man shall last a little longer, 
The heart of man in what it has rejoices, 
And muses on the old, forgets the new. 

A bird sings when the wood is hushed and holy, 
No. mortal ear may catch the careless lay ; 
A bird sings when no human step is near him, 
A man will speak that human hearts may fear 
him, 
And so forgets his noblest purpose wholly, 

And needs must boast the words that he can say. 



THE SONGS OF BIRDS. I S3 

A bird will sing thro' half a score of summers, 
And leave the song that never yet was heard ; 
But when the heart of man has stilled its beating, 
His words are still his inmost thought repeating, 
To heal or break the hearts of future comers, 
When no one knows the carol of the bird. 




LOVE IN A GARDEN. 



LEANED across the window-sill, 
Of April airs to drink my fill. 
And on my throbbing temples find 
The kisses of the wandering wind. 
Faint with the all-holy sense of birth, 
A blissful pain that shook the earth, 
I heard the conscious bluebird dwell 
On those soft notes I love so well. 

When sudden on my dreamful eyes, 
A vision wrought with swift surprise, 
And all my being held, in sooth, 
The heats and languors known to youth. 
A slender shape, of pliant grace, 
Soft, floating hair, and upturned face, — 
I knew her then, I know her still, 
My earliest love, my Daffodil ! 



■i 



LOVE IN A GARDEN. 155 

Her shimmering gown might well be seen 
To make the sheltered hollow green, 
Where first she found, by hemlock roots, 
The brown earth pricked with tender shoots. 
Each point above the naked ground 
Her shining palm closed softly round ; 
Each hidden bud obeyed her will, — 
My April flower, my Daffodil ! 

Me, too, a blessing all unsought, 
In warmth and tenderness she brought ; 
I cared not that her cheek was cold, 
Her drooping lids had made me bold : 
Yet, with that self-same April day, 
Unheeded now, she slipped away, 
And in my humble garden still 
Unnoticed drooped the Daffodil. 




TO MARY ON HER BIRTHDAY. 

May 2, 1880. 

|ER guardian angel smiling said, 
" I know no fairer day ; 
I'll tie a garland round her head 
And crown her Queen of May ! " 

So with the word, she gave a heart 

Made solely to rejoice ; 
The May-bloom on her cheeky the brook's 

Low ripple in her voice. 

But when the fateful moment came, 
Bright blushed the second morn 

Ere Mary, sweet as that sweet name, 
To waiting earth was born. 

And this is why those frank clear eyes 
Will sometimes droop and fall, 

And swift that mantling blush arise, — 
The charm that heightens all ! 




DECORATION DAY, 

|N May the misty orchard-rows 

Are blossomed full with promise sweet, 
In May the leafy maples close 
Above the shady village street ; # 

In this month of eager giving, 
Keen delight and ardent living, 
We will come, with reverent tread, 
To leave our token with the dead. 

From South to North the winter scars 

Are healed by Spring, most passionate ; 
Even so our country, racked by wars 
And fiercer feuds of party hate, 

Stirred anew to nobler living 
By the Spring's abundant giving, 
Drops once more the bitter strife, — 
For which is better — Death or Life ? 



1 58 DECORA TION DA Y. 

O sweet this eager life of May ! 

So cool, so fresh that we forget 
The lichened headstones, turning grey, 
The wounds that acre not closed as yet ! 

For Northern angers break and burn, 
And Northern hearts with passion yearn, 
And Southern blood hath Southern heats 
That are not laid by violets. 

But still to-day let love abide, 

While yet the land is thrilled with Spring ; 
Forget the. blows on either side 
And hide the graves with blossoming ! 
Let each with equal reverence go 
To barren graves of friend or foe, 
For somewhere one is pierced with pain, 
And stones there be where none are lain. 

Then give your flowers, all passionless, 

In honor of the gallant dead, 
For friends and mothers pray for this, 
Who fain would lay them there instead ; 
For love abounds, and deep desire, 
With Northern strength and Southern fire, 
And all the land shall know to-day 
* The steadfast sweetness of the May. 




THE ROSE. 

[IS Summer : the days are long, 
Long with the breath of June, 
And the air is full of song, 

And broken snatches of tune, 
And broken whispers of winds that pass ; 
The butterflies drop in the tender grass, 
And breezes die on the fainting air 

That throbs with the heat of the sun, 
And the earth is full of a power rare, 

And the earth and the air are one ! 

And now, in the heat of June, 

With her sudden life and light, 
With the fullness of her noon, 

With the silence of her night, 
The rosebud loosens her outer dress 
And blushes in fainting loveliness ; 
Nor opens her heart to the common air, 

Nor shows you her inmost light, 
But leaves you to dream what is hidden there 

With the dews of the falling night. 




JUNE. 

WEET rose, whose hue, angry and brave, 

Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye f 

Thy root is ever in its grave. 

And thou must die* 9 

— George Herbert. 

June is a scarlet rose, 

The blossom of the year; 
In May, among the open woods, 
We watch the promise of her buds, 
Which still are hidden close ; — 

The June-tide is not here ! 

June is a red, red rose, 

The blossom of the year ; 
The winds and showers of May, too soon 
Are drifted to the verge of June, 
And summer heats disclose 

The passion which is here ! 



JUNE. l6l 

June is a burning rose, 

The blossom of the year ; 
The restless winds among the woods 
Unseal the splendor of her buds, 
And magic airs disclose 

The light of Summer here ! 

June is a scarlet rose, 

The blossom of the year ; — 
Her crimson crumpled petals lie 
To mark the footsteps of July, — 
Have peace, — the lily blows 

And other life is here. 




UNDER THE GRASSES. 

|HAT do you hide, O grasses, say, 
Among your tangles green and high ? 
" Warm-hearted violets for May, 
And rocking daisies for July." 

What burden do you keep, beneath 
Your knotted green, that none may see ? 

" The prophecy of life and death, 
A hint, a touch, a mystery." 

What hope and passion should I find 

If I should pierce your meshes through ? * 

" A clover, blossoming in the wind, 
A wandering harebell, budded blue." 




TO HATTIE. 

ELLOW-HAIRED Hattie, Summer is here, 

June and sunshine and perfect weather, 
And birds and blossoms rejoice together 
And drink the golden light of the year. 

To-day, in the meadow over the hill, 
I found a handful of nodding daisies, 
A dozen yellow, round little faces, 

Each with a snow-white, fluted frill ! 

And I gathered golden buttercups there, 
And wondered a little, bending over, 
If those, or maybe the yellow clover 

Or the restless butterflies, matched your hair. 

Rosy-cheeked Hattie, Summer is here, 
June and roses and perfect weather, 
And robins and squirrels rejoice together, 

Keeping the holiday of the year ! 



1 64 TO HATTIE. 

Far away in the whispering woods 
I found a handful of wilful roses, 
Where a broken defence of thorns discloses 

The dewy clusters of breaking buds. 

The cherries blush in the summer heat. 
The strawberries redden under the grasses. 
And the pink of the morning comes and 
passes, 

Till I think of another pink as sweet ! 

Glad-hearted Hattie, Summer is here, 
June, and daisies, and perfect weather. 
And wild-wood creatures are glad together, 

And keep the festival of the year ! 

The squirrel chatters among the oaks, 
The bobolink sings to his mate a-flying, 
And I hear the restless jay replying 

To the busy chopper's sturdy strokes. 

The birds are glad in the leafy ways, 
The birds and the rabbits rejoice together, 
And our sweet June-child of the wind and 
weather 

Enters as gladly her holidays. 




MOTHER'S GARDEN. 

ACK from the road the traveler sees it lean, — 
The quaint brown farm-house of the coun- 
try ways, 
Hidden and mantled in a living green, 
And stirred with memories of summer days. 

Before, the maples guard its privacy, 
The lilacs tremble with the butterflies, 

Beyond, the sunny sloping meadows lie 
And catch the rustling winds from out the skies. 

The clambering morning-glories by the lawn 
Lift up their heads to meet the morning sun, 

With all the dewy freshness of the dawn 
Open their purple trumpets, one by one. 

The portulaca loves the ardent light, 
At noon she spreads her scarlet tents again ; 

The pansy gleams most subtly in the night, 
And opens in the shadow and the rain. 



1 66 MOTHERS GARDEN. 

And quite as dear, beside the door-stone, grows 
The yellow dandelion, sturdy, true, 

And crowding by the wall, the sweet wild rose 
Has caught her chalice full of morning dew. 

So nature's simplest blossom has a place, 
And still is counted no less lovely there, 

Brave native flowers lend a wilder grace 
And help to make the mother's garden fair. 



/ 




LAND AND HOME. 

HERE rippling fields of wheat and rye 
Along the level uplands lie, 
And in the valley's cup is born 
'Mid rustling green the tasseled corn ; 
Where ample meadows downward go 
To meet the laughing brook below, 
And orchards flushed with sudden hope 
With plenty crown each hillside slope, 
There, friends and neighbors, freely come ' 
For twin delights of land and home ! 

Where generous pastures yield their keep 
To browsing kine and nibbling sheep, 
And, while the grass aud grain are stowed, 
The oxen pant beneath their load ; 
Where stand apart the whispering woods, 
Where noises are, and solitudes, 
Where birds repeat their careless lay 
Thro' all the livelong summer day, 
Where free wild creatures go and come, 
You, too, are f ree — with land and home ! 



1 68 LAND AND HOME. 

Less rude the hut, though ne'er so poor, 
Which meets with Nature at the door ; 
How rough a spot will yet maintain 
Its scanty yield of ripening grain ! 
Below yon warm and sheltering hill 
A cottage nestles closer still ; 
And grandly would some castle rise 
From heights like these to meet the skies ; 
These be your thoughts, howe'er you come,- 
Who fails with land to make a home ! 

Nay, answer not " the home is mine/' 
Homes grow, like flowers, by grace divine ; 
Your little seedling waits full fain 
To drink the sunshine and the rain. 
Let love be wed to sweet content, 
And learn its native element ; 
Let labor take, as here it can, 
The gift direct from God to man ; 
Thus shall life's fairest fruitage come 
To crown the joys of land and home ! 




THE WHIPPOORWILL AND THE POET. 

[F fain you would sing as the whippoorwill sings, 
With a melody wild as the winds, 
You must borrow the freedom and strength of his 
wings, 
And find what the whippoorwill finds, — 
In the measureless skies, in the varying winds, 

In the suns, in the rains, in the dews, 
Though in truth you may find what the whippoor- 
will finds, 
What he loses, you also shall lose ! 

But if fain you would sing as the poet must sing, 

With the passion of life and decay, 
You must wait for the Winter as well as the Spring, 

And live with the March and the May. 
In the thirst of the city, the heat of the town, 

And the desperate longing behind, 
Tho* you miss from the mountains the sweet summer 
sound, 

What the whippoorwill loses, you find ! 



u 




FOLLOW ME. 



UT across the meadow, follow, 
Follow me ! 
Sultry-hearted chestnuts stand 
Leafy green on either hand ; 
Over sunny hill and hollow 

Pain and sorrow shall not be,— 
Out into the Summer, follow, 
Follow me ! " 

Out into the day I follow, 

Silently ; 
Where the golden Summer shall 
Hold eternal carnival ; 
If across the dipping hollow 

Death indeed may never be, 
Day and night I needs must follow, 

Follow thee ! 



FOLLOW ME. 171 

Out into the woods I follow, 

Wonderingly ; 
Nature hath her own decay, 
She shall mask it with the May, — 
But the robin in the hollow 

May no longer live or be, 
And the crying mate shall follow, 

Follow me ! 

Farther yet I dare not follow, 

Follow thee ! 
Pain, and passion, and despair 
Touch and centre everywhere ; 
While across the wooded hollow 

Any conscious life may be, 
Even Death shall surely follow, 

Follow thee ! 

" Still across the meadow, follow, 

Follow me ! 
Where the music was before 
There is crape upon the door ; 
Life and Death shall reach the hollow 

Even as the need shall be ; 
Still, in feast or fasting, follow, 

Follow me ! " 



/ 




WOOD LIFE. 

P, up into the woods ! 
Here have I sought the Summer days, 
And brought the gleanings of her ways ; 
This thorny branch of blossoms, bears 
The secret of the light she wears, 
And in these scattered flowers, I bring 
Sole record of my wandering ; 
Pale clovers, blossomed in the rain, 
And knotted grasses from the lane, 
And pink-pointed laurel buds ! 

Up, up into the woods ! 

Here is a hint of many places 

In blackberry vines and ox-eye daisies, 

In honeysuckles, sweet and close, 

And bursting buds of mountain rose, 

In heavy hemlocks, to suggest 

The wood-thrush startled from her nest, 

And rarer woodland meanings, in 

The unexpected moccasin, 

Sudden key to passing moods ! 



WOOD LIFE. 173 

Up, up into the woods ! 

Tis here the nesting robin comes, 
And here the whirring partridge drums, 
And every lonely woodland creature 
Can haunt the secret ways of Nature ! 
Alas ! they fear my stranger touch, 
And break away at my approach ; 
The chattering squirrel leaves the path 
And springs into the undergrowth, 

Down among the laurel buds ! 

Up, up into the woods ! 

Their eager life will not obey 
My impulse of a Summer's day, 
And when the June returns, again 
Accept the claims of friend and kin. 
In equal fellowship, there lies 
A knowledge of their mysteries, 
He who would search the universe 
May find a light he cannot pierce 

Where the Summer silence broods ! 

Up, up into the woods ! 

I chanced to-day in eager quest 
Upon a leafy partridge nest ; 



174 WOOD LIFE. 

The mother, smitten by my eyes, 
Trailed through the wood with broken cries ; 
Thus would she lead me, nothing loth, 
Back through the unfamiliar growth, 
By this innate distrust, to show 
Her instinct held me as her foe, 
Fain to rob her tawny broods. 

Up, up into the woods ! 
Here bird and beast shall live and die 
For century on century, 
Untaught, untamed, with separate stress 
Of life, and pain, and happiness ! 
While yet the bended saplings fail 
To catch the rabbit or the quail, 
And snares are left untouched, we still 
Must own them free of wish or will, 

Safe among the laurel buds ! 

Up, up into the woods ! 
Tho* here you share this wild retreat, 
And sleep with them, and with them eat, 
And greet the fox among the woods, 
And leave the partridge with her broods, 
If once you scorn your woodland kin, 
Or find a higher life within, 



WOOD LIFE. 175 

Thro' wish and doubt and all disguise 
They read the secret in your eyes, 
As it runneth in your blood ! 

Up, up into the woods ! 
The birds are still, the rabbits crouch, 
The snake slips back at your approach, 
And no familiar call or cry 
Can bring them to you where you lie ! 
The squirrel springs among the rocks, 
Back to his covert leaps the fox, 
And every lonely woodland creature 
Finds fuller fellowship with nature 

In the bursting laurel buds ! 

Up, up into the woods ! 

Here in these scattered flowers, I bring 
Sole record of my wandering, 
And with the clovers, blossomed close, 
And opening buds of mountain rose, 
A hint of life, from woodlands grey, 
Which may not bear the light of day, — 
If not, I bring the forest flowers 
From haunts that are not wholly ours, 

And pink-pointed laurel buds. 



HARVESTVHOME. 




OLD fast to the promise of May, 
When the eager hours go by ; 
Hold fast the light of an April day 

In the heats of late July ; 
Hold fast the hint of the orchard-land 

When the roving robins build, 
Till the wilful, knotted windfalls stand 
For the pledge of May fulfilled ! 




FIELD. 

ING ! the lavish Autumn waits, 
All the harvest wealth to bring, 
She is at her palace gates, — 

Sing! 
She shall fling her banners free, — 
Goldenrods shall one by one 
Light their torches by the sun, 
For the harvest revelry ! 

Sing ! th' outlying forests too 
Hold her splendor, answering^ 

Kindling signal-fires anew, — 
Sing! 

Hill and hollow blossom gay, 
Field and forest, brake and brier, 
Wearing holiday attire 

For a regal holiday ! 



1 82 FIELD. 

Sing ! the meadow sumachs burn. 
Blackberry-briers clustered cling,- 

When the magic key shall turn. 
Sing! 

Open throw the gates to all — 
Empty-handed, even I, 
Underneath the steadfast sky, 

Share her golden carnival ! 







FOREST. 

|HE woodland path is full of light, 
With maple fires returning ; 
The day succeeds the frosty night, 
With sudden splendor burning ; 
The pines are black against the sky, 

With shifting asters bordered, 
Behind, the glowing forests lie, 
In gold and scarlet broidered. 

The line of birches to the right 

Is melted into amber, 
And up along the wooded height 

The poison-ivies clamber ; 
By yonder stately chestnut, where 

A mateless thrush is calling, 
The leaves are dropped across the air 

Like flakes of sunlight falling. 



184 FOREST. 

The woodland path is full of light, 

And fever-fires returning ; 
The stinging frost of yester-night 

Has set the maples burning; 
The wood a regal color shows, 

With purple asters bordered. 
And Autumn's dark-blue mantle glows, 

In gold and scarlet broidered ! 



\ 




GRAIN-FIELDS. 

HANDFUL of these careless sketches, torn 
From out a pencil-book, in hasty way, 
Set in at random on a harvest day, 
A glimpse between the rustling rows of corn : 

Read in good faith, nor question over-much ; 

For all the time of questioning is but brief ! 

The whistling wind has sometimes turned the leaf, 
Before the pencil put the final touch ! 




WHEAT. 

|HE wheat is ripe for the cradle, friend. 
The yellowing acres lie revealed, 
And the wind has ploughed, from end to end, 
A golden furrow across the field. 
Did ye seek unclouded heat ? 

Summer bringeth sultry weather : 
Are there tares among the wheat ? 
Ye shall reap the two together : 
But plant ye wisely, fate shall ne'er befall, 
For storm and sunshine come alike to all. 

I sought the field in the breaking lights, 

The men went forth in the morning dew, 
And the sunshine touched the windy heights, 
And the world came out of the dark anew ; 
If on rocky ground ye sow, 

Take a sickle for your reaping ; 
If a blight has fallen, lo ! 
This is thro* the master's sleeping : 
Make firm foundation, lest the building fall, 
For storm and sunshine come alike to all. 



WHEAT. 187 

I sought the field in the falling night, 

The gold of the grain about my feet, 
The knotted apple-trees to the right 

Had dropped their shadows into the wheat ; 
Let the sower gather in, 

Finding thus a fuller meaning, 
Even in the scattered grain, 
Ready for another's gleaning ; 
Have courage, that the harvest be not small, 
For storm and sunshine come alike to all. 

To-day the wheat is cradled and bound, 

Bound and stooked in the gracious heat, 
And the reapers, all in the light and sound, 
Lift to the wagon the heavy wheat. 
When the April sun is here, 

Trust the seed within the furrow ; 
Wait to pluck the yellow ear, 
For the harvest is to-morrow ; 
So plant ye wisely, fate shall ne'er befall, 
For storm and sunshine come alike to all ! 




CORN. 

[HE field of com is locked in woods, with 
narrow limits set, 
A little clearing half-way up the rugged mountain 
range, 
And to and fro the colliers go, 
With heavy wagons winding slow 
Along the grassy wood-road, met 
With rapid chill and change. 

The corn is stooked in dusky brown along the 
windy height, 
The stormy jays are in the field* about a fallen 



And one by one, to break the dun, 
The pumpkins yellow in the sun, 
And paler, in the waning light, 
The daisies blossom here ! 




BUCKWHEAT. 

|RAMED in the forest's border-growth, 
The hilly pastures dark between, 
With branches reddening to the south 
To break the maples' line of green, 
With distant mountains drowned in haze, 

And vaguer lights of mystic skies, 
All in the gold of Autumn days 
The upland harvest lies. 

The heavy stooks are slowly burned 

In red and russet, one by one, 
Like winsome apples, having turned 

A scarlet cheek against the sun ; 
The glowing stubble deepens yet, 

All drenched in color, thro' and thro', — 
The field in brown and scarlet set, 

The mountain distance blue ! 




SONG. 

|ND where shall I my burden find, 
And whence shall I my song recall ? 
From some old measure of the wind 
That blows about the garden-wall. 
The lavish year lets loose her sun, 

Her generous rains and pulsing heat, 
Till thro* the stony pastures run 

The mullein and the meadow-sweet. 
And no less perfect blooms the rose 
Behind the distant briered ledge, 
Than where the eager lover goes 
To break the blossoms at its edge. 

But where shall I the answer find, 
And whence shall I the verse recall ? 

Aye, even from the rhythmic wind 
That breaks against the garden-wall. 



SONG. % 191 

The year shall touch the reaper's wheat 

With April rain from north and south, 
But not less sorely in the heat 

His harvest feels the burning drouth. 
As every field may win a flower, 

With rain and sunlight daily given, 
So each, with some eternal power, 

May draw the needful light from Heaven. 




A BERRYING. 

OWN in the meadow's border-tangle. 
Heavy and still in the parching heat, 
A little above the rugged angle 
Where the shadowy woods converge and 
meet. 
Is a wall, with blackberry vines o'errun, 

Scarlet-leaved, as the woodbine is, 
Buttercups, all ablaze in the sun, 
Gppsy-daisies, and clematis ! 

Here, as the restless winds pass over, 

The cat-bird swings in her thorny nest, 
Or the berry-girls by chance discover 

A callow stranger beside the rest ! 
Swallows, atilt on the lichened rail, 

Wait a little until you pass, 
And the snake slips by and leaves a trail, 

Like to the wind in the meadow grass. 



A BEKRYING. 1 93 

Into the sweet September weather, " 

Under the searching harvest-fires, 
Lads and lassies go out together 

Eager to strip the bending briers ; 
Boys of the mountains, one by one, 

Girls of the uplands, wild and sweet, 
Gypsy-brown in the ardent sun, 

Scarlet-cheeked in the Autumn heat. 

Breaking in thro* the thorny hedges, 

Singing and whistling, blithe and gay, 
Wandering down to the woodland edges, 

Plucking asters along the way ; 
Following back thro* the pasture bars, 

With the heavy.baskets, two by two, 
Under the lonely, distant stars, 

Into the darkness, into the dew. 




PASTURE. 

HERE is a break among the hills. 
Among the mountain ways, 
And, in the black, forgotten woods, 
A little open space ! 

Tis here the squirrel hides the nuts 

That ripen in the Fall, 
And here the jays, o' frosty nights, 

Hold noisy carnival ! 

And seldom passing human foot 

Or voices enter in, 
Or harsher sound than singing brooks 

And eager woodland din : 

Save while, on windy autumn nights, 
When clinging darkness broods, 

The collier's swinging lantern lights 
The circle of the woods. 




ORCHARD. 

|HAT may the rugged orchard know, 
Behind its border-hedges, 
When song and sunshine come and go 

Along its briered edges ? 
H The birds of April, nesting here, 

With ringing roundelay, 
And sudden-seeming, year by year, 

The splendor of the May." 

What may the whispering orchard know 

Among its budded clover, 
What time the woodland asters blow, 

The Summer being over ? 
" The humming bees beside the wall, 

The winds that come and pass, 
And in the light of early fall 

The windfalls in the grass ! " 



I9<5 'ORCHARD. 

What may the frosty orchard know, 

In keen October weather, 
When Autumn winds are fain to blow, 

And sweep the leaves together ? 
" Oh, apples heaped along the edge, 

In yellow, russet, red, 
And goldenrod against the hedge, 

And sunlight overhead ! '! 




THE FIRST FROST. 

[HE sun sinks slowly to the west, at last, 
The glowing day is wound in mesh of gold, 
And flickering lights about the east, forecast 

The coming of the cold ; 
Ev'n in the moonshine, and the starlight clear, 
Shall God let loose the arrows of the year ! 

The sun has touched the uplands, glimmering white, 

The new-born day is rocked in eastern skies, 
The wondrous, smitten world, in frost and blight, 

Puts on a mystic guise ; 
Ev'n in the moonshine, and the starlight clear, 
Did God let loose the arrows of the year ! 




SONG. 

KNOW a nest among the woods, 
Where glistening birches close together, 
Responsive to the mountain moods 

Of wind and weather; 
If here I meet the Spring, who fills 

With tossing light the eager earth, 
And watch the storm along the hills, 
With clapping thunders to the north, 
What is it that I lose or miss ? 
—Tell me this ! 

I know a nest among the woods, 
Where silvery birches rock together^ 

Responsive to the magic moods 
Of wind and weather ; 



SONG. I99 

If here I watch the robins build, 
And see the mother wait alone, 
And find the prophecy fulfilled, 
The eager nestlings fledged and flown, 
What is it that I lose or miss ? 
—Tell me this ! 

I know a nest among the woods, 

Where tossing birches close together, 
Responsive to the mystic moods 

Of wind and weather ; 
If here I hail the robins' flight, 

Before the blossoming Summer goes, 
And watch the swinging nest at night, 

Alone among the seething snows, 
What is it that I shall not miss ? 
— Tell me this ! 




SUMMER IS OVER. 

|ING, little bird, for the Summer is over. 
And all the young thrushes have fluttered 
and flown ; 
Here in the woodland shall April discover 
The narrow brown nest with the Spring over- 
blown ; 
Sing, for the sun-blazoned banner is going, 
The splendor shall fall at a frostier kiss ; 
Close by the hearth, when the storm wind is blowing, 
We shall be gladdened in thinking of this. 

Sing, little bird, for the nest that you gathered 

All in the flush and the pallor of Spring, 
Gave the brood shelter until they were feathered, 

Aye, till the mother had taught them to sing ! 
Winter, like Summer, returns and repasses, 

April shall quicken the woodlands at last, 
Here I shall find it, encircled in grasses, 

Sweet with the thought of a song that is past ! 




BEYOND. 

|AST night a storm-wind overtook the day,- 
A matchless day, of perfect life and light,- 
And rushing thro* the narrow mountain way, 
Broke with unwonted force across the height ; 
The darkness filled with stinging frost 

The black forsaken street, 
Until the golden day was lost 
In swirling wind and sleet. 

A sudden wondering silence on us fell, 

To hear the magic wind that none may see, 
For, even as the good-wife's legends tell, 
The old witch in the chimney brews her tea ; 
When, in the rocking wind and rain 

That swept the earth anew, 
Against the quivering window-pane 
A fledgling robin flew. 



202 BE YOND. 

This morning shone the royal sun once more, 

The tossing woods stood steadfast in the light, 
And earth and air a holier splendor wore 
Beyond the stormy passion of the night ; 
And on the narrow window-sill, 

All in the burnished day, 
Beyond the need of shelter, still 
A fledgling robin lay ! 




NOBODY KNOWS. 

KILLED a robin out in the woods, 
Being there at the break of day ; 
I buried it under a wayside stone, 
All under the leaves it lay alone, 
And no one knew where it lay ! 

I sought, — compelled, m the wondrous woods, 
To find the place, at the break of day, 

And there in a nest close over the stone, 

Four little robins lay alone, 
And no one knew where they lay ! 




HARVEST-HOME 

|ET warmth and gayety o'errun the place, 
Let hope and happiness together come, 
Bring the huge oaken log, and light the blaze, 
And let the reapers keep the harvest-home ! 
Hang the grapes against the wall, 

Bring the sheaves of wheat and rye, 
Wreathe the casement, deck the hall, 
Keep the yearly festival 
Merrily ! 

Let Autumn bring her harvest fullness here, 

With all the music of her clashing rains, 
And fill us with the splendor of the year, 
Till all her blood runs riot in our veins ! 
Bring the light of spring and fall, 
Earth and air and land and sea, 
Morning-break and even-fall, — 
Keep the yearly festival 
Merrily ! 



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