The Grasshopper

The grasshopper, that sang its sleepy song
All summer long,
The orchard lands and harvest fields among,
Taking no heed of aught save its own joy,
Without alloy,
Cheering the ear with its 'Ahoy! ahoy!'
A merry note of summer's self a part,
Like my old heart,
Is silent now and cold; its singing done.
The grasshopper's a-cold and summer's gone,
And I'm alone.

What will you send her,
What will you tell her,
That shall unbend her,
That shall compel her?

Love, that shall fold her
So naught can sever;
Truth, that shall hold her
Ever and ever.

What will you do then
So she 'll ne' er grieve you?
Knowing you true then
Never will leave you?

I 'll lay before here,
There in her bower,
Aye to adore her,
My heart like a flower.

To me all beauty that I see
Is melody made visible:
An earth-translated state, may be,
Of music heard in Heaven or Hell.

Out of some love-impassioned strain
Of saints, the rose evolved its bloom;
And, dreaming of it here again,
Perhaps re-lives it as perfume.

Out of some chant that demons sing
Of hate and pain, the sunset grew;
And, haply, still remembering,
Re-lives it here as some wild hue.

It's-Oh, for the hills, where the wind's some one
With a vagabond foot that follows!
And a cheer-up hand that he claps upon
Your arm with the hearty words, 'Come on!
We'll soon be out of the hollows,
My heart!
We'll soon be out of the hollows.'

It's-Oh, for the songs, where the hope's some one
With a renegade foot that doubles!
And a jolly lilt that he flings to the sun
As he turns with the friendly laugh, 'Come on!
We'll soon be out of the troubles,
My heart!
We'll soon be out of the troubles!'

There it lies broken, as a shard,
What breathed sweet music yesterday;
The source, all mute, has passed away
With its masked meanings still unmarred.
But melody will never cease!
Above the vast cerulean sea
Of heaven, created harmony
Rings and re-echoes its release!
So, this dumb instrument that lies
All powerless, [with spirit flown,
Beyond the veil of the Unknown
To chant its love-hymned litanies, ]
Though it may thrill us here no more
With cadenced strain, in other spheres
Will rise above the vanquished years
And breathe its music as before!

Whether it be that we in letters trace
The pure exactness of a wood bird's strain,
And name it song; or with the brush attain
The high perfection of a wildflower's face;
Or mold in difficult marble all the grace
We know as man; or from the wind and rain
Catch elemental rapture of refrain
And mark in music to due time and place:
The aim of Art is Nature; to unfold
Her truth and beauty to the souls of men
In close suggestions; in whose forms is cast
Nothing so new but 'tis long eons old;
Nothing so old but 'tis as young as when
The mind conceived it in the ages past.

What vague traditions do the golden eves,
What legends do the dawns
Inscribe in fire on Heaven's azure leaves,
The red sun colophons?

What ancient stories do the waters verse?
What tales of war and love
Do winds within the Earth's vast house rehearse,
God's stars stand guard above?

Would I could know them as they are expressed
In hue and melody!
And say, in words, the beauties they suggest,
Language their mystery!

And in one song magnificently rise,
The music of the spheres,
That more than marble should immortalize
My name in after years.

O voice of ecstasy and lyric pain,
Divinely throated and divinely heard
Among old England's songsters! Sprite or bird,
Haunting the woods of song with raptured strain!
In whose wild music Love is born and slain.
And young Desire cries ever a battle word,
And Passion goes, ready with kiss or sword,
To make us captive or set free again.
Above the flowery meads of English song,
Enchantment-sweet, her golden numbers pour,
Commanding and compelling, like Desire!
O nightingale and lark, how o'er the throng
Of all thy sister singers thou dost soar,
Filled with seraphic love and Sapphic fire!

The flute, whence Summer's dreamy fingertips
Drew music, ripening the pinched kernels in
The burly chestnut and the chinquapin,
Red-rounding-out the oval haws and hips,
Now Winter crushes to his stormy lips,
And surly songs whistle around his chin;
Now the wild days and wilder nights begin
When, at the eaves, the crooked icicle drips.
Thy songs, O Summer, are not lost so soon!
Still dwells a memory in thy hollow flute,
Which unto Winter's masculine airs doth give
Thy own creative qualities of tune,
Through which we see each bough bend white with fruit,
Each bush with bloom, in snow commemorative.

Robert Browning

MASTER of human harmonies, where gong
And harp and violin and flute accord;
Each instrument confessing you its lord,
Within the deathless orchestra of Song.
Albeit at times your music may sound wrong
To our dulled senses, and its meaning barred
To Earth's slow understanding, never marred
Your message brave: clear, and of trumpet tongue.
Poet-revealer, who, both soon and late,
Within an age of doubt kept clean your faith,
Crying your cry of 'With the world all's well!'
How shall we greet you from our low estate,
Keys in the keyboard that is life and death,
The organ whence we hear your music swell?

Here is a tale for ladies with romances:
There was an owl; composer and musician,
Who looked as wise as if he had a mission,
And at all art cast supercilious glances.
People proclaimed him great because he said it;
And, like the great, he never played, nor printed
His compositions, 'though 'twas whispered, hinted
He'd written something but no one had read it.
Owl-eyed he posed at functions of position,
Hirsute, and eye-glassed, looking analytic,
Opening his mouth to worshipping female knowledge:
And then he married. A woman of ambition.
A singer, teacher, and a musical critic.
Just what he wanted. He became a college.

This is the tomboy month of all the year,
March, who comes shouting o'er the winter hills,
Waking the world with laughter, as she wills,
Or wild halloos, a windflower in her ear.
She stops a moment by the half-thawed mere
And whistles to the wind, and straightway shrills
The hyla's song, and hoods of daffodils
Crowd golden round her, leaning their heads to hear.
Then through the woods, that drip with all their eaves,
Her mad hair blown about her, loud she goes
Singing and calling to the naked trees;
And straight the oilets of the little leaves
Open their eyes in wonder, rows on rows,
And the first bluebird bugles to the breeze.

Love hath no place in her,
Though in her bosom be
Love-thoughts and dreams that stir
Longings that know not me:
Love hath no place in her,
No place for me.

Never within her eyes
Do I the love-light see;
Never her soul replies
To the sad soul in me:
Never with soul and eyes
Speaks she to me.

She is a star, a rose,
I but a moth, a bee;
High in her heaven she glows,
Blooms far away from me:
She is a star, a rose,
Never for me.

Why will I think of her
To my heart's misery?
Dreaming how sweet it were
Had she a thought of me:
Why will I think of her!
Why, why, ah me!

THE SONG-BIRDS? are they flown away?
The song-birds of the summer-time,
That sang their souls into the day,
And set the laughing days to rhyme?—
No catbird scatters through the hush
The sparkling crystals of its song;
Within the woods no hermit-thrush
Trails an enchanted flute along,
A sweet assertion of the hush.

All day the crows fly cawing past;
The acorns drop; the forests scowl;
At night I hear the bitter blast
Hoot with the hooting of the owl.
The wild creeks freeze; the ways are strewn
With leaves that rot: beneath the tree
The bird, that set its toil to tune,
And made a home for melody,
Lies dead beneath the death-white moon.

Love, The Song Of Songs

Over the roar of cities,
Over the hush of the hills,
Mounts ever a song that never stops,
A voice that never stills.

Epic-loud as the sea is,
Lyric-low as the dew,
It sings and sings a soul into things
And builds the world anew.

Dauntless, deathless, stern but kind,
Bold and free and strong,
It sweeps with mastery man's mind,
And rolls the world along.

From soul to soul it wings its words,
And, lo, the darkness flies;
And all who heed that song of songs
View Earth with other eyes.

New eyes, new thoughts, that shall go on
Seeing as Beauty sings,
Until the light of the farthest dawn
Shall fold its rainbow wings.

All things are wrought of melody,
Unheard, yet full of speaking spells;
Within the rock, within the tree,
A soul of music dwells.

A mute symphonic sense that thrills
The silent frame of mortal things;
Its heart beats in the ancient hills,
In every flower sings.

To harmony all growth is set
Each seed is but a music mote,
From which each plant, each violet,
Evolves its purple note.

Compact of melody, the rose
Woos the soft wind with strain on strain
Of crimson; and the lily blows
Its white bars to the rain.

The trees are pæans; and the grass
One long green fugue beneath the sun
Song is their life; and all shall pass,
Shall cease, when song is done.

Ah me! I shall not waken soon
From dreams of such divinity!
A spirit singing 'neath the moon
To me.

Wild sea-spray driven of the storm
Is not so wildly white as she,
Who beckoned with a foam-white arm
To me.

With eyes dark green, and golden-green
Long locks that rippled drippingly,
Out of the green wave she did lean
To me.

And sang; till Earth and Heaven seemed
A far, forgotten memory,
And more than Heaven in her who gleamed
On me.

Sleep, sweeter than love's face or home;
And death's immutability;
And music of the plangent foam,
For me!

Sweep over her! with all thy ships,
With all thy stormy tides, O sea!-
The memory of immortal lips
For me!

Heaped in raven loops and masses
Over temples smooth and fair,
Have you marked it, as she passes,
Gleam and shadow mingled there,
Braided strands of midnight air,
Helen's hair?

Deep with dreams and starry mazes
Of the thought that in them lies,
Have you seen them, as she raises
Them in gladness or surprise,
Two gray gleams of daybreak skies,
Helen's eyes?

Moist with dew and honied wafters
Of a music sweet that slips,
Have you marked them, brimmed with laughter's
Song and sunshine to their tips,
Rose-buds whence the fragrance drips,
Helen's lips?

He who sees her needs must love her:
But, beware! avoid love's dart!
He who loves her must discover
Nature overlooked one part,
In this masterpiece of art
Helen's heart.

Over heaven clouds are drifted;
In the trees the wind-witch cries;
By her sieve the rain is sifted,
And the clouds at times are rifted
By her mad broom as she flies.
Love, there's lightning in the skies,
Swift, as, in your face uplifted,
Leaps the heart-thought to your eyes.
Little face, where I can trace
Dreams for which those eyes are pages,
Whose young magic here assuages
All the heart-storm and alarm.


Now the thunder tramples slowly,
Like a king, down heaven's arc;
And the clouds, like armies wholly
Vanquished, break; and, white as moly,
Sweeps the queen moon on the dark.
Love, a bird wakes; is't the lark?
Sweet as in your bosom holy
Sings the heart that now I hark.
All my soul that song makes whole,
That young song I hear it singing,
Calm and peace for ever bringing
To my heart's storm and alarm.

Meeting And Parting

When from the tower, like some sweet flower,
The bell drops petals of the hour,
That says the world is homing,
My heart puts off its garb of care
And clothes itself in gold and vair,
And hurries forth to meet her there
Within the purple gloaming.

It's Oh! how slow the hours go,
How dull the moments move!
Till soft and clear the bells I hear,
That say, like music, in my ear,
'Go meet the one you love.'

When curved and white, a bugle bright,
The moon blows glamour through the night,
That sets the world a-dreaming,
My heart, where gladness late was guest,
Puts off its joy, as to my breast
At parting her dear form is pressed,
Within the moon's faint gleaming.

It's Oh! how fast the hours passed!
They were not slow enough!
Too soon, too soon, the sinking moon
Says to my soul, like some sad tune,
'Come! part from her you love.'

Thin, chisel-fine a cricket chipped
The crystal silence into sound;
And where the branches dreamed and dripped
A grasshopper its dagger stripped
And on the humming darkness ground.

A bat, against the gibbous moon,
Danced, implike, with its lone delight;
The glowworm scrawled a golden rune
Upon the dark; and, emerald-strewn,
The firefly hung with lamps the night.

The flowers said their beads in prayer,
Dew-syllables of sighed perfume;
Or talked of two, soft-standing there,
One like a gladiole, straight and fair,
And one like some rich poppy-bloom.

The mignonette and feverfew
Laid their pale brows together:-'See!'
One whispered: 'Did their step thrill through
Your roots?'-'Like rain.'-'I touched the two
And a new bud was born in me.'

One rose said to another:-'Whose
Is this dim music? song, that parts
My crimson petals like the dews?'
'My blossom trembles with sweet news-
It is the love of two young hearts.'


Under rocks whereon the rose
Like a streak of morning glows;
Where the azure-throated newt
Drowses on the twisted root;
And the brown bees, humming homeward,
Stop to suck the honeydew;
Fern- and leaf-hid, gleaming gloamward,
Drips the wildwood spring I knew,
Drips the spring my boyhood knew.


Myrrh and music everywhere
Haunt its cascades-like the hair
That a Naiad tosses cool,
Swimming strangely beautiful,
With white fragrance for her bosom,
And her mouth a breath of song-
Under leaf and branch and blossom
Flows the woodland spring along,
Sparkling, singing flows along.


Still the wet wan mornings touch
Its gray rocks, perhaps; and such
Slender stars as dusk may have
Pierce the rose that roofs its wave;
Still the thrush may call at noontide
And the whippoorwill at night;
Nevermore, by sun or moontide,
Shall I see it gliding white,
Falling, flowing, wild and white.

God's Green Book

Out, out in the open fields,
Where the great, green book of God,
The book that its wisdom yields
To each soul that is not a clod,
Lies wide for the world to read,
I would go; and in flower and weed,
That letter the lines of the grass,
Would read of a better creed
Than that which the town-world has.


Too long in the city streets,
The alleys of grime and sin,
Have I heard the iron beats
Of the heart of toil; whose din
And the throb of whose wild unrest
Have stunned the song in my breast,
Have marred its music and slain
The bird that was once its guest,
And my soul would find it again.


Out there where the great, green book,
Whose leaves are the grass and trees,
Lies open; where each may look,
May muse and read as he please;
The book, that is gilt with gleams,
Whose pages are ribboned with streams;
That says what our souls would say
Of beauty that 's wrought of dreams
And buds and blossoms of May.

Sad-Hearted spirit of the solitudes,
Who comest through the ruin-wedded woods!
Gray-gowned with fog, gold-girdled with the gloom
Of tawny twilights; burdened with perfume
Of rain-wet uplands, chilly with the mist;
And all the beauty of the fire-kissed
Cold forests crimsoning thy indolent way,
Odorous of death and drowsy with decay.
I think of thee as seated 'mid the showers
Of languid leaves that cover up the flowers,
The little flower-sisterhoods, whom June
Once gave wild sweetness to, as to a tune
A singer gives her sours wild melody,
Watching the squirrel store his granary.
Or, 'mid old orchards I have pictured thee:
Thy hair's profusion blown about thy back;
One lovely shoulder bathed with gypsy black;
Upon thy palm one nestling check, and sweet
The rosy russets tumbled at thy feet.
Was it a voice lamenting for the flowers?
A heart-sick bird that sang of happier hours?
A cricket dirging days that soon must die?
Or did the ghost of Summer wander by?

Awake! the dawn is on the hills!
Behold, at her cool throat a rose,
Blue-eyed and beautiful she goes,
Leaving her steps in daffodils.-
Awake! arise! and let me see
Thine eyes, whose deeps epitomize
All dawns that were or are to be,
O love, all Heaven in thine eyes!-
Awake! arise! come down to me!

Behold! the dawn is up: behold!
How all the birds around her float,
Wild rills of music, note on note,
Spilling the air with mellow gold.-
Arise! awake! and, drawing near,
Let me but hear thee and rejoice!
Thou, who keep'st captive, sweet and clear,
All song, O love, within thy voice!
Arise! awake! and let me hear!

See, where she comes, with limbs of day,
The dawn! with wild-rose hands and feet,
Within whose veins the sunbeams beat,
And laughters meet of wind and ray.
Arise! come down! and, heart to heart,
Love, let me clasp in thee all these-
The sunbeam, of which thou art part,
And all the rapture of the breeze!-
Arise! come down! loved that thou art!

Song Of The Elf

When the poppies, with their shields,
Forest and the harvest fields,
In the bell
Of a blossom, fair to see,
There I stall the bumble-bee,
My good stud;
There I stable him and hold,
Harness him with hairy gold;
There I ease his burly back
Of the honey and its sack
Gathered from each bud.


Where the glow-worm lights its lamp,
There I lie;
Where, above the grasses damp,
Moths go by;
Now within the fussy brook,
Where the waters wind and crook
Round the rocks,
I go sailing down the gloom
Straddling on a wisp of broom;
Or, beneath the owlet moon,
Trip it to the cricket's tune
Tossing back my locks.


Ere the crowfoot on the lawn
Lifts its head,
Or the glow-worm's light be gone,
Dim and dead,
In a cobweb hammock deep,
'Twixt two ferns I swing and sleep,
Hid away;
Where the drowsy musk-rose blows
And a dreamy runnel flows,
In the land of Faëry,
Where no mortal thing can see,
All the elfin day.

A Song For Labor

Oh, the morning meads, the dewy meads,
Where he ploughs and harrows and sows the seeds,
Singing a song of manly deeds,
In the blossoming springtime weather;
The heart in his bosom as high as the word
Said to the sky by the mating bird,
While the beat of an answering heart is heard,
His heart and love's together.


Oh, the noonday heights, the sunny heights,
Where he stoops to the harvest his keen scythe smites,
Singing a song of the work that requites,
In the ripening summer weather;
The soul in his body as light as the sigh
Of the little cloud-breeze that cools the sky,
While he hears an answering soul reply,
His soul and love's together.


Oh, the evening vales, the twilight vales,
Where he labors and sweats to the thud of flails,
Singing a song of the toil that avails,
In the fruitful autumn weather;
In heart and in soul as free from fears
As the first white star in the sky that clears,
While the music of life and of love he hears,
Of life and of love together.

The Child At The Gate

THE sunset was a sleepy gold,
And stars were in the skies
When down a weedy lane he strolled
In vague and thoughtless wise.
And then he saw it, near a wood,
An old house, gabled brown,
Like some old woman, in a hood,
Looking toward the town.
A child stood at its broken gate,
Singing a childish song,
And weeping softly as if Fate
Had done her child's heart wrong.
He spoke to her: —'Now tell me, dear,
Why do you sing and weep?'—
But she — she did not seem to hear,
But stared as if asleep.
Then suddenly she turned and fled
As if with soul of fear.
He followed; but the house looked dead,
And empty many a year.
The light was wan: the dying day
Grew ghostly suddenly:
And from the house he turned away,
Wrapped in its mystery.
They told him no one dwelt there now:
It was a haunted place.—
And then it came to him, somehow,
The memory of a face.
That child's — like hers, whose name was Joy —
For whom his heart was fain:
The face of her whom, when a boy,
He played with in that lane.

A Song For Yule

Sing, Hey, when the time rolls round this way,
And the bells peal out, 'Tis Christmas Day;
The world is better then by half,
For joy, for joy;
In a little while you will see it laugh
For a song's to sing and a glass to quaff,
My boy, my boy.
So here's to the man who never says nay!
Sing, Hey, a song of Christmas-Day!


Sing, Ho, when roofs are white with snow,
And homes are hung with mistletoe;
Old Earth is not half bad, I wis-
What cheer! what cheer!
How it ever seemed sad the wonder is
With a gift to give and a girl to kiss,
My dear, my dear.
So here's to the girl who never says no!
Sing, Ho, a song of the mistletoe!


No thing in the world to the heart seems wrong
When the soul of a man walks out with song;
Wherever they go, glad hand in hand,
And glove in glove,
The round of the land is rainbow-spanned,
And the meaning of life they understand
Is love, is love.
Let the heart be open, the soul be strong,
And life will be glad as a Christmas song.

O heart,-that beat the bird's blithe blood,
The blithe bird's strain, and understood
The song it sang to leaf and bud,-
What dost thou in the wood?

O soul,-that kept the brook's glad flow,
The glad brook's word to sun and moon,-
What dost thou here where song lies low,
And dead the dreams of June?

Where once was heard a voice of song,
The hautboys of the mad winds sing;
Where once a music flowed along,
The rain's wild bugle's ring.

The weedy water frets and ails,
And moans in many a sunless fall;
And, o'er the melancholy, trails
The black crow's eldritch call.

Unhappy brook! O withered wood!
O days, whom Death makes comrades of!
Where are the birds that thrilled the blood
When Life struck hands with Love?

A song, one soared against the blue;
A song, one silvered in the leaves;
A song, one blew where orchards grew
Gold-appled to the eaves.

The birds are flown; the flowers, dead;
And sky and earth are bleak and gray:
Where Joy once went, all light of tread,
Grief haunts the leaf-wild way.

First I asked the honeybee,
Busy in the balmy bowers;
Saying, 'Sweetheart, tell it me:
Have you seen her, honeybee?
She is cousin to the flowers
All the sweetness of the south
In her wild-rose face and mouth.'
But the bee passed silently.


Then I asked the forest bird,
Warbling by the woodland waters;
Saying, 'Dearest, have you heard?
Have you heard her, forest bird?
She is one of music's daughters
Never song so sweet by half
As the music of her laugh.'
But the bird said not a word.


Next I asked the evening sky,
Hanging out its lamps of fire;
Saying, 'Loved one, passed she by?
Tell me, tell me, evening sky!
She, the star of my desire
Sister whom the Pleiads lost,
And my soul's high pentecost.'
But the sky made no reply.


Where is she? ah, where is she?
She to whom both love and duty
Bind me, yea, immortally.
Where is she? ah, where is she?
Symbol of the Earth-Soul's beauty.
I have lost her. Help my heart
Find her! her, who is a part
Of the pagan soul of me.


First I asked the honeybee,
Busy in the balmy bowers;
Saying, 'Sweetheart, tell it me:
Have you seen her, honeybee?
She is cousin to the flowers-
All the sweetness of the south
In her wild-rose face and mouth.'
But the bee passed silently.


Then I asked the forest bird,
Warbling by the woodland waters;
Saying, 'Dearest, have you heard?
Have you heard her, forest bird?
She is one of music's daughters-
Never song so sweet by half
As the music of her laugh.'
But the bird said not a word.


Next I asked the evening sky,
Hanging out its lamps of fire;
Saying, 'Loved one, passed she by?
Tell me, tell me, evening sky!
She, the star of my desire-
Sister whom the Pleiads lost,
And my soul's high pentecost.'
But the sky made no reply.


Where is she? ah, where is she?
She to whom both love and duty
Bind me, yea, immortally.-
Where is she? ah, where is she?
Symbol of the Earth-Soul's beauty.
I have lost her. Help my heart
Find her! her, who is a part
Of the pagan soul of me.

A Song Of Cheer

Be of good cheer, and have no fear
Of Fortune or Tomorrow:
To Hope's low whisper lend an ear
And turn away from Sorrow.

Time out of mind the soul is blind
To things God sends as blessings:
And Fortune often proves unkind
Merely in foolish guessings.

Within the soul we bear the whole
Of Hell and also Heaven;
And 'twixt the two is set the goal
Of dreams our lives have driven.

What counts above all deeds is Love,
And Friendship, that, remember,
In heart-beats keeps Life's record of
Its April and December.

To every one come rain and sun,
And calm and stormy weather:
What helps is not what Life has done,
But Life and Love together.

Of sun and rain and joy and pain
The web of Life is woven;
And ever through it runs the skein
Of Hope, with strand uncloven.

Now high in air it glitters fair;
Now dims beyond divining;
But still the thread winds golden there,
Although no longer shining.

Be of good cheer and have no fear
Of any care or sorrow;
The clouds at last will disappear,
And the sun will shine tomorrow.

Morn's mystic rose is reddening on the hills,
Dawn's irised nautilus makes glad the sea;
There is a lyre of flame that throbs and fills
Far heaven and earth with hope's wild ecstasy.
With lilied field and grove,
Haunts of the turtle-dove,
Here is the land of Love.


The chariot of the noon makes blind the blue
As towards the goal his burning axle glares;
There is a fiery trumpet thrilling through
Wide heaven and earth with deeds of one who dares.
With peaks of splendid name,
Wrapped round with astral flame,
Here is the land of Fame.


The purple priesthood of the evening waits
With golden pomp within the templed skies;
There is a harp of worship at the gates
Of heaven and earth that bids the soul arise.
With columned cliffs and long
Vales, music breathes among,
Here is the land of Song.


Moon-crowned, the epic of the night unrolls
Its starry utterance o'er height and deep;
There is a voice of beauty at the souls
Of heaven and earth that lulls the heart asleep.
With storied woods and streams,
Where marble glows and gleams,
Here is the land of Dreams.

A Song For All Day

A rollicking song for the morn, my boy,
A rollicking song for the morn:
It's up and out with a laugh and shout,
While the bright sun circles the world about,
And the dew is on the corn, my boy,
The dew is on the corn.
Barefoot, brown, with trousers torn,
It's up and out with the morn.

A jolly good song for the noon, my boy,
A jolly good song for the noon:
It's out and away where the wild woods sway,
And the wind and the birds have a holiday,
And whistle an oldtime tune, my boy,
And whistle an oldtime tune.
Healthy, happy, a heart of June,
It's out in the woods at noon.

A wonderful song for the eve, my boy,
A wonderful song for the eve:
The sunset's bars and a trail of stars,
And the falls of the creek a mine of spars,
Or a weft of crystal weave, my boy,
A weft of crystal weave.
Hungry, tired, with nothing to grieve,
It's home again at eve.

A lullaby song for the night, my boy,
A lullaby song for the night:
When crickets cry and owlets fly,
And the house-hound bays the moon on high,
And the window-lamp shines bright, my boy,
The window-lamp shines bright.
A drowsy kiss and a bed snow-white,
And a lullaby-song for the night.

From 'Wild Thorn and Lily'

Among the white haw-blossoms, where the creek
Droned under drifts of dogwood and of haw,
The redbird, like a crimson blossom blown
Against the snow-white bosom of the Spring,
The chaste confusion of her lawny breast,
Sang on, prophetic of serener days,
As confident as June's completer hours.
And I stood listening like a hind, who hears
A wood nymph breathing in a forest flute
Among the beech-boles of myth-haunted ways:
And when it ceased, the memory of the air
Blew like a syrinx in my brain: I made
A lyric of the notes that men might know:

He flies with flirt and fluting-
As flies a crimson star
From flaming star-beds shooting-
From where the roses are.

Wings past and sings; and seven
Notes, wild as fragrance is,-
That turn to flame in heaven,-
Float round him full of bliss.

He sings; each burning feather
Thrills, throbbing at his throat;
A song of firefly weather,
And of a glowworm boat:

Of Elfland and a princess
Who, born of a perfume,
His music rocks,-where winces
That rosebud's cradled bloom.

No bird sings half so airy,
No bird of dusk or dawn,
Thou masking King of Faery!
Thou red-crowned Oberon!


There is no rhyme that is half so sweet
As the song of the wind in the rippling wheat;
There is no metre that's half so fine
As the lilt of the brook under rock and vine;
And the loveliest lyric I ever heard
Was the wildwood strain of a forest bird.-
If the wind and the brook and the bird would teach
My heart their beautiful parts of speech,
And the natural art that they say these with,
My soul would sing of beauty and myth
In a rhyme and metre that none before
Have sung in their love, or dreamed in their lore,
And the world would be richer one poet the more.


A thought to lift me up to those
Sweet wildflowers of the pensive woods;
The lofty, lowly attitudes
Of bluet and of bramble-rose:
To lift me where my mind may reach
The lessons which their beauties teach.

A dream, to lead my spirit on
With sounds of faery shawms and flutes,
And all mysterious attributes
Of skies of dusk and skies of dawn:
To lead me, like the wandering brooks,
Past all the knowledge of the books.

A song, to make my heart a guest
Of happiness whose soul is love;
One with the life that knoweth of
But song that turneth toil to rest:
To make me cousin to the birds,
Whose music needs not wisdom's words.

Thou, oh, thou!
Thou of the chorded shell and golden plectrum! thou
Of the dark eyes and pale pacific brow!
Music, who by the plangent waves,
Or in the echoing night of labyrinthine caves,
Or on God's mountains, lonely as the stars,
Touchest reverberant bars
Of immemorial sorrow and amaze;
Keeping regret and memory awake,
And all the immortal ache
Of love that leans upon the past's sweet days
In retrospection!-now, oh, now,
Interpreter and heart-physician, thou,
Who gazest on the heaven and the hell
Of life, and singest each as well,
Touch with thy all-mellifluous finger-tips,
Or thy melodious lips,
This sickness named my soul,
Making it whole,
As is an echo of a chord,
Or some symphonic word,
Or sweet vibrating sigh,
That deep, resurgent still doth rise and die
On thy voluminous roll;
Part of the beauty and the mystery
That axles Earth with song; and as a slave,
Swings it around and 'round on each sonorous pole,
'Mid spheric harmony,
And choral majesty,
And diapasoning of wind and wave;
And speeds it on its far elliptic way
'Mid vasty anthemings of night and day.
O cosmic cry
Of two eternities, wherein we see
The phantasms, Death and Life,
At endless strife
Above the silence of a monster grave.

The Idyll Of The Standing Stone

The teasel and the horsemint spread
The hillside as with sunset, sown
With blossoms, o'er the Standing-Stone
That ripples in its rocky bed:
There are no treasuries that hold
Gold richer than the marigold
That crowns its sparkling head.

'Tis harvest time: a mower stands
Among the morning wheat and whets
His scythe, and for a space forgets
The labor of the ripening lands;
Then bends, and through the dewy grain
His long scythe hisses, and again
He swings it in his hands.

And she beholds him where he mows
On acres whence the water sends
Faint music of reflecting bends
And falls that interblend with flows:
She stands among the old bee-gums,-
Where all the apiary hums,-
A simple bramble-rose.

She hears him whistling as he leans,
And, reaping, sweeps the ripe wheat by;
She sighs and smiles, and knows not why,
Nor what her heart's disturbance means:
He whets his scythe, and, resting, sees
Her rose-like 'mid the hives of bees,
Beneath the flowering beans.

The peacock-purple lizard creeps
Along the rail; and deep the drone
Of insects makes the country lone
With summer where the water sleeps:
She hears him singing as he swings
His scythe-who thinks of other things
Than toil, and, singing, reaps.

The Grasshopper I

What joy you take in making hotness hotter,
In emphasising dulness with your buzz,
Making monotony more monotonous!
When Summer comes, and drouth hath dried the water
In all the creeks, we hear your ragged rasp
Filling the stillness. Or, as urchins beat
A stagnant pond whereon the bubbles gasp,
Your switch-like music whips the midday heat.
O bur of sound caught in the Summer's hair,
We hear you everywhere!

We hear you in the vines and berry-brambles,
Along the unkempt lanes, among the weeds,
Amid the shadeless meadows, gray with seeds,
And by the wood 'round which the rail-fence rambles,
Sawing the sunlight with your sultry saw.
Or, like to tomboy truants, at their play
With noisy mirth among the barn's deep straw,
You sing away the careless summer-day.
O brier-like voice that clings in idleness
To Summer's drowsy dress!

You tramp of insects, vagrant and unheeding,
Improvident, who of the summer make
One long green mealtime, and for winter take
No care, aye singing or just merely feeding!
Happy-go-lucky vagabond, 'though frost
Shall pierce, ere long, your green coat or your brown,
And pinch your body, let no song be lost,
But as you lived into your grave go down
Like some small poet with his little rhyme,
Forgotten of all time.