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The grass, the thicket, and the fruit tree wild;
Darkling I listen; and for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death, Called him soft names in many a mused rhyme To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain-
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
The same that oft-times hath
Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
As she is famed to do, deceiving elf.
SEE, the day begins to break,
Many a note and many a lay.
SPAKE full well, in language quaint and olden,
Yet not wrapped about with awful mystery,
Like the burning stars, which they beheld. Wondrous truths, and manifold as wondrous, God hath written in those stars above; But not less in the bright flowerets under us Stands the revelation of his love.
Bright and glorious is that revelation,
Written all over this great world of ours; Making evident our own creation,
In these stars of earth-these golden flowers.
And the Poet, faithful and far-seeing,
Which is throbbing in his brain and heart. Gorgeous flowerets in the sun-light shining, Blossoms flaunting in the eye of day, Tremulous leaves, with soft and silver lining, Buds that open only to decay;
Brilliant hopes, all woven in gorgeous tissues,
These in flowers and men are more than seeming; Workings are they of the self-same powers, Which the Poet, in no idle dreaming,
Seeth in himself and in the flowers.
Everywhere about us are they glowing,
Some like stars, to tell us Spring is born; Others, their blue eyes with tears o'erflowing, Stand like Ruth amid the golden corn;
Not alone in Spring's armorial bearing,
And in Summer's green-emblazoned field, But in arms of brave old Autumn's wearing, In the centre of his brazen shield;
Not alone in meadows and green alleys,
On the mountain-top, and by the brink Of sequestered pools in woodland valleys,
Where the slaves of Nature stoop to drink;
Not alone in her vast dome of glory,
Not on graves of bird and beast alone, But in old cathedrals, high and hoary,
On the tombs of heroes, carved in stone;
In the cottage of the rudest peasant,
In ancestral homes, whose crumbling towers, Speaking of the Past unto the Present,
Tells us of the ancient games of Flowers;
In all places, then, and in all seasons,
Flowers expand their light and soul-like wings,
THE spring is here—the delicate-footed May,
In lovelier scenes to pass these sweeter hours,
Like a cool sleep upon the pulses broods-
The waters tripping with their silver feet, The turning to the light of leaves in June, And the light whisper as their edges meet