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It shouts in the sails of the ships at sea,

He steals the down from the honeybee,

He makes the forest trees rustle and sing,

He twirls my kite till it breaks its string.

Laughing, dancing, sunny wind,

Whistling, howling, rainy wind,

North, South, East and West,

Each is the wind I like the best.

He calls up the fog and hides the hills,

He whirls the wings of the great windmills,

The weathercocks love him and turn to discover

His whereabouts-but he’s gone, the rover!

Laughing, dancing, sunny wind,

Whistling, howling, rainy wind,

North, South, East and West,

Each is the wind I like best.

The pine trees toss him cones with glee,

The flowers bend low in courtesy,

Each wave flings up a shower of pearls,

The flag in front of school unfurls.

Laughing, dancing, sunny wind,

Whistling, howling, rainy wind,

North, South, East and West,

Each is the wind I like best.

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When the warm sun, that brings

Seed-time and harvest, has returned again,

‘Tis sweet to visit the still wood, where springs

The first flower of the plain.

 

I love the season well,

When forest glades are teeming with bright forms,

Nor dark and many-folded clouds foretell

The coming-on of storms.

 

From the earth’s loosened mould

The sapling draws its sustenance, and thrives;

Though stricken to the heart with winter’s cold,

The drooping tree revives.

 

The softly-warbled song

Comes from the pleasant woods, and colored wings

Glance quick in the bright sun, that moves along

The forest openings.

 

When the bright sunset fills

The silver woods with light, the green slope throws

Its shadows in the hollows of the hills

And wide the upland glows.

 

And when the eve is born,

In the blue the sky, o’er-reaching far,

Is hollowed out and the moon dips her horn,

And twinkles many a star.

 

Inverted in the tide

Stand the gray rocks, and trembling shadows throw,

And the fair trees look over, side by side,

And see themselves below.

 

Sweet April! many a thought

Is wedded unto thee, as hearts are wed;

Nor shall they fall, till, to its autumn brought,

Life’s golden fruit is shed.

 

 

 

 

 

My heart is like a little bird

That sits and sings for very gladness.

Sorrow is some forgotten word,

And so, except in rhyme, is sadness.

 

The world is very fair to me –

Such azure skies, such golden weather,

I’m like a long caged bird set free,

My heart is lighter than a feather.

 

I rise rejoicing in my life;

I live with love of God and neighbour;

My days flow on unmarred by strife,

And sweetened by my pleasant labour.

 

O youth! O spring! O happy days,

Ye are so passing sweet, and tender,

And while the fleeting season stays,

I revel care-free, in its splendour.

The day is ending,

The night descending;

The marsh is frozen,

The river dead.

 

Through clouds like ashes

The red sun flashes

On village windows

That glimmer red.

 

The snow recommences;

The buried fences

Mark no longer

The road o’er the plain;

 

While through the meadows,

Like fearful shadows,

Slowly passes

A funeral train.

 

The bell is pealing,

And every feeling

Within me responds

To the dismal knell;

 

Shadows are trailing,

My heart is bewailing

And tolling within

Like a funeral bell.

Is this time to be cloudy and sad,

When our mother Nature laughs around;

When even the deep blue heavens look glad,

And gladness breaths from the blossoming ground?

 

There are notes of joy from the hang-bird and wren,

And the gossip of swallows through all the sky;

The ground-squirrel gaily chirps by his den,

And the wilding bee hums merrily by.

 

The clouds are at play at the azure space,

And their shadows at play on the bright green vale,

And here they stretch to the frolic chase,

And there roll on the easy gale.

 

There’s a dance of leaves in that aspen bower,

There’s a titter of winds in that beechen tree,

There’s a smile on the fruit, and a smile on the flower,

And a laugh from the brook that runs to the sea.

 

And look at the broad-faced sun, how he smiles

On the dewy earth that smiles in his ray,

On the leaping waters and gay young isles;

At, look, and he’ll smile thy gloom away.

When I go up through the mowing field,

The headless aftermath,

Smooth-laid like thatch with the heavy dew,

Half closes the garden path.

 

And when I come to the garden ground,

The whir of sober birds

Up from the tangle of withered weeds

Is sadder than any words

 

A tree beside the wall stands bare,

But a leaf that lingered brown,

Disturbed, I doubt not, by my thought,

Comes softly rattling down.

 

I end not far from my going forth

By picking the faded blue

Of the last remaining aster flower

To carry again to you.

Weep, and you weep alone.

For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,

But has trouble enough of its own.

Sing, and the hills will answer;

Sigh, it is lost in the air.

The echoes bound to a joyful sound,

But shrink from voicing care.

 

Rejoice, and men will seek you;

Grieve, and they turn and go.

They want full measure of all your pleasure,

But they do not need your woe.

Be glad, and your friends are many;

There are none to decline your nectared wine,

But alone you must drink life’s gall.

 

Feast, and your halls are crowded;

Fast, and the world goes by.

Succeed and give, and it helps you live,

But no man can help you die.

There is room in the halls of pleasure

For a long and lordly train,

But one by one we must all file on

Through the narrow aisles of pain.

 

Is this a time to be cloudy and sad,

When our mother Nature laughs around;

When even the deep blue heavens look glad,

And gladness breathes from the blossoming ground?

 

There are notes of joy from the hang-bird and wren,

And gossip of swallows through all the sky;

The ground-squirrel gaily chirps by his den,

And the wilding bee hums merrily by.

 

The clouds are at play in azure space,

And their shadows at play on the bright green vale,

And here they stretch to the frolic chase,

And there they roll on the easy gale.

 

There’s a dance of leaves in that aspen bower,

There’s a titter of winds in that beechen tree,

There a smile on the fruit, and a smile on the flower,

And a laugh from the brook that runs to the sea.

 

And look at the broad-faced sun, how he smiles

On a dewy earth that smiles in his ray,

On the leaping waters and gay young isles;

At, look, he’ll smile thy gloom away.

 

 

 

 

A dream lies dead here. May you softly go

Before this place, and turn away your eyes,

Nor seek to know the look of that which dies

Importuning Life for life. Walk not in woe,

But, for little, let your step be slow

And, of your mercy, be not sweetly wise

With words of hope and Spring and tenderer skies.

A dream lies dead; and this all mourners know:

 

Whenever one drifted petal leaves the tree-

Though white of bloom as it had been before

And proudly waitful of fecundity-

One little loveliness can be more;

And so must Beauty bow her imperfect head

Because a dream has joined the wistful dead!

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

Like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore–

And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over–

Like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags

Like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

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