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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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I have been urged by earnest violins

And drunk their mellow sorrows to the slake

Of all my sorrows and my thirsting sins.

My heart has beaten for the brave drum’s sake.

Huge chords have wrought me mighty: I have hurled

Thuds of gods’  thunder. And with old winds pondered

Over the curse of this chaotic world,-

With low lost winds that maundered as they wandered.

 

I have been gay with trivial fifes that laugh;

And songs more sweet than possible things are sweet;

And gongs, and oboes. Yet I guessed not half

Life’s symphony till I had made hearts beat,

And touched Love’s body into trembling cries,

And blown my love’s lips into laughs and sighs.

Escape me?

Never—

Beloved!

While I am I, and you are you,

So long as the world contains us both,

Me the loving and you the loth

While the one eludes, must the other pursue.

My life is a fault at last, I fear:

It seems too much like a fate, indeed!

Though I do my best I shall scarce succeed.

But what if I fail of my purpose here?

It is but to keep the nerves at strain,

To dry one’s eyes and laugh at a fall,

And, baffled, get up and begin again,—

So the chase takes up one’s life, that’s all.

While, look but once from your farthest bound

At me so deep in the dust and dark,

No sooner the old hope goes to ground

Than a new one, straight to the self-same mark,

I shape me—

Ever

Removed!

And what is life? An hour-glass on the run,

A mist retreating from the morning sun,

A busy, bustling, self-repeated dream.

Its length? A minute’s pause, a moment thought.

And happiness? A bubble on the stream,

That in the act of seizing shrinks to nought.

 

And what is Hope? The puffing gale of morn,

That of its charms divests the dewy lawn,

And robs each flow’ret of its gem-and dies;

A cobweb, hiding disappointment’s thorn,

Which stings more keenly in thin disguise.

 

And what is Death? Is still the cause unfound?

That dark mysterious name of horrid sound?

A long and lingering sleep the weary crave.

And Peace? Where can its happiness abound?

Nowhere at all, save heaven and the grave.

 

Then what is Life? when stripped of its disguise,

A thing to be desired it cannot be;

Since everything that meets our foolish eyes

Gives proof sufficient of its vanity.

‘Tis but trial all must undergo,

To teach unthankful mortals how to prize

That happiness vain man’s denied to know,

Until he’s called to claim it the skies.

 

Love’s aftermath! I think the time is now

That we must gather in, alone, apart

The saddest crop of all the crops that grow,

Love’s aftermath.

Ah, sweet,–sweet yesterday, the tears that start

Can not put back the dial; this is, I trow,

Our harvesting! thy kisses thy kisses chill my heart,

Our lips are cold; averted eyes avow

The twilight of poor love: we can but part,

Dumbly and sadly, reaping as we sow,

Love’s aftermath.

 

 

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends Being and ideal Grace.

I love thee to the level of every day’s

Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.

I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;

I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.

I love with a passion put to use

In my old griefs, and my childhood’s faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

With my lost saints,–I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life!–and, if God, choose,

I shall but love thee better after death.

 

 

 

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:

Its loveliness increases; it will never

Pass into nothingness; but still will keep

A bower quiet for us, and a sleep

Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing

A flowery band to bind us to earth,

Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth

Of noble natures, of the gloomy days

Of all the unhealthy and o’er darkn’d ways

Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,

Same shape of beauty moves away the pall

From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,

Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon

For simple sheep; and such are daffodils

With the green world they live; and clear hills

That for themselves a cooling covert make

‘Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,

Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:

And such too is the grandeur of the dooms

We have imagined for the mighty dead;

An endless fountain of immortal drink,

Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.

 

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.

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