TO MY MOTHER Mother, to whose valiant will,Battling long ago,What the heaping years fulfil,Light and song, I owe;Send my little book a-field,Fronting praise or blameWith the shining flag and shieldOf your name.
THE SWEETNESS OF LIFE It fell on a day I was happy,And the winds, the concave sky,The flowers and the beasts in the meadowSeemed happy even as I;And I stretched my hands to the meadow,To the bird, the beast, the tree:"Why are ye all so happy?"I cried, and they answered me. What sayest thou, Oh meadow,That stretches so wide, so far,That none can say how manyThy misty marguerites are?And what say ye, red roses,That o'er the sun-blanched wallFrom your high black-shadowed trellisLike flame or blood-drops fall?"We are born, we are reared, and we lingerA various space and die;We dream, and are bright and happy,But we cannot answer why." What sayest thou, Oh shadow,That from the dreaming hillAll down the broadening valleyLiest so sharp and still?And thou, Oh murmuring brooklet,Whereby in the noonday gleamThe loosestrife burns like ruby,And the branchèd asters dream?"We are born, we are reared, and we lingerA various space and die;We dream and are very happy,But we cannot answer why." And then of myself I questioned,That like a ghost the whileStood from me and calmly answered,With slow and curious smile:"Thou art born as the flowers, and wilt lingerThine own short space and die;Thou dream'st and art strangely happy,But thou canst not answer why."
GOD-SPEED TO THE SNOW March is slain; the keen winds fly;Nothing more is thine to do;April kisses thee good-bye;Thou must haste and follow too;Silent friend that guarded wellWithered things to make us glad,Shyest friend that could not tellHalf the kindly thought he had.Haste thee, speed thee, O kind snow;Down the dripping valleys go,From the fields and gleaming meadows,Where the slaying hours behold thee,From the forests whose slim shadows,Brown and leafless cannot fold thee,Through the cedar lands aflameWith gold light that cleaves and quivers,Songs that winter may not tame,Drone of pines and laugh of rivers.May thy passing joyous beTo thy father, the great sea,For the sun is getting stronger;Earth hath need of thee no longer;Go, kind snow, God-speed to thee!
APRIL IN THE HILLS To-day the world is wide and fairWith sunny fields of lucid air,And waters dancing everywhere;The snow is almost gone;The noon is builded high with light,And over heaven's liquid height,In steady fleets serene and white,The happy clouds go on. The channels run, the bare earth steams,And every hollow rings and gleamsWith jetting falls and dashing streams;The rivers burst and fill;The fields are full of little lakes,And when the romping wind awakesThe water ruffles blue and shakes,And the pines roar on the hill. The crows go by, a noisy throng;About the meadows all day longThe shore-lark drops his brittle song;And up the leafless treeThe nut-hatch runs, and nods, and clings;The bluebird dips with flashing wings,The robin flutes, the sparrow sings,And the swallows float and flee....