Nature has been a yearly muse for countless esteemed poets, inspiring timeless verses that celebrate its beauty, reflect on its temporary qualities and contemplate the profound connections between humanity and the natural world. In the realm of beautiful and famous nature poems, poets capture the awe at the sight of beautiful plants and flowers, portraying nature as a source of solace and inspiration.
Many beautiful and famous nature poems explore the transient nature of beauty and the inevitable cycle of life and death, showing the enduring, yet ephemeral, beauty found in the natural world. Some of them are acrostic poems where the initial letters of each line spell out a word or message, adding an inventive twist to nature-themed verses. Some others celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of nature, expressing gratitude for the variegated tapestry of God’s creation. The poem revels in the distinctive patterns and colors found in the wild, encouraging readers to appreciate the beauty in diversity.
Overall, these beautiful and famous nature poems, whether capturing the essence of a solitary daffodil or contemplating the cosmic beauty of the nightingale’s song, showcase the enduring power of nature as a wellspring of inspiration for poets across different eras and styles.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed- and gazed- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune,
It moves us not.–Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.
A Bird, came down the Walk –
He did not know I saw –
He bit an Angle Worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw,
And then, he drank a Dew
From a convenient Grass –
And then hopped sidewise to the Wall
To let a Beetle pass –
He glanced with rapid eyes,
That hurried all abroad –
They looked like frightened Beads, I thought,
He stirred his Velvet Head. –
Like one in danger, Cautious,
I offered him a Crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers,
And rowed him softer Home –
Than Oars divide the Ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon,
Leap, plashless as they swim.
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.
5, The Tyger © William Blake
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?
And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
When the stars threw down their spears,
And water’d heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
I tried to live that way for a while, among
the trees, the green breeze,
chewing Bubblicious and by the edge of the pool spitting it out.
The book open on my chest, a towel
at my back the diving board thwoking,
and leaving never arrived Cut it out
my mother said my brother
clowning around with a water gun Cut it out.
The planes arrowed into silence, fourteen,
fifteen, sixteen, always coming
home from summer over the bridge to Brooklyn.
The father stabbed on Orange Street,
the Betamax in the trash,
the Sasha doll the dog chewed up, hollow
plastic arms gaping. Powdered pink lemonade,
tonguing the sweet grains
I could stand in that self for years
wondering is it better to
anticipate than to age Imagining
children with five different men,
a great flood that would destroy
your possessions and free you to wander.
Bathing suits and apples and suntan oil
and a mother bending over you
shadow of her face on yours. It’s gone,
that way, the breeze, the permanent pool.
A father saying “ghost” and the sheets
slipping off the oak tree’s bough.
When I wake, leaves
in the water. You could say green
forever and not be lying.
The pond near the house in Maine
where we lived for one year
to “get away” from the city the pond
where the skaters on Saturdays came,
red scarves through white snow,
voices drawing near and pulling
away, trees against the clouds. Trying to live
off the land for a while. Too hard
in the end my father said. What did he say?
Forget it you weren’t listening He wore
fishing overalls most days and stank of guts.
Our shouts slipping, the green garbage cans
edging the white scar pond,
so many days like secrets about to be
divulged . . .
to stink of fish guts but to be trying
to live: the pond near the house
and the sound of voices drawing near.
As you aged you got distracted, indebted.
In the hospital around my mother
the machines beeped,
the long leads of the heart monitor,
It’s not worth dying for she said. What
was it she meant? Swollen shells, the desiccated brown
seedpods we used to pinch onto our noses
and skate about putting on airs.
Then the books opened
their pages and with our red woolen
scarves flying and the Freezy Freakies’
once-invisible hearts reddening
into the cold we disappeared.
Evian bottles skitter against the chain-link fence.
It’s gone that way the green
planes arrowing into silence gum wrappers
slipping to the ground.
O wild West Wind be thou our friend
and blow away the trash.
Salvage us from the heap of our making and
Cut it out my mother said Stop worrying
about the future, it doesn’t
belong to us and we don’t belong to it.
The surface more slippery, slick
and white the ice. I stand at the pond’s edge
gather the information darkening there
hello algae hello fish pond
my mind in the depths going.
On the beach I dig, tunnel
to the hands of the woman who stitched
this red shirt holes all the way to China.
It got so easy to get used to it,
the orchestration of meaning
against the night, life
a tower you could climb on
not a junk heap pale picture books
yellowing on the shelves. It got
so I close my eyes
and walk along the hospital hall.
The iris quivering in the March light,
a nurse taking my mother’s pulse
not paid enough to help us
as we wished to be helped. And your hope
left behind turning the pages of magazines,
the models in Prada. As a girl
it was a quest, to feel exploded every second,
pudding pops and Vietnam vets
standing on the corner shaking their Styrofoam
cups. Holding her
cup my mother stands, petting the dog,
it’s 1982 the sun tunneling in she drinks her coffee
Cut it out or Forget it or Hello.
Look, I’ve made a telephone for us.
Put that cup to your ear, and I’ll put it to mine,
and listen I just need to find
one of those Styrofoam cups
and what about you where did you
go what kind of night is it there
electric synthetic blackened or burnt.
At night they come to you
distorted and bright, like an old print on a light box,
present, present, not quite.
Are we inventing them as we sleep,
or are they still happening
in a time we can’t touch?
The hockey game on the blue
tv glowing and slowing I come home
to a man slumped on the couch not-quite-saying
a greeting all the gone ones there
the slap of skates all gone
and the commentator it’s going on forever
the blade moving along rink
says What a slapshot what a shot.
You make a life, it is made of days and
days, ordinary and subvocal, not busy
becoming what they could be, dark furlings of
tiny church feelings, mysterious, I mean,
and intricate like that high-windowed light —
intricate and mysterious I come home.
Near our house we hung out
on the Promenade after school the boys smoking
the security systems in the Center blinking a disco
party blue red / blue red the East River
reflecting scraped sky cornices and clouds
we could hear the roar of cars across
it and taste the chemical air
of the offices the fathers worked in
we’d been there to pick them up
for the long weekend in the Catskills
the hum-gray computers, the ibm Selectrics
massive on the desks, eleven, twelve,
thirteen, riding the graffitied subways,
flirting, the boys grabbing us calling hey hey.
Changeable one day to the next.
Jon talking of atheism
blond hair in strips At night the bomb mushrooming
over the Statue of Liberty, white
blinding everywhere. Oh, she said, don’t worry
just a dream just a dream.
Everyone is scared of Russia.
Imagine she laughed We used to
have to hide under our desks!
Forget it you weren’t listening I was trying
Don’t worry it gets you nothing
to tell you something the air cold
the maples bare your mother pregnant
Come on the horses are past the window
with a son much younger than you
of the house she rode them past
the river where all the Catholic kids sailed ice boats
uncles taking cash to wire home to Ireland.
The future isn’t here yet, it’s always
going to be, but I’m holding you,
walking the Promenade, thirty-six,
the ferry crossing the river again.
and for a while rain on the dirt road
and the pastured gray horse holding Chex Mix
up to its fuzzed mouth pockets of time
all summer eating ghosts in the arcade
Pac-Man alive quarter after quarter
I keep trying Cut it out she said and
forget it I was trying to tell you
my father cooking fish in the kitchen
licking his thumb to turn the page.
In the meantime you try
not to go into a kind of exile —
Oh, you read too many books, says my friend
Dan Here’s the tv. And the small voices
of children enter the room, they sound
so narrow and light and possible. But
don’t you think we’re always making the same
standing at the car rental
kind of mistake we began by making
at the last minute, rushing to call
our fathers before setting off
for vacation. It’s warmer
this August than it has been for decades.
Still the sun bathing us isn’t preposterous
or cold. Grace: imagine it
and all the afterworld fathers sleeping
with their hair perfectly combed
the ones they wore.
In the motel Reagan on tv his hair
in that parted wave the milk prices up,
my mother says, inflation. Key Food
on Montague, the linoleum tiles dirty and cracked,
the dairy case goose-pimpling my skin.
Those tiles are still there.
She is dead now and so is he.
I know it seems bare to say it
bare to bare linoleum tiles.
You who come after me
I will be underfoot but Oh,
come off it, start again. We all live
amid surfaces and and I
wish I had the Start over Come on thou
Step into the street, amidst
the lightly turning trash,
your hair lifting in the wind Remember
I have thought of you
the lines of our skates converging
in a future etc. etc., the past
the repository of what can be salvaged, grace
watering the basil
on the windowsill, until
the day comes of looking back at it all,
like a projectionist at a movie
slipping through the reel, the stripped sound of time —
I tried to live that way for a while
Bubblicious and spitting it out
Only forget it you were
if I could hear your voice again I could pretend
Rise and shine she called in the
morning Rise and shine
leaves in the water intricate and
the dying Dutch elms the cool blue pool
pockets of time Sun-In bleaching our hair
the faces they wore arcade ghosts
and lilacs by the door in Maine
where she leaned close to me said smell
the planes buzzed a purple light fingers
sticky if I could only hear it
again you could say forever tonguing
the sweet grains you could say forever and not be
7, Ode To Autumn © John Keats
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimmed their clammy cell.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir, the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
8, The Sun © Dan Chiasson
There is one mind in all of us, one soul,
who parches the soil in some nations
but in others hides perpetually behind a veil;
he spills light everywhere, here he spilled
some on my tie, but it dried before dinner ended.
He is in charge of darkness also, also
in charge of crime, in charge of the imagination.
People fucking do so by flicking him
off and on, off and on, with their eyelids
as they ascertain their love’s sincerity.
He makes the stars disappear, but he makes
small stars everywhere, on the hoods of cars,
in the ommatea of skyscrapers or in the eyes
of sighing lovers bored with one another.
Onto the surface of the world he stamps
all plants and animals. They are not gods
but it is he who made us worshippers of every
bramble toad, black chive we find.
In Idaho there is a desert cricket that makes
a clock-like tick-tick when he flies, but he
is not a god. The only god is the sun,
our mind, master of all crickets and clocks.
He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.
My Sorrow, when she’s here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.
Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She’s glad the birds are gone away,
She’s glad her simple worsted grey
Is silver now with clinging mist.
The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reason why.
Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell her so,
And they are better for her praise
11, Peace © Amos Russel Wells
The willows glimmer in the sun,
The aspens tremble on the breeze,
The singing ripples gently run
Within the shadows of the trees.
The quiet, meditative kine,
The steady granite in the wall—
What peace, contenting and benign,
Enfolds and crystallizes all!
Rebuked, ashamed, the faithless fret,
The childish worry, fall away;
My empty fear and vain regret
Dissolve in God’s assuring day.
If peace on earth so fair and sweet
Is gladly, freely, fully given,
What joy some day our souls will greet,—
The unimagined peace of heaven!
You come to fetch me from my work to-night
When supper’s on the table, and we’ll see
If I can leave off burying the white
Soft petals fallen from the apple tree
(Soft petals, yes, but not so barren quite,
Mingled with these, smooth bean and wrinkled pea);
And go along with you ere you lose sight
Of what you came for and become like me,
Slave to a Springtime passion for the earth.
How Love burns through the Putting in the Seed
On through the watching for that early birth
When, just as the soil tarnishes with weed,
The sturdy seedling with arched body comes
Shouldering its way and shedding the earth crumbs.
I come from haunts of coot and hern,
I make a sudden sally
And sparkle out among the fern,
To bicker down a valley.
By thirty hills I hurry down,
Or slip between the ridges,
By twenty thorpes, a little town,
And half a hundred bridges.
Till last by Philip’s farm I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.
I chatter over stony ways,
In little sharps and trebles,
I bubble into eddying bays,
I babble on the pebbles.
With many a curve my banks I fret
By many a field and fallow,
And many a fairy foreland set
With willow-weed and mallow.
I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.
I wind about, and in and out,
With here a blossom sailing,
And here and there a lusty trout,
And here and there a grayling,
And here and there a foamy flake
Upon me, as I travel
With many a silvery waterbreak
Above the golden gravel,
And draw them all along, and flow
To join the brimming river
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.
I steal by lawns and grassy plots,
I slide by hazel covers;
I move the sweet forget-me-nots
That grow for happy lovers.
I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,
Among my skimming swallows;
I make the netted sunbeam dance
Against my sandy shallows.
I murmur under moon and stars
In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars;
I loiter round my cresses;
And out again I curve and flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,
Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.
15, A Sunset © Ari Banias
I watch a woman take a photo
of a flowering tree with her phone.
A future where no one will look at it,
perpetual trembling which wasn’t
and isn’t. I have taken photos of a sunset.
In person, “wow” “beautiful”
but the picture can only be
as interesting as a word repeated until emptied.
I think I believe this.
Sunset the word holds more than a photo could.
Since it announces the sun then puts it away.
We went to the poppy preserve
where the poppies were few but generous clumps
of them grew right outside the fence
like a slightly cruel lesson.
I watched your face, just out of reach.
The flowers are diminished by the lens.
The woman tries and tries to make it right
bending her knees, tilting back.
I take a photo of a sunset, with flash.
I who think I have something
to learn from anything learned nothing from the streetlight
that shines obnoxiously into my bedroom.
This is my photo of a tree in bloom.
A thought unfolding
across somebody’s face.
16, Hummingbird © Robin Becker
I love the whir of the creature come
to visit the pink
flowers in the hanging basket as she does
most August mornings, hours away
from starvation to store
enough energy to survive overnight.
The Aztecs saw the refraction
of incident light on wings
as resurrection of fallen warriors.
In autumn, when daylight decreases
they double their body weight to survive
the flight across the Gulf of Mexico.
On next-to-nothing my mother
flew for 85 years; after her death
she hovered, a bird of bones and air.
I WILL arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
Five years have past; five summers, with the length
Of five long winters! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
With a soft inland murmur.–Once again
Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
That on a wild secluded scene impress
Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect
The landscape with the quiet of the sky.
The day is come when I again repose
Here, under this dark sycamore, and view
These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts,
Which at this season, with their unripe fruits,
Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves
‘Mid groves and copses. Once again I see
These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines
Of sportive wood run wild: these pastoral farms,
Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke
Sent up, in silence, from among the trees!
With some uncertain notice, as might seem
Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods,
Or of some Hermit’s cave, where by his fire
The Hermit sits alone.
These beauteous forms,
Through a long absence, have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man’s eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and ‘mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
And passing even into my purer mind,
With tranquil restoration:–feelings too
Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps,
As have no slight or trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man’s life,
His little, nameless, unremembered, acts
Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust,
To them I may have owed another gift,
Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world,
Is lightened:–that serene and blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on,–
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul:
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.
Be but a vain belief, yet, oh! how oft–
In darkness and amid the many shapes
Of joyless daylight; when the fretful stir
Unprofitable, and the fever of the world,
Have hung upon the beatings of my heart–
How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee,
O sylvan Wye! thou wanderer thro’ the woods,
How often has my spirit turned to thee!
And now, with gleams of half-extinguished thought,
With many recognitions dim and faint,
And somewhat of a sad perplexity,
The picture of the mind revives again:
While here I stand, not only with the sense
Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts
That in this moment there is life and food
For future years. And so I dare to hope,
Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when first
I came among these hills; when like a roe
I bounded o’er the mountains, by the sides
Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams,
Wherever nature led: more like a man
Flying from something that he dreads, than one
Who sought the thing he loved. For nature then
(The coarser pleasures of my boyish days,
And their glad animal movements all gone by)
To me was all in all.–I cannot paint
What then I was. The sounding cataract
Haunted me like a passion: the tall rock,
The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
Their colours and their forms, were then to me
An appetite; a feeling and a love,
That had no need of a remoter charm,
By thought supplied, nor any interest
Unborrowed from the eye.–That time is past,
And all its aching joys are now no more,
And all its dizzy raptures. Not for this
Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur, other gifts
Have followed; for such loss, I would believe,
Abundant recompence. For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue. And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;
A motion and a spirit, that impels 0
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods,
And mountains; and of all that we behold
From this green earth; of all the mighty world
Of eye, and ear,–both what they half create,
And what perceive; well pleased to recognise
In nature and the language of the sense,
The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,
The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul
Of all my moral being.
If I were not thus taught, should I the more
Suffer my genial spirits to decay:
For thou art with me here upon the banks
Of this fair river; thou my dearest Friend,
My dear, dear Friend; and in thy voice I catch
The language of my former heart, and read
My former pleasures in the shooting lights
Of thy wild eyes. Oh! yet a little while
May I behold in thee what I was once,
My dear, dear Sister! and this prayer I make,
Knowing that Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her; ’tis her privilege,
Through all the years of this our life, to lead
From joy to joy: for she can so inform
The mind that is within us, so impress
With quietness and beauty, and so feed
With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,
Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men,
Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
The dreary intercourse of daily life,
Shall e’er prevail against us, or disturb
Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold
Is full of blessings. Therefore let the moon
Shine on thee in thy solitary walk;
And let the misty mountain-winds be free
To blow against thee: and, in after years,
When these wild ecstasies shall be matured
Into a sober pleasure; when thy mind
Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms,
Thy memory be as a dwelling-place
For all sweet sounds and harmonies; oh! then,
If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief,
Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts
Of tender joy wilt thou remember me,
And these my exhortations! Nor, perchance–
If I should be where I no more can hear
Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes these gleams
Of past existence–wilt thou then forget
That on the banks of this delightful stream
We stood together; and that I, so long
A worshipper of Nature, hither came
Unwearied in that service: rather say
With warmer love–oh! with far deeper zeal
Of holier love. Nor wilt thou then forget,
That after many wanderings, many years
Of absence, these steep woods and lofty cliffs,
And this green pastoral landscape, were to me
More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake!
A light exists in spring
Not present on the year
At any other period.
When March is scarcely here
A color stands abroad
On solitary hills
That science cannot overtake,
But human naturefeels.
It waits upon the lawn;
It shows the furthest tree
Upon the furthest slope we know;
It almost speaks to me.
Then, as horizons step,
Or noons report away,
Without the formula of sound,
It passes, and we stay:
A quality of loss
Affecting our content,
As trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a sacrament.
20, Flowers © Pearyn
They have no mouth, but seem to speak
A thousand words so mild and meek.
They have no eyes , but seem to see
And bury thoughts into me.
They have no ears, but seem to hear
All my cries, my every tear.
They have no arms, but seem to pat
When with worries my heart is fat.
They have no feet, but seem to walk
Along with me in my dreams and talk.
They, I know, are the flowers so nice
That spread their fragrance a million miles.
Grow a few and then you’ll know
How your life is fresh and new.
With a smile so broad, I thank my God,
Whose work to imagine is really too hard.
IT’s all a farce, — these tales they tell
About the breezes sighing,
And moans astir o’er field and dell,
Because the year is dying.
Such principles are most absurd, —
I care not who first taught ’em;
There’s nothing known to beast or bird
To make a solemn autumn.
In solemn times, when grief holds sway
With countenance distressing,
You’ll note the more of black and gray
Will then be used in dressing.
Now purple tints are all around;
The sky is blue and mellow;
And e’en the grasses turn the ground
From modest green to yellow.
The seed burrs all with laughter crack
On featherweed and jimson;
And leaves that should be dressed in black
Are all decked out in crimson.
A butterfly goes winging by;
A singing bird comes after;
And Nature, all from earth to sky,
Is bubbling o’er with laughter.
The ripples wimple on the rills,
Like sparkling little lasses;
The sunlight runs along the hills,
And laughs among the grasses.
The earth is just so full of fun
It really can’t contain it;
And streams of mirth so freely run
The heavens seem to rain it.
Don’t talk to me of solemn days
In autumn’s time of splendor,
Because the sun shows fewer rays,
And these grow slant and slender.
Why, it’s the climax of the year,—
The highest time of living!—
Till naturally its bursting cheer
Just melts into thanksgiving.
22, Winter Morning © Ogden Nash
Winter is the king of showmen,
Turning tree stumps into snow men
And houses into birthday cakes
And spreading sugar over lakes.
Smooth and clean and frosty white,
The world looks good enough to bite.
That’s the season to be young,
Catching snow flakes on your tongue.
Snow is snowy when it’s snowing,
I’m sorry it’s slushy when it’s going.
O gift of God! O perfect day:
Whereon shall no man work, but play;
Whereon it is enough for me,
Not to be doing, but to be!
Through every fibre of my brain,
Through every nerve, through every vein,
I feel the electric thrill, the touch
Of life, that seems almost too much.
I hear the wind among the trees
Playing celestial symphonies;
I see the branches downward bent,
Like keys of some great instrument.
And over me unrolls on high
The splendid scenery of the sky,
Where though a sapphire sea the sun
Sails like a golden galleon,
Towards yonder cloud-land in the West,
Towards yonder Islands of the Blest,
Whose steep sierra far uplifts
Its craggy summits white with drifts.
Blow, winds! and waft through all the rooms
The snow-flakes of the cherry-blooms!
Blow, winds! and bend within my reach
The fiery blossoms of the peach!
O Life and Love! O happy throng
Of thoughts, whose only speech is song!
O heart of man! canst thou not be
Blithe as the air is, and as free?
Stony trails of jagged beauty rise
like stretch marks streaking sand-hips.
All the Earth has borne beguiles us
& battered bodies build our acres.
Babes that sleep in hewn rock cradles
learn to bear the hardness coming.
Tough grace forged in tender bones—
may this serve & bless them well.
They grow & break grief into islands
of sun-baked stone submerged in salt
kisses, worn down by the ocean’s ardor
relentless as any strong loving.
May they find caresses that abolish pain.
Like Earth, they brandish wounds of gold!
25, A Red, Red Rose © Robert Burns
O my Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:
Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.
And fare thee well, my only Luve
And fare thee well, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.
The Frost performs its secret ministry,
Unhelped by any wind. The owlet’s cry
Came loud–and hark, again! loud as before.
The inmates of my cottage, all at rest,
Have left me to that solitude, which suits
Abstruser musings: save that at my side
My cradled infant slumbers peacefully.
‘Tis calm indeed! so calm, that it disturbs
And vexes meditation with its strange
And extreme silentness. Sea, hill, and wood,
This populous village! Sea, and hill, and wood,
With all the numberless goings-on of life,
Inaudible as dreams! the thin blue flame
Lies on my low-burnt fire, and quivers not;
Only that film, which fluttered on the grate,
Still flutters there, the sole unquiet thing.
Methinks, its motion in this hush of nature
Gives it dim sympathies with me who live,
Making it a companionable form,
Whose puny flaps and freaks the idling Spirit
By its own moods interprets, every where
Echo or mirror seeking of itself,
And makes a toy of Thought.
But O! how oft,
How oft, at school, with most believing mind,
Presageful, have I gazed upon the bars,
To watch that fluttering stranger! and as oft
With unclosed lids, already had I dreamt
Of my sweet birth-place, and the old church-tower,
Whose bells, the poor man’s only music, rang
From morn to evening, all the hot Fair-day,
So sweetly, that they stirred and haunted me
With a wild pleasure, falling on mine ear
Most like articulate sounds of things to come!
So gazed I, till the soothing things, I dreamt,
Lulled me to sleep, and sleep prolonged my dreams!
And so I brooded all the following morn,
Awed by the stern preceptor’s face, mine eye
Fixed with mock study on my swimming book:
Save if the door half opened, and I snatched
A hasty glance, and still my heart leaped up,
For still I hoped to see the stranger’s face,
Townsman, or aunt, or sister more beloved,
My play-mate when we both were clothed alike!
Dear Babe, that sleepest cradled by my side,
Whose gentle breathings, heard in this deep calm,
Fill up the intersperséd vacancies
And momentary pauses of the thought!
My babe so beautiful! it thrills my heart
With tender gladness, thus to look at thee,
And think that thou shalt learn far other lore,
And in far other scenes! For I was reared
In the great city, pent ‘mid cloisters dim,
And saw nought lovely but the sky and stars.
But thou, my babe! shalt wander like a breeze
By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags
Of ancient mountain, and beneath the clouds,
Which image in their bulk both lakes and shores
And mountain crags: so shalt thou see and hear
The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible
Of that eternal language, which thy God
Utters, who from eternity doth teach
Himself in all, and all things in himself.
Great universal Teacher! he shall mould
Thy spirit, and by giving make it ask.
Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether the summer clothe the general earth
With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.
Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
The poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the Grasshopper’s — he takes the lead
In summer luxury, — he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The Cricket’s song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,
The Grasshopper’s among some grassy hills.
29, Sea-Fever © John Masefield
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
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