I WANDER’D 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 stretch’d 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.
“A Thing of Beauty”…
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 the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some 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 in; and clear rills
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;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.
John Keats Book I
I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.
Song of Solomon 2:1
God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone,
but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars.
O, gather me the rose, the rose,
While yet in flower we find it,
For summer smiles, but summer goes,
And winter waits behind it!
For with the dream foregone, foregone,
The deed forborne for ever,
The worm, regret, will canker on,
And time will turn him never.
So well it were to love, my love,
And cheat of any laughter
The death beneath us and above,
The dark before and after.
The myrtle and the rose, the rose,
The sunshine and the swallow,
The dream that comes, the wish that goes,
The memories that follow!
O, Gather Me the Rose by William Ernest Henley
A sensitive plant in a garden grew,
And the young winds fed it with silver dew,
And it opened its fan-like leaves to the light,
and closed them beneath the kisses of night.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant,” 1820
ROSES, their sharp spines being gone,
Not royal in their smells alone,
But in their hue;
Maiden pinks, of odour faint,
Daisies smell-less, yet most quaint,
And sweet thyme true;
Primrose, firstborn child of Ver;
Merry springtime’s harbinger,
With her bells dim;
Oxlips in their cradles growing,
Marigolds on death-beds blowing,
All dear Nature’s children sweet
Lie ‘fore bride and bridegroom’s feet,
Blessing their sense!
Not an angel of the air,
Bird melodious or bird fair,
Be absent hence!
The crow, the slanderous cuckoo, nor
The boding raven, nor chough hoar,
Nor chattering pye,
May on our bride-house perch or sing,
Or with them any discord bring,
But from it fly!
William Shakespeare. 1564–1616
The tulip and the butterfly
Appear in gayer coats than I:
Let me be dressed fine as I will,
Flies, worms, and flowers exceed me still.
Morning has broken
Like the first morning,
Black bird has spoken
Like the first bird.
Praise the singing!
Praise for the morning!
Praise for them springing
Fresh from the Word!
Sweet the rain’s new fall
Sunlit from heaven,
Like the first dewfall
On the first grass.
Praise for the sweetness
Of the wet garden,
Sprung in completeness
Where His feet pass.
Mine is the sunlight!
Mine is the morning.
Born of the one light
Eden saw play!
Praise with elation,
Praise ev’ry morning,
Of the newday!
Words: Eleanor Farjeon
Sonnet XXXIII. “Full many a glorious morning have I seen”
FULL many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye,
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy;
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride 5
With ugly rack on his celestial face,
And from the forlorn world his visage hide,
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace:
Even so my sun one early morn did shine,
With all-triumphant splendour on my brow; 10
But, out! alack! he was but one hour mine,
The region cloud hath mask’d him from me now.
Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth;
Suns of the world may stain when heaven’s sun staineth.
William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Oxford Shakespeare: Poems. 1914.
IT ’S all I have to bring to-day,
This, and my heart beside,
This, and my heart, and all the fields,
And all the meadows wide.
Be sure you count, should I forget,—
Some one the sun could tell,—
This, and my heart, and all the bees
Which in the clover dwell.
Emily Dickinson (1830–86)
A Child’s Prayer
FOR Morn, my dome of blue,
For Meadows, green and gay,
And Birds who love the twilight of the leaves,
Let Jesus keep me joyful when I pray.
For the big Bees that hum
And hide in bells of flowers;
For the winding roads that come
To Evening’s holy door,
May Jesus bring me grateful to his arms,
And guard my innocence for evermore.
Siegfried Sassoon (1886–1967). The Old Huntsman and Other Poems. 1918.
ODE TO A MEADOW BROOK
Dream on, dream on, enamoured of thy lot,
Thou child of summer ’mid thy fields and trees,
Where haply in some low, wind-cradled spot,
Red, sunbeam-kissed, and garnered sweet of bees,
Bright clovers nod, loved by each languid breeze. 5
Dream on, dream on, by gables, nooks and farms,
Where gladness smiles and beauty never flees,
Outside of all that hates and all that harms,
Unmindful of our life and its vague weak alarms.
Dream on, dream on, ’neath gentle skies low furled,
By soft tongued airs and honied blossoms blest,
Across the bosom of the under world,
Where sunbeams kiss through its green throbbing vest.
Thou art a part of nature, on her breast,
A prattling infant thou wilt ever lie, 15
Drawing all music from her mighty rest,
Sweet melodies though old yet never die,
But mingle their glad dream with wood and field and sky.
Dream on, dream on, and tell all time thy love;
Of earth and all her misty, leafy dress,
Of sun and moon and stars, blue heaven above,
Too tranced in love’s sweet self-forgetfulness,
To dream how much thine own glad life doth bless
All things in meadow, marsh and leafy wold.
Nor maketh thus its own glad music less, 25
(Like human love that waneth wan and cold)
But folds and clasps all else in its sweet shining fold.
William Wilfred Campbell
“She Walks in Beauty”
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair’d the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
O roses for the flush of youth,
And laurel for the perfect prime;
But pluck an ivy branch for me
Grown old before my time.
O violets for the grave of youth,
And bay for those dead in their prime;
Give me the withered leaves I chose
Before in the old time.
__Christina G. Rossetti
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