Sunday, June 25, 2017

June / Margaret Deland


June

Upon the breast of smiling June
     Roses and lilies lie,
And round her yet is faint perfume
     Of violets, just gone by;

Green is her gown, with 'broidery
     Of blossoming meadow grass,
That ripples like a flowing sea
     When winds and shadows pass.

Her breast is belted by the blue
     Of succory, like the sky,
And purple heart's-ease clasp her too,
     And larkspur growing high;

Laced is her bodice green with vines,
     And dew the sun has kissed,
Jewels her scarf that faintly shines,
     In folds of morning mist!

The buttercups are fringes fair
     Around her small white feet,
And on the radiance of her hair
     Fall cherry-blossoms sweet;

The dark laburnum's chains of gold
     She twists about her throat:
Perched on her shoulder, blithe and bold,
     The brown thrush sounds his note!

And blue of the far dappled sky
     That shows at warm, still noon,
Shines in her softly smiling eye.
     Oh! who's so sweet as June ?

~~
Margaret Deland (1857-1945)
from The Old Garden, and other verses, 1889

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]

Margaret Deland biography

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Spring Day / Marion Strobel


Spring Day

I felt a fool
When you caught me smiling at myself
In the oval mirror;
But later in the day
A six-legged bug,      
Taking ten minutes to climb across
The muscles of my arm,
Convinced me of my greatness.

~~
Marion Strobel (1895-1967)
from Poetry, March 1920

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada and the United States]

Marion Strobel biography

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Only a Dad / Edgar Guest


Only a Dad

Only a dad, with a tired face,
Coming home from the daily race,
Bringing little of gold or fame,
To show how well he has played the game,
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
To see him come, and to hear his voice.

Only a dad, with a brood of four,
One of ten million men or more.
Plodding along in the daily strife,
Bearing the whips and the scorns of life,
With never a whimper of pain or hate,
For the sake of those who at home await.

Only a dad, neither rich nor proud,
Merely one of the surging crowd
Toiling, striving from day to day,
Facing whatever may come his way,
Silent, whenever the harsh condemn,
And bearing it all for the love of them.

Only a dad, but he gives his all
To smooth the way for his children small,
Doing, with courage stern and grim,
The deeds that his father did for him.
This is the line that for him I pen,
Only a dad, but the best of men.

~~
Edgar Guest (1881-1959)
from A Heap o' Livin', 1916

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada and the United States]

Edgar Guest biography

Friday, June 16, 2017

June in the City / John Reed


June in the City

This rock-rimmed Northern land is ringed with bloom;
Each night the warm sky hovers soft and low
Above young strolling lovers — and I know
That on far beaches drives the sea-salt spume.

Oh for a strength of flowering to thrust
Green leaves up through this iron city street!
Brown thrushes in the twilight, and a sweet
Clean wind to sweep the dim stars free from dust!

~~
John Reed (1887-1920)
from Tamberlane, and other verses, 1917

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]

John Reed biography

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Dusk in June / Sara Teasdale


Dusk in June

Evening, and all the birds
In a chorus of shimmering sound
Are easing their hearts of joy
For miles around.

The air is blue and sweet,
The few first stars are white,–
Oh let me like the birds
Sing before night.

~~
Sara Teasdale (1884-1933)
from Rivers to the Sea, 1915

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]

Sara Teasdale biography

Saturday, June 10, 2017

June (In Rotten Row) / J. Ashby-Sterry


June

In Rotten Row, 'tis nice, you know,
To see the tide of Fashion flow!
     Though hopeless cynics carp and croon —
     I do not care one macaroon —
But love to watch the passing show!

You'll find it anything but slow,
To laugh and chaff with those you know;
     And pleasant then to sit at noon,
          In Rotten Row!

When Summer breezes whisper low,
And countless riders come and go;
     Beneath the trees in leafy June,
     I love to sit and muse and moon —
While beauties canter to and fro —
          In Rotten Row!

~~
J. Ashby-Sterry (1836-1917)
from The Lazy Minstrel, 1886

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

J. Ashby-Sterry biography

Sunday, June 4, 2017

A Song for Spring / F.S. Flint


A Song for Spring 

Out of the verdure of my heart
Has broken the bloom.

The Spring has come from her house of gloom,
In her robes of green with the purfled hem
Of all the flowers, and on her hair
Of all the flowers a diadem.
She has wrought with ardour and dainty craft
Blossom of apple, blossom of pear,–
With warp of the moon and weft of the sun
She has spun the flowers,
And dipped them every one
In vats of radiant delicate dye,–
She has spun in the loom of earth and sky,
With a spindle of rain, to the song of the wind.

I have seen her with her sheaf pass by
And scatter my garden with narcissi;
I have seen her fling her daffodils
In a burning cirque about the hills;
And as I lay and watched she stooped
And blew with her breath the buds apart
That hid in the verdure of my heart.

I think of all the covered roots;
I think of the boughs and the leaves on them;
I think of the day when first she came
With a song along the alley of laurels,
A girl with hair of amber flame,
Who woke the blossom in my heart.

~~
F.S. Flint (1885-1960)
from In the Net of the Stars, 1909

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada and the United States]