Sunday, April 27, 2014

April / Ernest Howard Crosby


April

See the apple-orchard
Bathing head and shoulders
In the dazzling pea-green
Rising-tide of April;
While an ancient pear tree
In the kitchen garden
Spreads the rugged outline
Of its jet-black branches
Underneath a drifted
Mass of snowy blossoms.
Tinted is the herbage
With unnumbered violets.
Tiny sky-blue butterflies
Like uprooted flowrets
Flirt among the sunbeams.
Hickory-tips are bursting
Into clustering parachutes.
On the white-oak saplings
Pink and folded leaflets
Now uncurl their tendrils
Like the opening iingers
Of soft new-born babies.
Listen, from the marshes
Multitudinous frog notes
Ringing out metallic
Like the ghosts of sleigh-bells;
While a red-winged blackbird,
Eager to be mating,
From a bare twig bugles,
"O-kal-ee,— it's April!"

~~
Ernest Howard Crosby (1856-1907)
from Broad-cast, 1905

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Ernest Howard Crosby biography

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Spring Longings / F.W. Bourdillon


Spring Longings

If I might be, for but one April tide,
     The blackbird, poet laureate to Queen Spring,
     And have such music given my lips, to sing
Among the woodlands, o'er the meadows wide,
How in my song were my queen deified
     In notes of deathless love, that should enring
     My perch with peering listeners, and bring
Spring memories, when Spring's delights had died!

For now in vain I sigh for such a voice,
     To utter aught of all the joys I take,
          Queen Spring, from all thy wonders,– flowers, and leaves,
And airs of heaven, and scents; that bid rejoice
     The heart, that weeps it knows not why, and wake
          A love past passion on the lengthening eves.

~~
Francis William Bourdillon (1852-1921)
from Among the Flowers, and other poems, 1878

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

Francis William Bourdillon biography

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Love at Easter / Katharine Tynan


Love at Easter

Sing to the Lord a new song!
     Because the Spring comes newly.
And every slender sapling
     Has budded green and red.
Sing to the Lord a new song!
     The skylark sings it truly,
Since all in dewy April
     His love and he are wed.

Sing to the Lord a new song!
     For every bird's a lover,
And o'er the purple furrows
     The green spears nod and wave.
Sing to the Lord a new song!
     Since Lenten fasts are over.
And Easter 's gone in glory.
     And Christ has left the grave.

Sing to the Lord a new song!
     A song of love and wedding,
For every bird is building
     His nest in bower and tree.
Sing to the Lord a new song!
     The tufts of soft wool spreading
Where a brown wife and babies
     This April-tide shall be.

~~
Katharine Tynan (1861-1931)
from Poems, 1901

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

Katharine Tynan biography

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter / Katharine Tynan


Easter

Bring flowers to strew His way,
Yea, sing, make holiday;
Bid young lambs leap,
And earth laugh after sleep.

For now He cometh forth
Winter flies to the north,
Folds wings and cries
Amid the bergs and ice.

Bring no sad palms like those
That led Him to His foes,
Bring wind-flower, daffodil.
From many a vernal hill.

Let there be naught but bloom
To light Him from the tomb
Who late hath slain
Death, and his glory ta'en.

Yea, Death, great Death is dead,
And Life reigns in his stead;
Cometh the Athlete
New from dead Death's defeat.

Cometh the Wrestler,
But Death he makes no stir,
Utterly spent and done,
And all his kingdom gone.

Bring flowers, make holiday,
In His triumphal way.
Salve ye with kisses
His hurts that make your blisses.

Bring flowers, make holiday,
For His triumphal way:
Yea, fling before Him
Hearts of men that adore Him.

~~
Katharine Tynan (1861-1931)
from Poems, 1901

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

Katharine Tynan biography

Friday, April 18, 2014

Sheep and Lambs / Katharine Tynan


Sheep and Lambs

All in the April evening,
     April airs were abroad,
The sheep with their little lambs
     Passed me by on the road.

The sheep with their little lambs
     Passed me by on the road;
All in the April evening
     I thought on the Lamb of God.

The lambs were weary, and crying
     With a weak, human cry.
I thought on the Lamb of God
     Going meekly to die.

Up in the blue, blue mountains
     Dewy pastures are sweet
Rest for the little bodies,
     Rest for the little feet

~~
Katharine Tynan (1861-1931)
from Ballads and Lyrics, 1891

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

Katharine Tynan biography

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Demeter's Tears / Michael Pendragon




April must be a little late this year
The nip of winter lingers in the air
The north wind blows – the trees stand stiff and bare
And earth still wears last autumn's faded brown

The spring comes in a little late this year
No crocus blossoms peeking thru the snow
No pretty maiden tulips in a row
No Easter bonnet blossoms on the vine

Demeter's tears waste all the world away
With wintry frosts they stay the budding leaves
The north wind moans – all nature seems to grieve
While sorrow lines the streets of ev'ry town

My love has gone a million miles away
And stolen springtime's joyful robinsongs
For to another's arms her soul belongs
And blights the stunted dreams that once were mine


II 

Demeter's tears can sting like frozen rain
That pelt the trees and blast the barren ground
Blight summer hopes till men walk bent and bound
Like brittling stalks of last year's harvest grain

Demeter's tears hang silent from the eaves
Of hearth and home – of clock and steeple tow'r
As tho they sought to stay the passing hour
'Til time dissolve like last year's fallen leaves

Demeter's love lies buried 'neath the snow
And all of living joins her in her grief
Save Time and Death – the vulture and the thief!
Who reap her blessings in the world below

Demeter's heart can break like shattered ice
That cuts the lake like grim Atropos' shears
The old world dies and we must pay the price
For life that waits upon Demeter's tears

~~
Michael Pendragon
2014

[All rights reserved by the author - Used with permission]

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring Rain / Sara Teasdale


Spring Rain

I thought I had forgotten,
   But it all came back again
To-night with the first spring thunder
   In a rush of rain.

I remembered a darkened doorway
   Where we stood while the storm swept by,
Thunder gripping the earth
   And lightning scrawled on the sky.

The passing motor busses swayed,
   For the street was a river of rain,
Lashed into little golden waves
   In the lamp light's stain.

With the wild spring rain and thunder
   My heart was wild and gay;
Your eyes said more to me that night
   Than your lips would ever say. . . .

I thought I had forgotten,
   But it all came back again
To-night with the first spring thunder
   In a rush of rain.

~~
Sara Teasdale (1884-1933)
from Love Songs, 1917

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

Sara Teasdale biography

Sunday, April 6, 2014

April in the Hills / Archibald Lampman


April in the Hills

To-day the world is wide and fair
With 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 gleams                          
With jetting falls and dashing streams;
    The rivers burst and fill;
The fields are full of little lakes,
And when the romping wind awakes
The water ruffles blue and shakes,                        
    And the pines roar on the hill.

The crows go by, a noisy throng;
About the meadows all day long
The shore-lark drops his brittle song;
    And up the leafless tree                              
The 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.

I break the spirit’s cloudy bands,                        
A wanderer in enchanted lands,
I feel the sun upon my hands;
    And far from care and strife
The broad earth bids me forth. I rise
With lifted brow and upward eyes.                          
I bathe my spirit in blue skies,
    And taste the springs of life.

I feel the tumult of new birth;
I waken with the wakening earth;
I match the bluebird in her mirth;                            
     And wild with wind and sun,
A treasurer of immortal days,
I roam the glorious world with praise,
The hillsides and the woodland ways,
    Till earth and I are one.                              

~~
Archibald Lampman (1861-1899)
from Lyrics of Earth, 1895

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Archibald Lampman biography

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Spring Song / A. Mary F. Robinson


Spring Song

The snow is gone and everywhere
The spring is come with thrill and voice,
With golden colour in the air
And light upon the grass.
For all the world is made aware
Of Life that is and Death that was,
And men a sudden sing, Rejoice!
Who lately sang, Alas!

On black thorn boughs white blossoms spring,
And young leaves burst their winter hoods,
The barren waste bears many a ring
Danced green by dainty elves.
The throstles sing and feed and sing,
And search brown clods the labourer delves,
And wake the flowers in little woods
Where lovers lose themselves.

~~
A. Mary F. Robinson
from A Handful of Honeysuckle, 1878

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

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

An April Fool of Long Ago / Jean Blewett


An April Fool of Long Ago

In powdered wig and buckled shoe,
Knee-breeches, coat and waistcoat gay,
The wealthy squire rode forth to woo
Upon a first of April day.

He would forget his lofty birth,
His spreading acres, and his pride,
And Betty, fairest maid on earth,
Should be his own — his grateful bride.

The maid was young, and he was old;
The maid was good to look upon.
Naught cared she for his land or gold,
Her love was for the good squire's son.

He found her as the noonday hush
Lay on the world, and called her name.
She looked up, conscious, and her blush
A tender interest did proclaim.

For he was Hubert's sire, and she
To keep a secret tryst did go.
He said: "Methinks she cares for me" —
That April fool of long ago.

The flattered squire his suit did press
Without delay. "Say, wilt thou come,"
He said, with pompous tenderness,
"And share my wealth and grace my home?"

"Kind sir," the lovely Betty cried,
"I'm but a lass of low degree."
"The love that is controlled by pride
Is not true love at all," quoth he.

"I hold a man should woo and wed
Where'er he wills — should please himself."
"There is the barrier strong," she said,
"Of pedigree, and place, and pelf.

"Could one so lowly hope to grace
Your home?" Right proud his air and tone:
"You're pure of heart and fair of face;
Dear Betty, you would grace a throne!"

"Since you so highly think of me" —
Her tears and laughter were at strife —
"You will not mind so much, maybe,
That I am Hubert's promised wife."

Pale went the good squire's florid cheek,
His wrath flamed out — but Betty stood,
Brown-haired, red-lipped, blue-eyed and meek,
A sight to make a bad man good.

She won on him. "But why this guile —
This secrecy?" His voice was rough.
"We feared," she whispered, with a smile,
"You would not think me good enough."

"An April fool am I. Come, come —
My offer stands. As Hubert's wife,"
He laughed, "you'll share my wealth and home
And brighten up a lonely life."

He kissed her cheek and rode away.
Unbroken was his heart, I wist,
For he was thinking of a day —
A day back in youth's rosy mist —

And of a form and of a face.
"My dear, dead love," he whispered low,
The while he rode at sober pace,
That April fool of long ago.

~~
Jean Blewett
from The Cornflower, and other poems, 1906

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

Jean Blewett biography

Penny's Top 20 / March 2014


Penny's Top 20
The most-visited poems on  The Penny Blog in March 2014:

  1.  A City Sunset, T.E. Hulme
  2.  Esthétique du Mal, Wallace Stevens
  3.  Winter on the Zuyder Zee, Radclyffe Hall
  4.  Spring Again, George J. Dance
  5.  Round the Mercury, George J. Dance
  6.  The Blue Heron, Theodore Goodridge Roberts
  7.  Seeking the Spring, Katherine Lee Bates

  8.  To the Thawing Wind, Robert Frost

  9.  
Penny (or Penny's Hat), George J. Dance
10.  Between Winter and Spring, Lucy Larcom 


11.  Spring's Beacon, Margaret Deland
12. 
 The Roaring Frost, Alice Meynell
13.  Spring is like a perhaps hand, E.E. Cummings
14.  The Snowdrift, F.O. Call
15.  
Toboggan, Ben King
16.  A Rhyme about an Electrical Advertising Sign, Vachel Lindsay
17.  Sunny March, Norman Gale

18.  Red Lipped Stranger, Will Dockery
19.  Petit the Poet, Edgar Lee Masters

20.  Penny's OS, George J. Dance



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