Saturday, May 17, 2014

When Trees are Green / Jean Blewett

When Trees are Green

Would you be glad of heart and good?
     Would you forget life's toil and care?
Come, lose yourself in this old wood
     When May's soft touch is everywhere.

The hawthorn trees are white as snow,
     The basswood flaunts its feathery sprays,
The willows kiss the stream below
     And listen to its flatteries:

"O willows supple, yellow, green,
     Long have I flowed o'er stock and stone,
I say with truth I have not seen
     A rarer beauty than your own!"

The rough-bark hickory, elm, and beech
     With quick'ning thrill and growth are rife;
Oak, maple, through the heart of each
     There runs a glorious tide of life.

Fresh leaves, young buds on every hand,
     On trunk and limb a hint of red,
The gleam of poplars tall that stand
     With God's own sunshine on their head.

The mandrake's silken parasol
     Is fluttering in the breezes bold,
And yonder where the waters brawl
     The buttercups show green and gold.

The slender grape-vine sways and weaves,
     From sun-kissed sward and nook of gloom
There comes the smell of earth and leaves,
     The breath of wild-flowers all abloom.

Spring's gleam is on the robin's breast,
     Spring's joy is in the robin's song:
"My mate is in yon sheltered nest;
     Ho! love is sweet and summer long!"

While full and jubilant and clear,
     All the long day, from dawn till dark,
The trill of bobolink we hear,
     Of hermit thrush and meadowlark.

Sit here among the grass and fern
     Unmindful of the cares of life,
The lessons we have had to learn,
     The hurts we've gotten in the strife.

There's youth in every breath we take,
     Forgetfulness of loss and tears,
Within the heart there seems to wake
     The gladness of the long past years.

Peace keeps us company to-day
     In this old fragrant, shadowy wood;
We lift our eyes to heaven and say:
     The world is fair and God is good.

Jean Blewett (1872-1934)
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

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