Saturday, May 28, 2016

"Girls and Boys Come Out to Play" / Eliza Cook

"Girls and Boys Come Out to Play"

                A Spring Carol

"Girls and boys come out to play,"
     And play as long as ye can
For the Lad and the Lass see greener grass
     Than grows for the Woman and Man.
The tuffets of golden palm are born;
The spice-wreath crowns the knotted thorn;
The lark and the leveret trample the corn;
     And the month is merrie, young May.
The moth is full drest, and the bee is about;
The lambs chase each other with scampering rout;
All Nature is crying, "Come out! Come out!
     Come out in the sun to play!"

"Girls and boys," come out in your glee,
     And leap in the glorious light;
Come, dance in the bloom-kissing wind, and be
     As fresh, and as free, and as bright.
The daisies have speckled the upland plain;
The rooks in the dark elms are cawing again;
The bluebell and cowslip are scenting the lane;
     The swallows are flying this way.
The brook ripples faster — all earth tells its joys
In one loud-swelling echo of jubilant noise,
Breathing forth the old chorus of "Girls and Boys
     Come out in the sun to play!"

" Girls and boys, come out to play;"
     And come with a right, good will;
Away to the thickening woods — away;
     Go, race on the breezy hill.
The blackbird is piping — go, rival his throat;
The cuckoo is talking — go, mimic his note;
There's the field for your bat, and the stream for your boat,
     'Neath the flash of the spring-tide ray.
The primrose is mingling its odorous breath
With the luscious, young violet, hiding beneath;
And the song of the mountain, the valley, and heath
     Is "Come out in the sun to play!"

Sweet season of promise, of Mirth, and Love!
     Oh! shed on our Wisdom and Age
A glimpse of the time when we carolled this rhyme,
     And the world was a fairy-tale page.
For blessed it is when the heart can bring
The memories back of Childhood's Spring;
When our Spirit went forth on butterfly wing
     And Life was one merrie, young May.
Oh! dear is the vision of Music and Flowers
That carries our Thoughts to the bygone hours,
And whispers again in Fancy's bowers,
     "Come out in the sun to play!"

Eliza Cook (1818-1889)
from The Poetical Works, 1870

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Eliza Cook biography

No comments:

Post a Comment