Saturday, July 30, 2016

A Boy and His Dad / Edgar Guest

A Boy and His Dad

A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip —
There is a glorious fellowship!
Father and son and the open sky
And the white clouds lazily drifting by,
And the laughing stream as it runs along
With the clicking reel like a martial song,
And the father teaching the youngster gay
How to land a fish in the sportsman’s way.

I fancy I hear them talking there
In an open boat, and the speech is fair.
And the boy is learning the ways of men
From the finest man in his youthful ken.
Kings, to the youngster, cannot compare
With the gentle father who’s with him there.
And the greatest mind of the human race
Not for one minute could take his place.

Which is happier, man or boy?
The soul of the father is steeped in joy,
For he’s finding out, to his heart’s delight,
That his son is fit for the future fight.
He is learning the glorious depths of him,
And the thoughts he thinks and his every whim;
And he shall discover, when night comes on,
How close he has grown to his little son.

A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip —
Builders of life’s companionship!
Oh, I envy them, as I see them there
Under the sky in the open air,
For out of the old, old long-ago
Come the summer days that I used to know,
When I learned life’s truths from my father’s lips
As I shared the joy of his fishing-trips.

Edgar Guest (1881-1959)
from All That Matters, 1922

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

Edgar Guest biography

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Pastoral Pilgrim / Katharine Tynan

The Pastoral Pilgrim

For me the town sets forth in vain
Her painted pleasures in a train,
For I arise and go
To a delicious world I know.

There the gold-fretted fields are set
Like pearls within a carcanet
With daisies fine and fresh,
And kingcups tangled in a mesh.

The pastoral lands I seek where stray
The strawberry cattle and the gray,
Knee deep in dew and scent,
Placid, and breathing forth content.

Brave copses line each hill, and there
The pleasant habitations are
With roses to the eaves,
And nightingales amid the leaves.

When I shall wake there to the sun
And the birds' early antiphon,
And lusty bee his chant,
How shall I grieve, how shall I want ?

Sweet peas and dappled mignonette
Below my crystal window set,
Clear air and lucent skies,
And the dove's whispers and replies.

A garden and an orchard white
And pink — an orchard's my delight.
Whose very name doth bring
Airs of the summer, joy of spring.

And having these shall I repine
For houses, houses in a line,
With other men to dwell?
Give me my staff and cockle-shell.

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, July 23, 2016

July / Charles G.D. Roberts


I am for the open meadows,
    Open meadows full of sun,
Where the hot bee hugs the clover,
    The hot breezes drop and run.

I am for the uncut hayfields
    Open to the cloudless blue,—
For the wide unshadowed acres
    Where the summer’s pomps renew;

Where the grass-tops gather purple
    Where the ox-eye daisies thrive,
And the mendicants of summer
    Laugh to feel themselves alive;

Where the hot scent steams and quivers,
    Where the hot saps thrill and stir,
Where in leaf-cells’ green pavilions
    Quaint artificers confer;

Where the bobolinks are merry,
    Where the beetles bask and gleam,
Where above the powdered blossoms
    Powdered moth-wings poise and dream;

Where the bead-eyed mice adventure
    In the grass-roots green and dun.
Life is good and love is eager
    In the playground of the sun!

Charles G.D. Roberts (1860-1943)
from The Book of the Native, 1896

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

Charles G.D. Roberts biography

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Summer Rain / Hartley Coleridge

Summer Rain

Thick lay the dust, uncomfortably white,
In glaring mimicry of Arab sand.
The woods and mountains slept in hazy light;
The meadows looked athirst and tawny tanned;
The little rills had left their channels bare,
With scarce a pool to witness what they were;
And the shrunk river gleamed ’mid oozy stones,
That stared like any famished giant’s bones.

Sudden the hills grew black, and hot as stove
The air beneath; it was a toil to be.      
There was a growling as of angry Jove,
Provoked by Juno’s prying jealousy—
A flash—a crash—the firmament was split,
And down it came in drops—the smallest fit
To drown a bee in fox-glove bell concealed;
Joy filled the brook, and comfort cheered the field.

Hartley Coleridge (1796-1849)
from Poems, 1851

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Saturday, July 16, 2016

A Rainy Summer / Violet Fane

A Rainy Summer

This year we had no time for commune sweet,
    With spires of snowy chestnut overhead;
I lying, with the bluebells, at your feet,
    As from an old-world book, mayhap, I read
        Some tale of knightly prowess for fair dame;
For scarcely had I smoothed the pages, — so, —
    And looked for inspiration in your eyes,
And sighed, and sought your little hand, when, lo,
Wildly the winds of heaven began to blow,
    And all alarmed and fluttering you fled,
With waving of white garments to and fro,
    Whilst from the jealous unrelenting skies
        Th' inevitable July downpour came,
Nor left me time to say what I had said.

Violet Fane (1843-1905)
from Collected Verses, 1880

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Sunday, July 10, 2016

After Summer Rain / David Morton

After Summer Rain

All day the rain has filled the apple-trees,
     And stilled the orchard grasses of their mirth,
Turning these acres green and silvered seas
     That drowned the summer musics of the earth.
Now that this clearer twilight takes the hill,
     This thin, belated radiance, moving by,
Bird-calls return, and odours, rainy still,
     And colours glinting through the earth and sky.

Here where I watch the robins from the lane,
     That pirouette and preen among the leaves,
These swift, wet-winged arrivals in the rain
     Have spilled a wisdom from their dripping eaves,—
And beauty still is more than daily bread,
For fevered minds, and hearts discomforted.

David Morton (1886-1957)
from Ships in Harbour, and other poems, 1921

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

David Morton biography

Saturday, July 9, 2016

For Summer-time / George Wither

Hymn XX: For Summer-time

Now the glories of the year
  May be viewèd at the best,
And the earth doth now appear
  In her fairest garments dressed:
Sweetly smelling plants and flowers
Do perfume the garden bowers;
  Hill and valley, wood and field,
  Mixed with pleasure profits yield.

Much is found where nothing was;
  Herds on every mountain go;    
In the meadows flowery grass
  Makes both milk and honey flow.
Now each orchard banquets giveth;
Every hedge with fruit relieveth;
  And on every shrub and tree
  Useful fruits or berries be.

Walks and ways which winter marred,
  By the winds are swept and dried;
Moorish grounds are now so hard
  That on them we safe may ride;
Warmth enough the sun doth lend us,
From his heat the shades defend us.
  And thereby we share in these,
  Safety, profit, pleasure, ease.

Other blessings, many more,
  At this time enjoyed may be,
And in this my song therefore
  Praise I give, O Lord! to thee:
Grant that this my free oblation
May have gracious acceptation,
  And that I may well employ
  Everything which I enjoy.

George Wither (1588-1667)
from Haleluiah; or, Britans second remembrancer: Part II, 1641

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

George Wither biography

Sunday, July 3, 2016

When noon is blazing on the town / Robert Hillyer

from Days and Seasons


When noon is blazing on the town,
The fields are loud with droning flies,
The people pull their curtains down,
And all the houses shut their eyes.

The palm leaf drops from your mother's hand
And she dozes there in a darkened room.
Outside there is silence on the land,
And only poppies dare to bloom.

Open the door and steal away
Through grain and briar shoulder high,
There are secrets hid in the heart of day,
In the hush and slumber of July.

Your face will burn a fiery red,
Your feet will drag through dusty flame,
Your brain turn molten in your head,
And you will wish you never came.

O never mind, go on, go on,—
There is a brook where willows lean;
To weave deep caverns from the sun,
And there the grass grows cool and green.

And there is one as cool as grass,
Lying beneath the willow tree,
Counting the dragon flies that pass,
And talking to the humble bee.

She has not stirred since morning came,
She does not know how in the town
The earth shakes dizzily with flame,
And all the curtains are drawn down.

Sit down beside her; she can tell
The strangest secrets you would hear,
And cool as water in a well,
Her words flow down upon your ear….

She speaks no more, but in your hair
Her fingers soft as lullabies
Fold up your senses unaware,
Into a poppy paradise.

And when you wake, the evening mist
Is rising up to float the hill,
And you will say, "The mouth I kissed,
The voice I heard … a dream … but still

"The grass is matted where she lay,
I feel her fingers in my hair"….
But your lamp is bright across the way,
And your mother knits in the rocking chair.

Robert Silliman Hillyer (1895-1961), 1919
from The Five Books of Youth, 1920

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

Saturday, July 2, 2016

This Summer Night / Percy Hemingway

This Summer Night

To M. W.

This summer night the skies are clear,
And voiceless is the atmosphere,
The leaves hang motionless as lead,
The flowers are rigid as the dead,
There broods o'er earth a nameless fear.

Like fallen planets now appear
The distant lights, that seem so near,
Through far off streets of Plymouth spread,
This summer night.

No human voice sounds forth to cheer,
The only stir that greets the ear
Is a faint murmur overhead,
As if God stepped with stealthy tread
Because the hour of doom is near,
This summer night.

Percy Heminway (1866-1916)
from The Happy Wanderer, and other poems, 1896

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Percy Hemingway biography

Friday, July 1, 2016

O Canada: The land we love / David Pekrul

O Canada: The land we love

“O Canada”

We stand in awe of the land in which we live;
the beauty, the majesty,
the rugged snow-capped mountains,
the pristine lakes,
the solitude, the quietness,
the peace.

“Our home and native land”

Once the home of our native brothers,
now home to all who believe in freedom and peace.
Not a ‘melting pot’, but a diverse expanse
of cultures, languages and beliefs.

“True patriot love in all thy sons command”

To live here is to love this land beyond measure,
a command easily obeyed,
as this love-of-country burns deep in our hearts.
We are passionate in our love,
and proud to be called Canadian.

“With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The true north, strong and free”

A nation of strong, proud people.
Those in the south, living in nature’s rugged beauty,
Those in the north, living in a land of frozen tundra and ice.
People of vision and courage, taming the elements
to create a place of freedom and truth.

“From far and wide, O, Canada,
We stand on guard for thee”

Our military personnel are known as “Peace Keepers”,
small in number, but large in compassion.
reaching out to help those in need,
serving in the four corners of the earth.

“God keep our land glorious and free”

Our prayer is that the citizens of our country,
and the citizens of the world live in peace and freedom,
that they be free to exercise their beliefs without persecution,
and travel where their hearts take them,
without restrictions.

"O Canada, we stand on guard for thee”.

Let us stand up as a nation and be accountable,
protecting the values upon which our country was founded,
and in doing so “stand on guard for thee”.

David Ronald Bruce Pekrul
from Parts of the Sum: Volume 2, 2012

[Poem is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Non-commercial - No-Derivs 3.0 (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) license] 

David Pekrul biography
My Hidden Voice: The poetry of David Ronald Bruce Pekrul

Penny's Top 20 / June 2016

Penny's Top 20
The most-visited poems on  The Penny Blog in June 2016:

  1.  Frayed Page Soaked in Rain, Will Dockery
  2.  Esthetique du Mal, Wallace Stevens 
  3.  June Rain, Louise Driscoll
  4.  Long May You Live, George J. Dance
  5.  Summer: A fragment, Margaret Deland
  6.  A Midummer Night's Storm, W.H. Davies
  7.  For Now Comes Summer, Louis Golding
  8.  Spring, Andrew Lang

  9.  A Summer Shower, Henry Timrod

10.  Who goes amid the green wood?, James Joyce

11.  Penny, or Penny's Hat, George J. Dance
Puella Parvula, Wallace Stevens
13.  When June is Come, Robert Bridges
14.  News, AE Reiff
15.  London, F.S. Flint

16.  Domesday, Robert Hillyer
17.  The Rabbit, Camilla Doyle
18.  The Blue Heron, Theodore Goodridge Roberts
19.  The Reader, Wallace Stevens
20.  Late Snow, J.C. Squire

Source: Blogger, "Stats"