Sunday, June 29, 2014

June Leisure / Bliss Carman

June Leisure

When June revisits the New England shore,
She takes the road along the Silvermine,
Where noble trees in every dooryard stand
And shadowy gardens full of dreamy peace
Spread all the full-blown peonies to the sun.
By every orchard wall the air is sweet
With breath of honeysuckle, and the air
Filled with the murmur of industrious bees;
The river babbles down its dark ravine
By the old mill; the bobolinks spring up,
Scattering music as of fairy bells
From every open field; a few white clouds
Wander across the unimagined blue;
And all is well again with earth and heaven.

Bliss Carman (1861-1929)
from Sanctuary Sunshine House Sonnets, 1929

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

Bliss Carman biography

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sleeping with Open Eyes / A.Y. Campbell

Sleeping with Open Eyes

Sleeping with open eyes beneath a night of June
I thought I dreamed the skies that sank into my sleep,
For all the stars seemed new, the night more broad and deep
Whose rich and solemn blue was lighted by no moon.

Over the fens meantime the mist lay in long bars.
The genii shone like rime from leaf and stalk and stream;
Waking to such a sight seemed but a deeper dream,
For earth on such a night was stranger than the stars.

Archibald Young Campbell (1885-1958)
from Poems, 1912

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

A.Y. Campbell biography

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Green Roads / Edward Thomas

The Green Roads

The green roads that end in the forest
Are strewn with white goose feathers this June,

Like marks left behind by some one gone to the forest
To show his track. But he has never come back.

Down each green road a cottage looks at the forest.
Round one the nettle towers; two are bathed in flowers.

An old man along the green road to the forest
Strays from one, from another a child alone.

In the thicket bordering the forest,
All day long a thrush twiddles his song.

It is old, but the trees are young in the forest,
All but one like a castle keep, in the middle deep.

That oak saw the ages pass in the forest:
They were a host, but their memories are lost,

For the tree is dead: all things forget the forest
Excepting perhaps me, when now I see

The old man, the child, the goose feathers at the edge of the forest,
And hear all day long the thrush repeat his song.

Edward Thomas (1878-1917)
from Poems, 1917

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

Edward Thomas biography

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Bobolinks / Christopher Pearse Cranch

The Bobolinks

When Nature had made all her birds,
     With no more cares to think on,
She gave a rippling laugh, and out
     There flew a Bobolinkon.

She laughed again; out flew a mate:
     A breeze of Eden bore them
Across the fields of Paradise,
     The sunrise reddening o'er them.

Incarnate sport and holiday,
     They flew and sang forever;
Their souls through June were all in tune,
     Their wings were weary never.

Their tribe, still drunk with air and light,
     And perfume of the meadow,
Go reeling up and down the sky,
     In sunshine and in shadow.

One springs from out the dew-wet grass;
     Another follows after;
The morn is thrilling with their songs
     And peals of fairy laughter.

From out the marshes and the brook,
     They set the tall reeds swinging,
And meet, and frolic in the air,
     Half prattling and half singing.

When morning winds sweep meadow-lands
     In green and russet billows,
And toss the lonely elm-tree s boughs,
     And silver all the willows,

I see you buffeting the breeze,
     Or with its motion swaying,
Your notes half drowned against the wind,
     Or down the current playing.

When far away o'er grassy flats,
     Where the thick wood commences,
The white-sleeved mowers look like specks
     Beyond the zigzag fences,

And noon is hot, and barn-roofs gleam
     White in the pale blue distance,
I hear the saucy minstrels still
     In chattering persistence.

When Eve her domes of opal fire
     Piles round the blue horizon,
Or thunder rolls from hill to hill
     A Kyrie Eleison,

Still merriest of the merry birds,
     Your sparkle is unfading;–
Pied harlequins of June,– no end
     Of song and masquerading.

What cadences of bubbling mirth,
     Too quick for bar and rhythm!
What ecstasies, too full to keep
     Coherent measure with them !

O could I share, without champagne
     Or muscatel, your frolic,
The glad delirium of your joy,
     Your fun un-apostolic,

Your drunken jargon through the fields,
     Your bobolinkish gabble,
Your fine Anacreontic glee,
     Your tipsy reveller's babble!

Nay, let me not profane such joy
     With similes of folly;
No wine of earth could waken songs
     So delicately jolly!

O boundless self-contentment, voiced
     In flying air-born bubbles!
O joy that mocks our sad unrest,
     And drowns our earth-born troubles!

Hope springs with you: I dread no more
     Despondency and dullness;
For Good Supreme can never fail,
     That gives such perfect fullness.

The life that floods the happy fields
     With song and light and color
Will shape our lives to richer states,
     And heap our measures fuller.

Christopher Pearse Cranch (1813-1892), 1866
from The Bird and the Bell, with other poems, 1875

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Christopher Pearse Cranch biography

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Summer Wind / Michael Field

A Summer Wind

O wind, thou hast thy kingdom in the trees,
        And all thy royalties
        Sweep through the land to-day.
              It is mid June,
And thou, with all thy instruments in tune,
              Thine orchestra
Of heaving fields and heavy swinging fir,
              Strikest a lay
              That doth rehearse
Her ancient freedom to the universe.
        All other sound in awe
              Repeats its law:
        The bird is mute; the sea
        Sucks up its waves; from rain
        The burthened clouds refrain,
To listen to thee in thy leafery,
              Thou unconfined,
Lavish, large, soothing, refluent summer wind.

Michael Field
from Academy, September 18, 1866

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Saturday, June 14, 2014

June / Guy Wetmore Carryl


Lightsome, laughter-loving June,
          Days that swoon
     In beds of flowers;
Twilights dipped in rose perfume,
          Nights of gloom
     Washed clear by showers.
Suns that softly sink to rest
          In the west,
     All purple barred;
And a faint night-wind that sighs
          Under skies
     Still, silver-starred.
Languorous breaths of meadow land
     By clouds like snow;
And a shouting from the brooks,
          Where in nooks
     Late violets grow.
June, ah, June, to lie and dream
          By the stream,
     And in the maze
Of thy spells never to heed
          How they speed,
     Thy witching days;
Watching where the shadows pass,
          And the grass
     All rustling bends,
While the bees fly east and west,
          On a quest
     That never ends.
Thus to shun the whirl of life,
          Freed from strife
     And freed from care
Hear, as when a lad I heard
          How the bird
     Sings, high in air.
June, to hear beneath the skies
     That night airs blow;
Ah, to find upon thy breast
          That pure rest
     I used to know!

Guy Wetmore Carryl (1873-1904), 1895
from The Garden of Years, and other poems, 1904

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Guy Wetmore Carryl biography

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Spring Posy / Radclyffe Hall

Spring Posy

A spray of blossoms, and as well
Some violets, gathered yesterday
From leafy wood and shaded dell,
Sweet children of a fruitful May;
Dear minstrels of that silent lay
More potent than an organ's swell.

And now they're withered! all the joy
Has gone for ever, and the scent;
Relentless fingers can alloy
So much of nature's sentiment,
So many strains of deep content,
It takes so little to destroy.

Radclyffe Hall (1880-1943)
from 'Twixt Earth and Stars, 1906

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

Radclyffe Hall biography

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Red Clover / Elaine & Dora Read Goodale

Red Clover

Crimson clover I discover
     By the garden gate,
And the bees about her hover,
     But the robins wait.
          Sing, robins, sing,
               Sing a roundelay, —
          'Tis the latest flower of Spring,
               Coming with the May!

Crimson clover I discover
     In the open field,
Mellow sunlight brooding over,
     All her warmth revealed.
          Sing, robins, sing,
               'Tis no longer May, —
          Fuller bloom doth Summer bring,
               Ripened thro' delay!

Elaine Goodale (1863-1953) & Dora Read Goodale (1866-1953)
from All Round the Year: Verses from Sky Farm, 1881

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Elaine Goodale biography 
Dora Read Goodale biography 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

When June is Come / Robert Bridges (2 poems)

from Shorter Poems, Book IV:


When June is come, then all the day
I'll sit with my love in the scented hay:
And watch the sunshot palaces high,
That the white clouds build in the breezy sky.

She singeth, and I do make her a song,
And read sweet poems the whole day long:
Unseen as we lie in our haybuilt home.
O life is delight when June is come.


The pinks along my garden walks
Have all shot forth their summer stalks,
Thronging their buds 'mong tulips hot,
     And blue forget-me-not.

Their dazzling snows forth-bursting soon
Will lade the idle breath of June:
And waken thro' the fragrant night
     To steal the pale moonlight.

The nightingale at end of May
Lingers each year for their display;
Till when he sees their blossoms blown,
     He knows the spring is flown.

June's birth they greet, and when their bloom
Dislustres, withering on his tomb,
Then summer hath a shortening day;
     And steps slow to decay.

Robert Bridges (1844-1930)
from Shorter Poems, 1890

[Poems are in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union

Penny's Top 20 / May 2014

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

  1.  The Blue Heron, Theodore Goodridge Roberts
  2.  Penny (or Penny's Hat), George J. Dance
  3.  Esthétique du Mal, Wallace Stevens
  4.  The Judgement of the May, Richard Watson Dixon
  5.  A Madrigal, Isidore G. Ascher
  6.  Spring Longings, F.W. Bourdillon
  7.  Puck's Song, Rudyard Kipling

  8.  Mount Auburn in May, Louise Imogen Guiney

  9.  The Dwarf, Wallace Stevens

10.  Spring, Theo Marzials

11.  Spring Among the Ruins, J. Lewis Milligan
12.  'Tis Spring, my love, 'tis Spring, John Clare

13.  In a Wood, Coventry Patmore
14.  Penny's OS, George J. Dance
15.  A May Morning, John Davidson

16.  When Trees are Green, Jean Blewett
Spring Again, George J. Dance
18.  April, Ernest Howard Crosby
19.  Petit the Poet, Edgar Lee Masters

20.  Sunny March, Norman Gale

Source: Blogger, "Stats"