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Green Things Growing

O for the burning lilies,
The tender Eastern lilies,
The gorgeous tiger-lilies,
That in our garden grow!


To the Fringed Gentian

Thou blossom bright with autumn dew,
And colored with the heaven's own blue,
That openest, when the quiet light
Succeeds the keen and frosty night;

Thou comest not when violets lean
O'er wandering brooks and springs unseen,
Or columbines in purple dressed,

Nod o'er the ground-bird's hidden nest.

Thou waitest late, and com'st alone,
When woods are bare, and birds are flown,
And frosts and shortening days portend
The aged Year is near his end.

Then doth thy sweet and quiet eye
Look through its fringes to the sky,
Blue-blue-as if that sky let fall

A flower from its cerulean wall.

*By courtesy of D. Appleton & Co., publishers of Bryant's Complete Poetical Works.

I would that thus, when I shall see
The hour of death draw near to me,
Hope, blossoming within my heart,
May look to heaven as I depart.


Green Things Growing

To a Mountain Daisy

On Turning One Down With the Plough in April.
Wee, modest, crimson-tippèd flow'r,
Thou's met me in an evil hour;
For I maun crush amang the stoure
Thy slender stem;

To spare thee now is past my pow'r,
Thou bonnie gem!

'Alas! it's no thy neebor sweet,

The bonnie lark, companion meet!

Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet,

Wi' spreckl'd breast,

When upward-springing, blithe, to greet

The purpling east.

Cauld blew the bitter-biting north
Upon thy early, humble birth;

Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth

Amid the storm,

Scarce rear'd above the parent earth

Thy tender form.


The flaunting flow'rs our gardens yield,
High shelt'ring woods and wa's maun shield;

Things Growing

But thou, beneath the random bield

O' clod or stane,

Adorns the histie stibble-field,

Unseen, alane.

There, in thy scanty mantle clad,
Thy snawie bosom sun-ward spread,
Thou lifts thy unassuming head

In humble guise;

But now the share uptears thy bed,

And low thou lies.



In the deep shadow of the porch
A slender bind-weed springs,
And climbs, like airy acrobat,
The trellises, and swings
And dances in the golden sun
In fairy loops and rings.

Its cup-shaped blossoms, brimmed with dew,

Like pearly chalices,

Hold cooling fountains, to refresh

The butterflies and bees;

And humming-birds on vibrant wings

Hover, to drink at ease.

And up and down the garden-beds,

Mid box and thyme and yew,
And spikes of purple lavender,

And spikes of larkspur blue,
The bind-weed tendrils win their way,
And find a passage through.

With touches coaxing, delicate,

And arts that never tire,

They tie the rose-trees each to each,

The lilac to the brier,

Making for graceless things a grace,

With steady, sweet desire.

Till near and far the garden growths,
The sweet, the frail, the rude,
Draw close, as if with one consent,
And find each other good,

Held by the bind-weed's pliant loops,
In a dear brotherhood.

Like one fair sister, slender, arch,
A flower in bloom and poise,
Gentle and merry and beloved,
Making no stir or noise,

But swaying, linking, blessing all

A family of boys.

Green Things Growing



The Rhodora

Things In May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes,


I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods,
Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook,
To please the desert and the sluggish brook:
The purple petals, fallen in the pool
Made the black waters with their beauty gay;

Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool,
And court the flower that cheapens his array.
Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why

This charm is wasted on the earth and sky,
Dear, tell them, that if eyes were made for seeing,
Then beauty is its own excuse for being.

Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose!
I never thought to ask; I never knew,
But in my simple ignorance suppose
The selfsame Power that brought me there,
brought you.


A Song of Clover

I wonder what the Clover thinks,-
Intimate friend of Bob-o'-links,
Lover of Daisies slim and white,
Waltzer with Buttercups at night;
Keeper of Inn for traveling Bees,
Serving to them wine-dregs and lees,

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