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Sunday, July 31, 2016


John Burroughs Speaks of Contentment

I have loved the feel of the grass under my feet, and the sound of the running streams by my side.  The hum of the wind in the tree-tops has always been good music to me, and the face of the fields has often comforted me more than the faces of men.

I am in love with this world, by my constitution I have nestled lovingly in it.  It has been home.  It has been my point of outlook into the universe.  I have not bruised myself against it, nor tried to use it ignobly.

I have tilled its soil, I have gathered its harvest, I have waited upon its seasons, and always have reaped what I have sown.

While I delved I did not lose sight of the sky overhead.  While I gathered its bread and meat for my body, I did not neglect to gather its bread and meat for my soul.

I have climbed its mountains, roamed its forests, sailed its waters, crossed its deserts, felt the sting of its frosts, the oppression of its heats, the drench of its rains, the fury of its winds, and always have beauty and joy waited upon my goings and comings.

From my mother's poetry notebook

April Music

April Music

Thy lyric sound of laughter
Fills all the April hills.
The joy song of the crocus,
Thy mirth of daffodils --

They ring their golden changes
Through all the azure vales;
The sunny cowslips answer
Athwart the reedy swales.

Far down the woodland aisleways
The trillium's voice is heard;
The little wavering windflowers
Join in with jocund word.

The white cry of the dogwood
Mounts up against the sky;
The breath of violet music
Upon the breeze goes by.

Give me to hear, O April,
These choristers of thine
Calling across the distance
Serene and hyaline,

To clear my clouded vision,
Bedimmed and dulled so long,
And heal my aching spirit
With fragrance that is song!

-- Clinton Scollard

From my mother's poetry notebook

Thursday, July 14, 2016

God Passed Along Our Countryside

God Passed Along Our Countryside

God passed along our countryside
Last night with quiet tread,
So silently He came and passed
No sleeper turned his head.
And not till dawn His children knew
The pageant of surprise
That all about, on hill and glen,
Lay there like Paradise.

God passed along our countryside
That is as fair and old,
And clothed the poplar and the oak
With crimson and with gold.
He smiled upon the shrinking bush,
The sapling so forlorn,
And gave them robes of purple hue
To match the flaming morn.

God passed along our countryside,
And now His children know
There's greater good for those in store
Who love Him here below.
For every day, like autumn, comes
With blessings new and old.
And helps me think of that fair clime,
Whose gates are pearl and gold.

~ Calvin Lauper

From my mother's poetry notebook

Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet Tanager

I saw him in a mountain gorge
And held my breath with wonder.
So startlingly beautiful
He was, the roaring thunder
Of water falling from the heights,
The pine bough's windy turning
Was but a background for a bird
Whose vivid scarlet burning
Caught my eyes and dazzled them.
A quivering aspen springing
From the wet rocks bore a flame
Like a lantern swinging.
His iridescent tail and wings,
Each black metallic feather
Glittered in the gorgeous light
Of the mountain weather.
Cold green water, silver spray,
An aspen, frail and slender
Against the high dark wall of pines,
A small bird's blazing splendor --
That brilliant picture struck me blind
And burned its beauty on my mind.

~ Grace Noll Crowell

From my mother's poetry notebook