The friendly cow all red and white,
I love with all my heart:
She gives me cream with all her might,
To eat with apple-tart.
She wanders lowing here and there,
And yet she cannot stray,
All in the pleasant open air,
The pleasant light of day;
And blown by all the winds that pass
And wet with all the showers,
She walks among the meadow grass
And eats the meadow flowers.
–Robert Louis Stevenson
There was a road ran past our house
Too lovely to explore.
I asked my mother once—she said
That if you followed where it led
It brought you to the milk-man’s door.
(That’s why I have not travelled more.)
— Edna St. Vincent Millay
Friend, though thy soul should burn thee, yet be still.
Thoughts were not meant for strife, nor tongues for swords.
He that sees clear is gentlest of his words,
And that’s not truth that hath the heart to kill.
The whole world’s thought shall not one truth fulfil.
Dull in our age, and passionate in youth,
No mind of man hath found the perfect truth,
Nor shalt thou find it; therefore, friend, be still.
Watch and be still, nor hearken to the fool,
The babbler of consistency and rule:
Wisest is he, who, never quite secure,
Changes his thoughts for better day by day:
To-morrow some new light will shine, be sure,
And thou shalt see thy thought another way.
— Archibald Lampman
Just down river, a short distance from the dam,
There is a borrow pit, once filled with gravel and sand.
Now it’s a pond not too big, not too small,
Where I would run to fish when my friends would call.
There on the banks a contest would begin,
Champion trout verses novice fishermen.
The trout had the advantage, it was in his home court,
Every time I tried; I would end up a bit short.
One day the trout was a bit off his game,
I snared this warrior, my new claim to fame.
I held the trout tightly as I carefully removed the hook.
I looked him in the eyes as both hands of mine shook.
He seemed to say, “You got me this time.”
“We can do this again, if you let me off your line.”
So, back in the water I gently released this…
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Cold win-ter has come,
And the cru-el winds blow—
The trees are all leaf-less and brown;
These two pret-ty rob-ins,
Oh, where shall they go
To shel-ter their lit-tle brown heads from the snow?
Just look at the flakes com-ing down.
But see, they have found a snug shel-ter at last,
And hark, how they talk, while the storm whis-tles past:
Says Pol-ly to Dick-y,
“You’re near-est the door,
And you are the gen-tle-man, too:
Just peep out and see
When the storm will be o’er;
Be-cause, if the wea-ther’s as bad as be-fore,
I think we will stay, do not you?”
Alone I walked the ocean strand;
A pearly shell was in my hand:
I stooped and wrote upon the sand
My name—the year—the day.
As onward from the spot I passed,
One lingering look behind I cast;
A wave came rolling high and fast,
And washed my lines away.
And so, methought, ’twill shortly be
With every mark on earth from me:
A wave of dark oblivion’s sea
Will sweep across the place
Where I have trod the sandy shore
Of time, and been, to be no more,
Of me—my day—the name I bore,
To leave nor track nor trace.
And yet, with Him who counts the sands
And holds the waters in His hands,
I know a lasting record stands
Inscribed against my name,
Of all this mortal part has wrought,
Of all this thinking soul has thought,
And from these fleeting moments caught
For glory or for shame.
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‘Tis the last rose of summer
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone;
No flower of her kindred,
No rose-bud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
Or give sigh for sigh.
I’ll not leave thee, thou lone one!
To pine on the stem;
Since the lovely are sleeping,
Go, sleep thou with them.
Thus kindly I scatter
Thy leaves o’er the bed
Where thy mates of the garden
Lie scentless and dead.
So soon may I follow,
When friendships decay,
And from Love’s shining circle
The gems drop away.
When true hearts lie withered,
And fond ones are flown,
O! who would inhabit
This bleak world alone?