I know the song that the bluebird is singing,
Out in the apple-tree where he is swinging;
Brave little fellow, the skies may look dreary;
Nothing cares he while his heart is so cheery.
Hark! how the music leaps out from his throat,
Hark! was there ever so merry a note?
Listen awhile and you’ll hear what he’s saying,
Up in the apple-tree swinging and swaying.
“Dear little blossoms down under the snow,
You must be weary of winter, I know;
Hark, while I sing you a message of cheer;
Summer is coming and spring-time is here!
“Little white snowdrop! I pray you arise;
Bright yellow crocus! come, open your eyes;
Sweet little violets, hid from the cold,
Put on your mantles of purple and gold;
Daffodils! daffodils! say, do you hear?—
Summer is coming and spring-time is here!”
–Emily Huntington Miller
Down in a green and shady bed
A modest violet grew;
Its stalk was bent, it hung its head,
As if to hide from view.
And yet it was a lovely flower,
Its colors bright and fair!
It might have graced a rosy bower,
Instead of hiding there.
Yet there it was content to bloom,
In modest tints arrayed;
And there diffused its sweet perfume,
Within the silent shade.
Then let me to the valley go,
This pretty flower to see,
That I may also learn to grow
In sweet humility.
THE FERN SONG
Dance to the beat of the rain, little Fern,
And spread out your palms again,
And say, “Tho’ the Sun
Hath my vesture spun,
He hath labored, alas, in vain,
But for the shade
That the Cloud hath made,
And the gift of the Dew and the Rain.”
Then laugh and upturn
All your fronds, little Fern,
And rejoice in the beat of the rain!
— John Bannister Tabb
TWO halves of an oyster shell, each a shallow cup;
Here once lived an oyster before they ate him up.
Oyster shells are smooth inside; outside very rough;
Very little room to spare, but he had enough.
Bedroom, parlor, kitchen, or cellar there was none;
Just one room in all the house—oysters need but one.
And he was never troubled by wind or rain or snow,
For he had a roof above, another one below.
I wonder if they fried him, or cooked him in a stew,
And sold him at a fair, and passed him off for two.
I wonder if the oysters all have names like us,
And did he have a name like “John” or “Romulus”?
I wonder if his parents wept to see him go;
I wonder who can tell; perhaps the mermaids know.
I wonder if our sleep the most of…
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There came to my window one morning in Spring
A sweet little Robin; she came there to sing.
The tune that she sang, it was prettier far
Than any I heard on the flute or guitar.
Her wings she was spreading to soar far away,
Then resting a moment seemed sweetly to say:
“Oh happy, how happy the world seems to be!
Awake, Little Girl and be happy with me!”
But just as she finished her beautiful song,
A thoughtless young man with a gun came along.
He killed and he carried my sweet bird away,
She no more will sing at the dawn of the day.
God give us men; a time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands.
Men whom the lust of office cannot kill;
Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor; men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue,
And brave his treacherous flatteries without winking;
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog,
In public duty and in private thinking;
For while the rabble, with its thumb-worn creeds,
Its large professions, and its little deeds,
Mingle in selfish strife—lo! Freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land, and waiting Justice sleeps.