Wednesday, 2 November 2011

The Winter's Spring

My photo

The winter comes; I walk alone,
I want no bird to sing;
To those who keep their hearts their own
The winter is the spring.
No flowers to please—no bees to hum—
The coming spring's already come.

I never want the Christmas rose
To come before its time;
The seasons, each as God bestows,
Are simple and sublime.
I love to see the snowstorm hing;
'Tis but the winter garb of spring.

I never want the grass to bloom:
The snowstorm's best in white.
I love to see the tempest come
And love its piercing light.
The dazzled eyes that love to cling
O'er snow-white meadows sees the spring.

I love the snow, the crumpling snow
That hangs on everything,
It covers everything below
Like white dove's brooding wing,
A landscape to the aching sight,
A vast expanse of dazzling light.

It is the foliage of the woods
That winters bring—the dress,
White Easter of the year in bud,
That makes the winter Spring.
The frost and snow his posies bring,
Nature's white spurts of the spring.

By John Clare

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Summer Evening

The frog half fearful jumps across the path,
and little mouse that leaves its hole at eve
nimbles with timid dread beneath the swath;
My rustling steps awhile their joys deceive,
till past, and then the cricket sings more strong,
and grasshoppers in merry moods still wear
the short night weary with their fretting song.

Up from behind the molehill jumps the hare,
cheat of his chosen bed, and from the bank
the yellowhammer flutters in short fears
from off its nest hid in the grasses rank,
and drops again when no more noise it hears.
Thus nature's human link and endless thrall,
Proud man, still seems the enemy of all.

By John Clare

Friday, 29 July 2011

Summer Morning

  My photo

Summer Morning
By John Clare

The cocks have now the morn foretold,
     The sun again begins to peep,
The shepherd, whistling to his fold,
     Unpens and frees the captive sheep.
O’er pathless plains at early hours
     The sleepy rustic sloomy goes;
The dews, brushed off from grass and flowers,
     Bemoistening sop his hardened shoes.

While every leaf that forms a shade,
     And every floweret’s silken top,
And every shivering bent and blade,
     Stoops, bowing with a diamond drop.
But soon shall fly those diamond drops,
     The red round sun advances higher,
And, stretching o’er the mountain tops,
     Is gilding sweet the village-spire.

’Tis sweet to meet the morning breeze,
     Or list the gurgling of the brook;
Or, stretched beneath the shade of trees,
     Peruse and pause on Nature’s book,
When Nature every sweet prepares
     To entertain our wished delay,—
The images which morning wears,
     The wakening charms of early day!

Now let me tread the meadow paths
            While glittering dew the ground illumes,
As, sprinkled o’er the withering swaths,
            Their moisture shrinks in sweet perfumes;
And hear the beetle sound his horn;
            And hear the skylark whistling nigh,
Sprung from his bed of tufted corn,
            A haling minstrel from the sky.  

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

A Something in a Summer's Day

~ A treasured holiday photo ~
Geraniums and Lavender Shutters - Dordogne July 2006

By Emily Dickinson

A something in a summer’s Day
As slow her flambeaux burn away
Which solemnizes me.

A something in a summer’s noon —
A depth — an Azure — a perfume —
Transcending ecstasy.

And still within a summer’s night
A something so transporting bright
I clap my hands to see —

Then veil my too inspecting face
Lets such a subtle — shimmering grace
Flutter too far for me —

The wizard fingers never rest —
The purple brook within the breast
Still chafes it narrow bed —

Still rears the East her amber Flag —
Guides still the sun along the Crag
His Caravan of Red —

So looking on — the night — the morn
Conclude the wonder gay —
And I meet, coming thro’ the dews
Another summer’s Day.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

May Day

My photo

~ by Sara Teasdale ~

A delicate fabric of bird song
Floats in the air,
The smell of wet wild earth
Is everywhere.
Oh I must pass nothing by
Without loving it much,
The raindrop try with my lips,
The grass with my touch;
For how can I be sure
I shall see again
The world on the first of May
Shining after the rain?

Monday, 4 April 2011

'April', The Shepherd's Calendar

 My Photo

~ by John Clare (1827) ~

Now infant April joins the Spring,
And views the watery sky,
As youngling linnet tries its wing,
And fears at first to fly;
With timid step she ventures on,
And hardly dares to smile,
Till blossoms open one by one,
And sunny hours beguile.

But finer days are coming yet,
With scenes more sweet to charm,
And suns arrive that rise and set
Bright strangers to a storm:
Then, as the birds with louder song
Each morning’s glory cheer,
With bolder step she speeds along,
And loses all her fear.

In wanton gambols, like a child,
She tends her early toils,
And seeks the buds along the wild,
That blossoms while she smiles;
Or, laughing on, with nought to chide,
She races with the Hours,
Or sports by Nature’s lovely side,
And fills her lap with flowers...

Monday, 14 March 2011

Lines Written in Early Spring

My photo

by William Wordsworth (1798)

I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sat reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasand thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.
Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And 'tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature's holy plan,
Have I not eason to lament
What man has made of man?

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Woods in Winter

my photo

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

When winter winds are piercing chill,
And through the hawthorn blows the gale,
With solemn feet I tread the hill,
That overbrows the lonely vale.

O'er the bare upland, and away
Through the long reach of desert woods,
The embracing sunbeams chastely play,
And gladden these deep solitudes.

Where, twisted round the barren oak,
The summer vine in beauty clung,
And summer winds the stillness broke,
The crystal icicle is hung.

Where, from their frozen urns, mute springs
Pour out the river's gradual tide,
Shrilly the skater's iron rings,
And voices fill the woodland side.

Alas! how changed from the fair scene,
When birds sang out their mellow lay,
And winds were soft, and woods were green,
And the song ceased not with the day!

But still wild music is abroad,
Pale, desert woods! within your crowd;
And gathering winds, in hoarse accord,
Amid the vocal reeds pipe loud.

Chill airs and wintry winds! my ear
Has grown familiar with your song;
I hear it in the opening year,
I listen, and it cheers me long.

Monday, 27 December 2010

In the Bleak Midwinter

my photo

by Christina Rossetti (1830 - 1894)

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, Whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, Whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

Listen to a beautiful interpretation at my other blog here.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

October Trees

image: source unknown

by Siegfried Sassoon

How innocent were these Trees, that in
Mist-green May, blown by a prospering breeze,
Stood garlanded and gay;
Who now in sundown glow
Of serious colour clad confront me with their show
As though resigned and sad,
Trees, who unwhispering stand umber, bronze, gold;
Pavilioning the land for one grown tired and old;
Elm, chestnut, aspen and pine, I am merged in you,
Who tell once more in tones of time,
Your foliaged farewell.