A delicate fabric of bird song
  Floats in the air,
The smell of wet wild earth
  Is everywhere.

Red small leaves of the maple
  Are clenched like a hand,
Like girls at their first communion
  The pear trees stand.

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?

This poem is in the public domain. Originally published in Flame and Shadow, by Sara Teasdale.

They shut the road through the woods
      Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
      And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
      Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
      And the thin anemones.
      Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
      And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.

Yet, if you enter the woods
      Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
      Where the otter whistles his mate,
(They fear not men in the woods,
      Because they see so few.)
You will hear the beat of a horse’s feet,
      And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
      Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
      As though they perfectly knew
      The old lost road through the woods.
But there is no road through the woods.

This poem is in the public domain.

I’m tired of the gloom  

In a four-walled room;  

Heart-weary, I sigh  

For the open sky,  

And the solitude  

Of the greening wood;  

Where the bluebirds call,  

And the sunbeams fall,  

And the daisies lure 

The soul to be pure.  


I’m tired of the life 

In the ways of strife;  

Heart-weary, I long  

For the river’s song,  

And the murmur of rills  

In the breezy hills;  

Where the pipe of Pan— 

The hairy half-man— 

The bright silence breaks  

By the sleeping lakes.   

          A near horizon whose sharp jags
           Cut brutally into a sky
          Of leaden heaviness, and crags
          Of houses lift their masonry
           Ugly and foul, and chimneys lie
          And snort, outlined against the gray
           Of lowhung cloud. I hear the sigh
          The goaded city gives, not day
          Nor night can ease her heart, her anguished labours stay.

          Below, straight streets, monotonous,
           From north and south, from east and west,
          Stretch glittering; and luminous
           Above, one tower tops the rest
           And holds aloft man's constant quest:
          Time!  Joyless emblem of the greed
           Of millions, robber of the best
          Which earth can give, the vulgar creed
          Has seared upon the night its flaming ruthless screed.

          O Night!  Whose soothing presence brings
           The quiet shining of the stars.
          O Night!  Whose cloak of darkness clings
           So intimately close that scars
           Are hid from our own eyes. Beggars
          By day, our wealth is having night
           To burn our souls before altars
          Dim and tree-shadowed, where the light
          Is shed from a young moon, mysteriously bright.

          Where art thou hiding, where thy peace?
           This is the hour, but thou art not.
          Will waking tumult never cease?
           Hast thou thy votary forgot?
           Nature forsakes this man-begot
          And festering wilderness, and now
           The long still hours are here, no jot
          Of dear communing do I know;
          Instead the glaring, man-filled city groans below!

This poem is in the public domain.

Mother doesn't want a dog.
Mother says they smell,
And never sit when you say sit,
Or even when you yell.
And when you come home late at night
And there is ice and snow,
You have to go back out because
The dumb dog has to go.

Mother doesn't want a dog.
Mother says they shed,
And always let the strangers in
And bark at friends instead,
And do disgraceful things on rugs,
And track mud on the floor,
And flop upon your bed at night
And snore their doggy snore.

Mother doesn't want a dog.
She's making a mistake.
Because, more than a dog, I think
She will not want this snake.

From If I Were in Charge of the World and Other Worries . . ., published by Macmillan, 1981. Used with permission.