Watch the dewdrops in the morning,
Shake their little diamond heads,
Sparkling, flashing, ever moving,
From their silent little beds.
See the grass! Each blade is brightened,
Roots are strengthened by their stay;
Like the dewdrops, let us scatter
Gems of love along the way.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on August 16, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.
And only where the forest fires have sped,
Scorching relentlessly the cool north lands,
A sweet wild flower lifts its purple head,
And, like some gentle spirit sorrow-fed,
It hides the scars with almost human hands.
And only to the heart that knows of grief,
Of desolating fire, of human pain,
There comes some purifying sweet belief,
Some fellow-feeling beautiful, if brief.
And life revives, and blossoms once again.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on May 2, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.
I know what the caged bird feels, alas!
When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;
When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass,
And the river flows like a stream of glass;
When the first bird sings and the first bud opes,
And the faint perfume from its chalice steals—
I know what the caged bird feels!
I know why the caged bird beats its wing
Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;
For he must fly back to his perch and cling
When he fain would be on the bough a-swing;
And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars
And they pulse again with a keener sting—
I know why he beats his wing!
I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,—
When he beats his bars and he would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings—
I know why the caged bird sings!
This poem is in the public domain.
Wild seas of tossing, writhing waves,
A wreck half-sinking in the tortuous gloom;
One man clings desperately, while Boreas raves,
And helps to blot the rays of moon and star,
Then comes a sudden flash of light, which gleams on shores afar.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on July 19, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.
What though the rain be falling chill and gray,
A ceaseless dripping from the sad, brown caves?
A tiny bird is singing cross the way.
Beneath the friendly shelter of the leaves.
The mountain top is sheathed in vapors white,
And o’er the valley hands a chilly path.
But through the mists are riding into night.
The robin sounds his loving, little call.
I hear the foaming torrent in its rush.
And o’er the rocks “It rests in full-grown pride”;
Through gray and green of earth, there is one flush.
A tiger-lily on the grim rock’s side,
Life may be drear, and hope seem far away.
But ever through the mist some bird will sing;
And through the dullest, rainy world of gray,
Some bright-hued flower, its flash of promising bring.
Bright glows the morn, I pace the shining sands,
And watch the children, as with eager hands
They gather driftwood for the evening fire.
Their merry laughter, ringing loud and clear,
Resounds like sweetest music to my ear,
As swift they toil, each with the same desire.
And now their task completed, they depart,
Each one with beaming face and happy heart,
They too, will watch the driftwood fire to-night,
And knowing this, they hasten glad and gay,
With willing feet, along the homeward way,
Their precious burdens bearing with delight.
I watch these little children of the poor,
Till they have reached each lowly dwelling’s door,
And then, I too my footsteps homeward turn;
I fancy what a joyous sight ’twill be,
To see the children sitting in their glee,
Close by the fire and laugh to see it burn.
From Driftwood (Atlantic Printing Co., 1914). This poem is in the public domain.
The rising sun had crowned the hills,
And added beauty to the plain;
O grand and wondrous spectacle!
That only nature could explain.
I stood within a leafy grove,
And gazed around in blissful awe;
The sky appeared one mass of blue,
That seemed to spread from sea to shore.
Far as the human eye could see,
Were stretched the fields of waving corn.
Soft on my ear the warbling birds
Were heralding the birth of morn.
While here and there a cottage quaint
Seemed to repose in quiet ease
Amid the trees, whose leaflets waved
And fluttered in the passing breeze.
O morning hour! so dear thy joy,
And how I longed for thee to last;
But e’en thy fading into day
Brought me an echo of the past.
‘Twas this,—how fair my life began;
How pleasant was its hour of dawn;
But, merging into sorrow’s day,
Then beauty faded with the morn.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on November 23, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.
I said a thoughtless word one day,
A loved one heard and went away;
I cried: “Forgive me, I was blind;
I would not wound or be unkind.”
I waited long, but all in vain,
To win my loved one back again.
Too late, alas! to weep and pray,
Death came; my loved one passed away.
Then, what a bitter fate was mine;
No language could my grief define;
Tears of deep regret could not unsay
The thoughtless word I spoke that day.
This poem is in the public domain.