I wandered lonely as a Cloud
   That floats on high o’er Vales and Hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
   A host of golden Daffodils;
Beside the Lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
   And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
   Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
   Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:—
A Poet could not but be gay
   In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the shew to me had brought:

For oft when on my couch I lie
   In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
   Which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the Daffodils.

This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on October 1, 2017. This poem is in the public domain.

At first you’ll joy to see the playful snow,
         Like white moths trembling on the tropic air,
Or waters of the hills that softly flow
         Gracefully falling down a shining stair.

And when the fields and streets are covered white
         And the wind-worried void is chilly, raw,
Or underneath a spell of heat and light
         The cheerless frozen spots begin to thaw,

Like me you’ll long for home, where birds’ glad song
         Means flowering lanes and leas and spaces dry,
And tender thoughts and feelings fine and strong,
         Beneath a vivid silver-flecked blue sky.

But oh! more than the changeless southern isles,
         When Spring has shed upon the earth her charm,
You'll love the Northland wreathed in golden smiles
         By the miraculous sun turned glad and warm.

From Harlem Shadows (New York, Harcourt, Brace and company, 1922) by Claude McKay. This poem is in the public domain.

The light hangs over the mountain top,
        But gray and misty the plain;
        The sun’s a-glow in eternal snow,
But down in the valley, the rain.

And life is so, the sun a-glow
On the mountains far, while the rain’s below.

Like a strong tree that in the virgin earth 
Sends far its roots through rock and loam and clay, 
And proudly thrives in rain or time of dearth, 
When the dry waves scare rainy sprites away; 
Like a strong tree that reaches down, deep, deep, 
For sunken water, fluid underground, 
Where the great-ringed unsightly blind worms creep, 
And queer things of the nether world abound:

So would I live in rich imperial growth, 
Touching the surface and the depth of things, 
Instinctively responsive unto both, 
Tasting the sweets of being and the stings, 
Sensing the subtle spell of changing forms, 
Like a strong tree against a thousand storms. 

This poem is in the public domain.