Oh, summer has clothed the earth In a cloak from the loom of the sun! And a mantle, too, of the skies' soft blue, And a belt where the rivers run. And now for the kiss of the wind, And the touch of the air's soft hands, With the rest from strife and the heat of life, With the freedom of lakes and lands. I envy the farmer's boy Who sings as he follows the plow; While the shining green of the young blades lean To the breezes that cool his brow. He sings to the dewy morn, No thought of another's ear; But the song he sings is a chant for kings And the whole wide world to hear. He sings of the joys of life, Of the pleasures of work and rest, From an o'erfull heart, without aim or art; 'T is a song of the merriest. O ye who toil in the town, And ye who moil in the mart, Hear the artless song, and your faith made strong Shall renew your joy of heart. Oh, poor were the worth of the world If never a song were heard,— If the sting of grief had no relief, And never a heart were stirred. So, long as the streams run down, And as long as the robins trill, Let us taunt old Care with a merry air, And sing in the face of ill.
From The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar (1913)
When the sun shouts and people abound One thinks there were the ages of stone and the age of bronze And the iron age; iron the unstable metal; Steel made of iron, unstable as his mother; the tow- ered-up cities Will be stains of rust on mounds of plaster. Roots will not pierce the heaps for a time, kind rains will cure them, Then nothing will remain of the iron age And all these people but a thigh-bone or so, a poem Stuck in the world's thought, splinters of glass In the rubbish dumps, a concrete dam far off in the mountain...
From The Collected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers, Three Volumes, edited by Tim Hunt. Used with the permission of the publishers, Stanford University Press. Copyright 1995 by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University. Further reproduction of this material in any form requires the written permission of the publishers.
A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip— There is a glorious fellowship! Father and son and the open sky And the white clouds lazily drifting by, And the laughing stream as it runs along With the clicking reel like a martial song, And the father teaching the youngster gay How to land a fish in the sportsman's way. I fancy I hear them talking there In an open boat, and the speech is fair. And the boy is learning the ways of men From the finest man in his youthful ken. Kings, to the youngster, cannot compare With the gentle father who's with him there. And the greatest mind of the human race Not for one minute could take his place. Which is happier, man or boy? The soul of the father is steeped in joy, For he's finding out, to his heart's delight, That his son is fit for the future fight. He is learning the glorious depths of him, And the thoughts he thinks and his every whim; And he shall discover, when night comes on, How close he has grown to his little son. A boy and his dad on a fishing-trip— Builders of life's companionship! Oh, I envy them, as I see them there Under the sky in the open air, For out of the old, old long-ago Come the summer days that I used to know, When I learned life's truths from my father's lips As I shared the joy of his fishing-trips.
This poem is in the public domain.
Shine on, O moon of summer. Shine to the leaves of grass, catalpa and oak, All silver under your rain to-night. An Italian boy is sending songs to you to-night from an accordion. A Polish boy is out with his best girl; they marry next month; to-night they are throwing you kisses. An old man next door is dreaming over a sheen that sits in a cherry tree in his back yard. The clocks say I must go—I stay here sitting on the back porch drinking white thoughts you rain down. Shine on, O moon, Shake out more and more silver changes.
From The Chicago Poems (Henry Holt and Company, 1916) by Carl Sandburg.
In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.
I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people’s feet
Still going past me in the street.
And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?
This poem is in the public domain.