The Flower at My Window

- 1879-1921

O! my heart now feels so cheerful as I go with footsteps light
      In the daily toil of my dear home; 
And I’ll tell to you the secret that now makes my life so bright—
      There’s a flower at my window in full bloom. 

It is radiant in the sunshine, and so cheerful after rain; 
        And it wafts upon the air its sweet perfume. 
It is very, very lovely! May its beauties never wane—
        This dear flower at my window in full bloom. 

Nature has so clothed it in such glorious array, 
      And it does so cheer our home, and hearts illume; 
Its dear mem’ry I will cherish though the flower fade away—
      This dear flower at my window in full bloom. 

Oft I gaze upon this flower with its blossoms pure and white. 
        And I think as I behold its gay costume, 
While through life we all are passing may our lives be always bright 
        Like this flower at my window in full bloom.

More by Lucian B. Watkins

A Dedication

To Principal Booker T. Washington of Tuskegee Industrial School 

To you who now so nobly do 
     A noble deed; 
Who now instill the virtues true
    To virtuous need; 
Whose mission is so truly good—
So full of kindly brotherhood—
Who live the life you surely should—
     A trusty lead; 

Who early saw that skillful head 
     And skillful hands
Should, surely, be in union wed 
    'Gainst life's quicksands—
For people whose unhappy state 
Was, surely, in the hands of fate, 
Would make a combination great 
    As iron hands. 

Long may your daring presence live 
     And works instill, 
Long may your kingly reasons give 
    A forceful will. 
Long may your glowing, useful days 
Shine forth their bright illuming rays, 
And to gloomy lives always 
    A happy thrill. 

Ever Faithful to You

Dedicated to a Lady Friend

When e'er I read these words, Dear Heart, of your sweet valentine, 
I'm sure no heart can ever feel a sweeter joy than mine. 

"Faithful!" no word can e'er express a truer, greater love—
No truer constancy than this have angels up above! 

"Ever!" ah, then eternally you pledge that you'll be true! 
For love's sweet sake, alone, I choose a happy life with you. 

Through every sorrow, joy or pain that we in life may meet, 
In sweet companionship we'll share—the bitter with the sweet. 

We'll live with these words of faithfulness, what e'er our lot may be. 
And live that we may after death from earthly stains be free. 

Star of Ethiopia

Out in the Night thou art the sun 
Toward which thy soul-charmed children run, 
    The faith-high height whereon they see
    The glory of their Day To Be—
The peace at last when all is done. 

The night is dark but, one by one, 
Thy signals, ever and anon, 
    Smile beacon answers to their plea, 
    Out in the Night. 

Ah, Life! thy storms these cannot shun; 
Give them a hope to rest upon, 
     A dream to dream eternally,
     The strength of men who would be free
And win the battle race begun, 
    Out in the Night! 

Related Poems

A Violin at Dusk

Stumble to silence, all you uneasy things, 
That pack the day with bluster and with fret.
For here is music at each window set;
Here is a cup which drips with all the springs
That ever bud a cowslip flower; a roof
To shelter till the argent weathers break;
A candle with enough of light to make
My courage bright against each dark reproof. 
A hand’s width of clear gold, unraveled out
The rosy sky, the little moon appears;
As they were splashed upon the paling red,
Vast, blurred, the village poplars lift about. 
I think of young, lost things: of lilacs; tears;
I think of an old neighbor, long since dead. 

Let the Light Enter

The dying words of Goethe.
 
"Light! more light! the shadows deepen,
   And my life is ebbing low,
Throw the windows widely open:
   Light! more light! before I go."
 
"Softly let the balmy sunshine
   Play around my dying bed,
E'er the dimly lighted valley
   I with lonely feet must tread."
 
"Light! more light! for Death is weaving
   Shadows 'round my waning sight,
And I fain would gaze upon him
   Through a stream of earthly light."
 
Not for greater gifts of genius;
   Not for thoughts more grandly bright,
All the dying poet whispers
   Is a prayer for light, more light.
 
Heeds he not the gathered laurels,
   Fading slowly from his sight;
All the poet's aspirations
   Centre in that prayer for light.

In Summer Time

When summer time has come, and all
The world is in the magic thrall
Of perfumed airs that lull each sense
To fits of drowsy indolence;
When skies are deepest blue above,
And flow'rs aflush,—then most I love
To start, while early dews are damp,
And wend my way in woodland tramp
Where forests rustle, tree on tree,
And sing their silent songs to me;
Where pathways meet and pathways part,—
To walk with Nature heart by heart,
Till wearied out at last I lie
Where some sweet stream steals singing by
A mossy bank; where violets vie
In color with the summer sky,—
Or take my rod and line and hook,
And wander to some darkling brook,
Where all day long the willows dream,
And idly droop to kiss the stream,
And there to loll from morn till night—
Unheeding nibble, run, or bite—
Just for the joy of being there
And drinking in the summer air,
The summer sounds, and summer sights,
That set a restless mind to rights
When grief and pain and raging doubt
Of men and creeds have worn it out;
The birds' song and the water's drone,
The humming bee's low monotone,
The murmur of the passing breeze,
And all the sounds akin to these,
That make a man in summer time
Feel only fit for rest and rhyme.
Joy springs all radiant in my breast;
Though pauper poor, than king more blest,
The tide beats in my soul so strong
That happiness breaks forth in song,
And rings aloud the welkin blue
With all the songs I ever knew.
O time of rapture! time of song!
How swiftly glide thy days along
Adown the current of the years,
Above the rocks of grief and tears!
'Tis wealth enough of joy for me
In summer time to simply be.