Earth holds no sweeter secret anywhere
Than this my brook, that lisps along the green
Of mossy channels, where slim birch trees lean
Like tall pale ladies, whose delicious hair,
Lures and invites the kiss of wanton air.
The smooth soft grasses, delicate between
The rougher stalks, by waifs alone are seen,
Shy things that live in sweet seclusion there.

And is it still the same, and do the eyes
Of every silver ripple meet the trees
That bend above like guarding emerald skies?
I turn, who read the city’s beggared book,
And hear across the moan of many seas
The whisper and the laughter of my brook.

More by Helen Hay Whitney

With Music

Dear, did we meet in some dim yesterday?
    I half remember how the birds were mute
    Among green leaves and tulip-tinted fruit,
And on the grass, beside a stream, we lay
In early twilight; faintly, far away,
    Came lovely sounds adrift from silver lute,
    With answered echoes of an airy flute,
While Twilight waited tiptoe, fain to stay.

Her violet eyes were sweet with mystery.
    You looked in mine, the music rose and fell
Like little, lisping laughter of the sea;
        Our souls were barks, wind-wafted from the shore—
     Gold cup, a rose, a ruby, who can tell?
         Soft—music ceases—I recall no more.