Poetry – THE STREAM

I know a stream
Than which no lovelier flows.
Its banks a-gleam
With yarrow and wild rose,
Singing it goes
And shining through my dream.

Its waters glide
Beneath the basking noon,
A magic tide
That keeps perpetual June.

There the light sleeps
Unstirred by any storm;
The wild mouse creeps
Through tall weeds hushed and warm;
And the shy snipe,
Alighting unafraid;
With sudden pipe
Awakes the dreaming shade.

So long ago!
Still, still my memory hears
Its silver flow
Across the sundering years,—
Its roses glow,
Ah, through what longing tears!

— Charles G. D. Roberts

Poetry – WHEN THE CLOUD COMES DOWN THE MOUNTAIN

When the cloud comes down the mountain,
And the rain is loud on the leaves,
And the slim flies gather for shelter
Under my cabin eaves,

Then my heart goes out to earth,
With the swollen brook runs free,
Drinks life with the drenched brown roots,
And climbs with the sap in the tree.

— Charles G. D. Roberts

Quote – it’s foolish to crow

The moral is clear: The wisest folks know That it’s so nice to win, but it’s foolish to crow.

— Aesop, Greek writer

Poetry – A Smile

Let others cheer the winning man,
There’s one I hold worthwhile;
Tis he who does the best he can,
Then loses with a smile.

— anonymous poem, found in The Book o Virtues, ed. by W. J. Bennett

Quote – You never conquer a mountain

You never conquer a mountain. You stand on the summit a few moments; then the wind blows your footprints away.

— Arlene Blum, US mountain climber

O TO BE AN OSTRICH

O TO BE AN OSTRICH

The ostrich
like Shakespeare
believes there is nothing
good or bad
but thinking
makes it so.

All problems
he has found
by taking his head
out of the ground
and looking
for them.

The solving
obviously
is a matter of foot
going faster than thought
to avoid
being caught.

Such logic
of conscience
may well be envied—
for who can dispute
what can not be questioned
or proved?

— Elizabeth Bartlett

SOLITUDE

Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air
In his own ground.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire;
Whose trees in summer yield him shade
In winter, fire.

Blest, who can unconcern’dly find
Hours, days, and years, slide soft away
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,

Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mix’d; sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please
With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.

— A. POPE.

THE OYSTER

Two halves of an oyster shell, each a shallow cup;
Here once lived an oyster before they ate him up.
Oyster shells are smooth inside; outside very rough;
Very little room to spare, but he had enough.
Bedroom, parlor, kitchen, or cellar there was none;
Just one room in all the house—oysters need but one.
And he was never troubled by wind or rain or snow,
For he had a roof above, another one below.
I wonder if they fried him, or cooked him in a stew,
And sold him at a fair, and passed him off for two.
I wonder if the oysters all have names like us,
And did he have a name like “John” or “Romulus”?
I wonder if his parents wept to see him go;
I wonder who can tell; perhaps the mermaids know.
I wonder if our sleep the most of us would dread,
If we slept like oysters, a million in a bed!

— Arthur Macy

THE FERN SONG

THE FERN SONG

Dance to the beat of the rain, little Fern,
And spread out your palms again,
And say, “Tho’ the Sun
Hath my vesture spun,
He hath labored, alas, in vain,
But for the shade
That the Cloud hath made,
And the gift of the Dew and the Rain.”
Then laugh and upturn
All your fronds, little Fern,
And rejoice in the beat of the rain!

John Bannister Tabb

Dandelion

There’s a dandy little fellow,
Who dresses all in yellow,
In yellow with an overcoat of green;
With his hair all crisp and curly,
In the springtime bright and early
A-tripping o’er the meadow he is seen.
Through all the bright June weather,
Like a jolly little tramp,
He wanders o’er the hillside, down the road;
Around his yellow feather,
Thy gypsy fireflies camp;
His companions are the woodlark and the toad.

But at last this little fellow
Doffs his dainty coat of yellow,
And very feebly totters o’er the green;
For he very old is growing
And with hair all white and flowing,
A-nodding in the sunlight he is seen.
Oh, poor dandy, once so spandy,
Golden dancer on the lea!
Older growing, white hair flowing,
Poor little baldhead dandy now is he!

— Nellie M. Garabrant

The Fox

A fox looked at his shadow at sunrise and said, “I will have a camel for lunch today.” And all morning he went about looking for camels. But at noon he saw his shadow again—and he said, “A mouse will do.”

— Khalil Gibran

Poetry – How Handsome Am I?

Look at me, everyone,
How handsome am I?
My fluffy fur coat is purr-fect,
It dazzles and shines!

Look at the way my ears stand tall,
My tail gives me balance, so I will not fall!
My whiskers and nose are perfectly aligned,
So I can sniff out food and treats to find!

My eyes glimmer green and they shine so brightly,
They help me to see in the dark at night!
My teeth are sharp and clenched to bite,
If I ever need to give someone a fright!

Everything about me has a purpose,
So I remind myself that I’m beautiful when I don’t feel worth it!
I am a proud cat, and I will stand tall,
Strong and beautiful, I will not fall!

Look at me everyone, how handsome am I?
I know that I am amazing, and I will not lie!
Don’t be afraid to be yourself; you are unique.
Let your true self shine!

But remember, it’s not all about beauty!
It’s what’s inside that counts too,
You are smart, kind, and funny.
So be proud to be handsome, be proud to be you!

— Albert L Swope

Afternoon on a Hill

I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.


I will look at cliffs and clouds
With quiet eyes,
Watch the wind bow down the grass,
And the grass rise.


And when lights begin to show
Up from the town,
I will mark which must be mine,
And then start down.

— Edna St. Vincent Millay

Related References

Trees

     I think that I shall never see
     A poem lovely as a tree.    

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
     Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

     A tree that looks at God all day,
     And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

     A tree that may in Summer wear
     A nest of robins in her hair;

     Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
     Who intimately lives with rain.

     Poems are made by fools like me,
     But only God can make a tree.

— Joyce Kilmer

THE VIOLET

Down in a green and shady bed
A modest violet grew;
Its stalk was bent, it hung its head,
As if to hide from view.

And yet it was a lovely flower,
Its colors bright and fair!
It might have graced a rosy bower,
Instead of hiding there.

Yet there it was content to bloom,
In modest tints arrayed;
And there diffused its sweet perfume,
Within the silent shade.

Then let me to the valley go,
This pretty flower to see,
That I may also learn to grow
In sweet humility.

–Jane Taylor