by Emma Lazarus

    Small, shapeless drifts of cloud
Sail slowly northward in the soft-hued sky,
  With blur half-tints and rolling summits bright,
By the late sun caressed; slight hazes shroud
  All things afar; shineth each leaf anigh
    With its own warmth and light.

    O'erblown by Southland airs,
The summer landscape basks in utter peace:
  In lazy streams the lazy clouds are seen;
Low hills, broad meadows, and large, clear-cut squares
  Of ripening corn-fields, rippled by the breeze,
    With shifting shade and sheen.

    Hark! and you may not hear
A sound less soothing than the rustle cool
  Of swaying leaves, the steady wiry drone
Of unseen crickets, sudden chirpings clear
  Of happy birds, the tinkle of the pool,
    Chafed by a single stone.

    What vague, delicious dreams,
Born of this golden hour of afternoon,
  And air balm-freighted, fill the soul with bliss,
Transpierced like yonder clouds with lustrous gleams,
  Fantastic, brief as they, and, like them, spun
    Of gilded nothingness!

    All things are well with her.
'T is good to be alive, to see the light
  That plays upon the grass, to feel (and sigh
With perfect pleasure) the mild breezes stir
  Among the garden roses, red and white,
    With whiffs of fragrancy.

    There is no troublous thought,
No painful memory, no grave regret,
  To mar the sweet suggestions of the hour:
The soul, at peace, reflects the peace without,
  Forgetting grief as sunset skies forget
    The morning's transient shower.

Monadnock Valley Press > Lazarus