Celia Thaxter (29 June 1835 – 25 August 1894 / Portsmouth, New Hampshire)
Sunflower tall and hollyhock, that wave in the
Corn-flower, poppy, and marigold, blossoming
fair and fine,
Delicate sweet-peas, glowing bright in the quiet
While over the fence, on fire with bloom,
climbs the nasturtium vine!
Quaint little wilderness of flowers, straggling
hither and thither -
morning-glories tangled about the larkspur
gone to seed,
Scarlet runners that burst all bounds, and wan-
der, heaven knows whither,
And lilac spikes of bergamot, as thick as any
And oh, the bees and the butterflies, the hum-
ming-birds and sparrows,
That over the garden waver and chirp and
flutter the livelong day!
Humming-birds, that dart in the sun like green
and golden arrows,
Butterflies like loosened flowers blown off by
the wind in play.
Look at the red nasturtium flower, drooping,
bending, and swaying;
Out the gold-banded humble-bee breaks and
goes booming anew!
Hark, what the sweet-voiced fledgling sparrows
low to themselves are saying,
Pecking my golden oats where the corn-flowers
gleam so blue!
Welcome, a thousand times welcome, ye dear
and delicate neighbors -
Bird and bee and butterfly, and humming-bird
Proud am I to offer you a field for your grace-
All the honey and all the seeds are yours in
this garden of mine.
I sit on the door-step and watch you. Beyond
lies the infinite ocean,
Sparkling, shimmering, whispering, rocking itself
And the world is full of perfume and color and
And each new hour of this sweet day the
happiest seems and best.
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