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(29 June 1835 – 25 August 1894 / Portsmouth, New Hampshire)

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May Morning

WARM, wild, rainy wind, blowing fitfully,
Stirring dreamy breakers on the slumberous May sea,
What shall fail to answer thee? What thing shall withstand
The spell of thine enchantment, flowing over sea and land?

All along the swamp-edge in the rain I go;
All about my head thou the loosened locks dost blow;
Like the German goose-girl in the fairy tale,
I watch across the shining pool my flock of ducks that sail.

Redly gleam the rose-haws, dripping with the wet,
Fruit of sober autumn, glowing crimson yet;
Slender swords of iris leaves cut the water clear,
And light green creeps the tender grass, thick-spreading far and near.

Every last year’s stalk is set with brown or golden studs;
All the boughs of bayberry are thick with scented buds;
Islanded in turfy velvet, where the ferns uncurl,
Lo! the large white duck’s egg glimmers like a pearl!

Softly sing the billows, rushing, whispering low;
Freshly, oh, deliciously, the warm, wild wind doth blow!
Plaintive bleat of new-washed lambs comes faint from far away;
And clearly cry the little birds, alert and blithe and gay.

O happy, happy morning! O dear, familiar place!
O warm, sweet tears of Heaven, fast falling on my face!
O well-remembered, rainy wind, blow all my care away,
That I may be a child again this blissful morn of May.

Submitted: Wednesday, March 21, 2012


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