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James Whitcomb Riley

(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)

To Hear Her Sing


To hear her sing--to hear her sing--
It is to hear the birds of Spring
In dewy groves on blooming sprays
Pour out their blithest roundelays.

It is to hear the robin trill
At morning, or the whip-poor-will
At dusk, when stars are blossoming--
To hear her sing--to hear her sing!

To hear her sing--it is to hear
The laugh of childhood ringing clear
In woody path or grassy lane
Our feet may never fare again.

Faint, far away as Memory dwells,
It is to hear the village bells
At twilight, as the truant hears
Them, hastening home, with smiles and tears.

Such joy it is to hear her sing,
We fall in love with everything--
The simple things of every day
Grow lovelier than words can say.

The idle brooks that purl across
The gleaming pebbles and the moss,
We love no less than classic streams--
The Rhines and Arnos of our dreams.

To hear her sing--with folded eyes,
It is, beneath Venetian skies,
To hear the gondoliers' refrain,
Or troubadours of sunny Spain.--

To hear the bulbul's voice that shook
The throat that trilled for Lalla Rookh:
What wonder we in homage bring
Our hearts to her--to hear her sing!

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

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