Katharine Lee Bates

(1859-1929 / United States)

In The Oak - Poem by Katharine Lee Bates

THE leaves and tassels of the oak
Were golden-green with May,
Pavilion whence forever broke
Some angel roundelay.
A carol like a glory came
From topmost twig astir,
Enkindled by a flying flame,
The scarlet tanager.
The tree was glad as Paradise
When, eager soul on soul,
The saints flock home. There glistened twice
A wild-throat oriole;
And once the grosbeak's rosy breast
Poured its enchanted hymn;
While sunny wing and jewel crest
Lit many a blissful limb.
The whole wide world was in my oak
Whose catkins danced for mirth,
— Plumes gray as curling city smoke,
Plumes brown as fresh-plowed earth;
Even heaven had graced our festival,
For oft the loving eye
Would find, coaxed by a wistful call,
The bluebird's fleck of sky.


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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010



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