These poems below on the topics of Nature and Happiness have helped me through hard times in 2011. Mulling over these poems has given me a lot of joy and inner strength. I wish I could thank all the authors in person.
Summer afternoon–summer afternoon;
to me those have always been the two
most beautiful words in the English language.
– Edith Wharton
Thy eternal summer shall not fade.
– William Shakespeare
All green and fair the Summer lies,
Just budded from the bud of Spring,
With tender blue of wistful skies,
And winds which softly sing.
– Susan Coolidge
The Character of A Happy Life
How happy is he born and taught
That serveth not another’s will;
Whose armour is his honest thought
And simple truth his utmost skill!
Whose passions not his masters are,
Whose soul is still prepared for death,
Untied unto the world by care
Of public fame or private breath;
Who envies none that chance doth raise
Nor vice; who never understood
How deepest wounds are given by praise;
Nor rules of state, but rules of good;
Who hath his life from rumors freed,
Whose conscience is his strong retreat;
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruin make oppressors great;
Who God doth late and early pray
More of His grace than gifts to lend;
And entertains the harmless day
With a religious book or friend;
This man is freed from servile bonds
Of hope to rise, or fear to fall;
Lord of himself, though not of lands;
And having nothing, yet hath all.
– Sir Henry Wotton
Little lonely country road,
Have you on your trail
Something I am searching for
Like a holy grail?
Some turn on your winding way
Where dark clouds dissolve,
And small burdens fall away
With renewed resolve
To find calm and peaceful thoughts
And let them hold sway?
I will follow, little road,
Where you lead today;
Quiet castle rest beside
Sparkling meadow brooks.
Things I gain from driving by
Are not found in books.
Sea foam clouds drift overhead,
Redbirds sing in pines,
Sheep graze near a daisy field–
These are anodynes.
Now I leave you, lonely road,
After travelling with you
I’m no longer lonely.
– Isla Paschal Richardson
How green and bright they are! How still they lie!
The summer fields out-stretching in the sun:
An emerald glory, sharp as any cry,
Dipping beneath the racing winds that run
Across the summer day on swift light feet,
To silver the little leaning, laughing grass,
To gild the tossing beads of ripening wheat.
Here is peace to store within the breast
Against the days of tumult and despair.
Within this cool green light the heart can rest,
The body strengthens in the clear clean air,
The soul grows tall, the viol-string tensions cease
Here in this summer stillness, summer peace.
– Grace Noll Cromwell
A Country Summer’s Eve
Gold streaks of setting sun imbue
Broad swaths of crimson sky-
Emblazoned far off horizons prime
To catch an artist’s eye.
Long shadows stretch their swarthy arms
Embracing lea and wold
Where breezes whisper wondrous rhymes
To stir a poet’s soul.
Soft chorusings of crickets’ neath
A waxing, gilded moon,
Loud bullfrogs in their bog abodes
Rehearse gruff, throaty tunes,
While staunchly perched on yon high limb,
There looms a hooting owl
Duetting with a distant hound
Who renders lonesome howls.
Wee lanterns flash o’er dusky fields
As lightning bugs soiree,
Steadfastly dancing in the dark-
‘Round moonbeams they sashay
‘Neath heaven’s silent Milky Way
Of sprawling, silver sheaves,
Whence fall bright wishing stars to bless
A country summer’s eve
– Lon Myruski
The Little Cares That Fretted Me
The little cares that fretted me,
I lost them yesterday
Among the fields above the sea,
Among the winds at play;
Among the lowing of the herds,
The rustling of the trees,
Among the singing of the birds,
The humming of the bees.
The foolish fears of what may pass,
I cast them all away
Among the clover-scented grass,
Among the new-mown hay;
Among the hushing of the corn
Where drowsy poppies nod,
Where ill thoughts die and good are born,
Out in the fields with God.
– Author Unknown