canary Jones Very--Poetry
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Jones Very

Selected Poetry

Poems about Nature

Nature

The bubbling brook doth leap when I come by,
Because my feet find measure with its call,
The birds know when the friend they love is nigh,
For I am known to them both great and small;
The flower that on the lovely hill-side grows
Expects me there when Spring its bloom has given;
And many a tree and bush my wanderings know,
And e'en the clouds and silent stars of heaven;
For he who with his Maker walks aright,
Shall be their lord as Adam was before;
His ear shall catch each sound with new delight,
Each object wear the dew that then it wore;
And he, as when erect in soul he stood
Hear from his Father's lips that all is good.

The Columbine

Still, still my eye will gaze long fixed on thee,
Till I forget that I am called a man,
And at thy side fast-rooted seem to be,
And the breeze comes my cheek with thine to fan.
Upon this craggy hill our life shall pass,
A life of summer days and summer joys,
Nodding our honey-bells mid pliant grass
In which the bee half hid his time employs;
And here we'll drink with thirsty pores the rain,
And turn dew-sprinkled to the rising sun,
And look when in the flaming west again
His orb across the heaven its path has run;
Here left in darkness on the rocky steep,
My weary eyes shall close like folding flowers in sleep.

The Barberry-Bush

The bush that has most briers and bitter fruit
Waits till the frost has turned its green leaves red,
Its sweetened berries will thy palate suit,
And thou mayst find e'en there a homely bread;
Upon the hills of Salem scattered wide,
Their yellow blossoms gain the eye in Spring;
And straggling e'en upon the turnpike's side,
Their ripened branches to your hand they bring;
I've plucked them oft in boyhood's early hour,
That then I gave such name, and thought it true;
But now I know that other fruit as sour,
Grows on what now thou callst Me and You;
Yet wilt thou wait the autumn that I see,
Will sweeter taste than these red berries be.

The Canary Bird

I cannot hear thy voice with otherís ears,
Who make of thy lost liberty a gain;
And in thy tale of blighted hopes and fears
Feel not that every note is born with pain.
Alas! That with thy musicís gentle swell
Past days of joy should through thy memory throng,
And each to thee their words of sorrow tell
While ravished sense forgets thee in thy song.
The heart that on thy past and future feeds,
And pours in human words its thoughts divine,
Though at each birth the spirit inly bleeds,
Its song may charm the listening ear like thine,
And men with gilded cage and praise will try
To make the bard like thee forget his native sky.

The Fair Morning

The clear bright morning, with its scented air
And gaily waving flowers, is here again;
Man's heart is lifted with the voice of prayer,
And peace descends, as falls the gentle rain;
The tuneful birds, that all the night have slept,
Take up at dawn the evening's dying lay,
When sleep upon their eyelids gently crept
And stole with stealthy craft their song away. High overhead the forest's swaying boughs
Sprinkle with drops the traveler on his way;
He hears far off the tinkling bells of cows
Driven to pasture at the break of day;
With vigorous step he passes swift along,
Making the woods reecho with his song.

The Clouded Morning

The morning comes, and thickening clouds prevail,
Hanging like curtains all the horizon round,
Or overhead in heavy stillness sail;
So still is day, it seems like night profound;
Scarce by the city's din the air is stirred,
And dull and deadened comes its every sound;
The cock's shrill, piercing voice subdued is heard,
By the thick folds of muffling vapors drowned.
Dissolved in mists the hills and trees appear,
Their outlines lost and blended with the sky;
And well-known objects, that to all are near,
No longer seem familiar to the eye,
But with fantastic forms they mock the sight,
As when we grope amid the gloom of night.

The Latter Rain

Th3 latter rain,-- it falls in anxious haste
Upon the sun-dried fields and branches bare,
Loosening with searching drops the rigid waste
As if it would each root's lost strength repair;
But not a blade grows green as in the spring;
No swelling twig puts forth its thickening leaves;
The robins only mid the harvests sing,
Pecking the grain that scatters from the sheaves;
The rain falls still,-- the fruit all ripened drops,
It pierces chestnut-burr and walnut-shell;
The furrowed fields disclose the yellow crops;
Each bursting pod of talents used can tell;
And all that once received the early rain
Declare to man it was not sent in vain.

Psyche

I saw a worm, with many a fold;
     It spun itself a silken tomb;
And there in winter time enrolled,
     It heeded not the cold or gloom.

Within a small, snug nook it lay,
     Nor snow nor sleet could reach it there,
Nor wind was felt in gusty day,
     Nor biting cold of frosty air.

Spring comes with bursting buds and grass,
     Around him stirs a warmer breeze;
The chirping insects by him pass,
     His hiding place not yet he leaves.

But summer came; its fervid breath
     Was felt within the sleeper's cell;
And, waking from his sleep of death,
     I saw him crawl from out his shell.

Slow and with pain he first moved on,
     And of the day he seemed to be;
A day passed by; the worm was gone,
     It soared on golden pinions free!

Poems about Religion

The Prayer

      Wilt Thou not visit me?
The plant beside me feels Thy gentle dew;
      And every blade of grass I see,
From Thy deep earth its quickening moisture drew.

      Wilt Thou not visit me?
Thy morning calls on me with cheering tone;
      And every hill and tree
Lends but one voice, the voice of Thee alone.

      Come, for I need Thy love,
More than the flower the dew, or grass the rain;
      Come, gently as Thy holy dove;
And let me in thy sight rejoice to live again.

      I will not hide from them,
When Thy storms come, though fierce may be their wrath;
      But bow with leafy stem,
And strengthened follow on Thy chosen path.

      Yes, Thou wilt visit me,
Nor plant nor tree Thine eye delights so well,
      As when from sin set free
My spirit loves with Thine in peace to dwell.

Life

It is not life upon Thy gifts to live,
But, to grow fixed with deeper roots in Thee;
And when the sun and shower their bounties give,
To send out thick-leaved limbs; a fruitful tree,
Whose green head meets the eye for many a mile,
Whose moss-grown arms their rigid branches rear,
And full-faced fruits their blushing welcome smile
As to its goodly shade our feet draw near;
Who tastes its gifts shall never hunger more,
For 'tis the Father spreads the pure repast,
Who, while we eat, renews the ready store,
Which at his bounteous board must ever last;
For none the bridegroom's supper shall attend,
Who will not hear and make his word their friend.

The Light from Within

I saw on earth another light
  Than that which lit my eye
Come forth as from my soul within,
  And from a higher sky.

Its bems shone still unclouded on,
  When in the farthest west
The sun I once had known had sunk
  Forever to his rest.

And on I walked, though dark the night,
  Nor rose his orb by day;
As one who by a surer guide
  Was pointed out the way.

'Twas brighter far than noonday's beam;
  It shone from God within,
And lit, as by a lamp from heaven,
  The world's dark track of sin.

The Son

Father, I wait thy word. The sun doth stand
Beneath the mingling line of night and day,
A listening servant, waiting thy command
To roll rejoicing on its silent way;
The tongue of time abides the appointed hour,
Till on our ear its silent warnings fall;
The heavy cloud withholds the pelting shower,
Then every drop speeds onward at thy call;
The bird reposes on the yielding bough,
With breast unswollen by the tide of song;
So does my spirit wait thy presence now
To pour thy praise in quickening life along,
Chiding with voice divine manís lengthened sleep,
While round the Unuttered Word and Love their vigils keep.

The New Birth

'Tis a new life;--thoughts move not as they did
With slow uncertain steps across my mind,
In thronging haste fast pressing on they bid
The portals open to the viewless wind
That comes not save when in the dust is laid
The crown of pride that gilds each mortal brow,
And from before man's vision melting fade
The heavens and earth;--their walls are falling now.--
Fast crowding on, each thought asks utterance strong;
Storm-lifted waves swift rushing to the shore,
On from the sea they send their shouts along,
Back through the cave-worn rocks their thunders roar;
And I a child of God by Christ made free
Start from death's slumbers to Eternity.

The Garden

I saw the spot where our first parents dwelt;
And yet it wore to me no face of change,
For while amid its fields and groves I felt
As if I had not sinned, nor thought it strange;
My eye seemed but a part of every sight,
My ear heard music in each sound that rose,
Each sense forever found a new delight,
Such as the spiritís vision only knows;
Each act some new and ever-varying joy
Did my fatherís love for me prepare;
To dress the spot my ever fresh employ,
And in the glorious whole with him to share;
No more without the flaming gate to stray,
No more for sinís dark stain the debt of death to pay.

The Eagles

The eagles gather on the place of death
So thick the ground is spotted with their wings,
The air is tainted with the noisome breath
The wind from off the field of slaughter brings;
Alas! No mourners weep them for the slain,
But all unburied lies the naked soul;
The whitening bones of thousands strew the plain,
Yet none can now the pestilence control;
The eagles gathering on the carcass feed,
In every heart behold their half-formed prey;
The battened wills beneath their talons bleed,
Their iron beaks without remorse must slay;
Till by the sun no more the place is seen,
Where they who worshiped idol gods have been.

Other Poems

The Dead

I see them, crowd on crowd they walk the earth,
Dry leafless trees no autumn wind laid bare;
And in their nakedness find cause for mirth,
And all unclad would winter's rudeness dare;
No sap doth through their clattering branches flow,
Whence springing leaves and blossoms bright appear;
Their hearts the living God have ceased to know,
Who gives the springtime to th' expectant year.
They mimic life, as if from him to steal
His glow of health to paint the livid cheek;
They borrow words for thoughts they cannot feel,
That with a seeming heart their tongue may speak;
And in their show of life more dead they live
Than those that to the earth with many tears they give.

Soul-Sickness

How many of the body's health complain,
When they some deeper malady conceal;
Some unrest of the soul, some secret pain,
Which thus its presence doth to them reveal.
Vain would we seek, by the physician's aid,
A name for this soul-sickness e'er to find;
A remedy for health and strength decayed,
Whose cause and cure are wholly of the mind
To higher nature is the soul allied,
And restless seeks its being's Source to know;
Finding not health nor strength in aught beside;
How often vainly sought in things below,
Whether in sunny clime, or sacred stream,
Or plant of wondrous powers of which we dream!

Beauty

I gazed upon thy face---and beating life,
Once stilled its sleepless pulses in my breast
And every thought whose being was a strife
Each in its silent chamber sank to rest;
I was not, save it were a thought of thee,
The world was but a spot where thou hadst trod,
From every star thy glance seemed fix on me,
Almost I loved thee better than my God.
And still I gaze---but Ďtis a holier thought
Than that in which my spirit lived before,
Each star a purer ray of love has caught,
Earth wears a lovelier robe than then it wore,
And every lamp that burns around thy shrine
I fed with fire whose fountain is Divine.

Love

I asked of Time to tell me where was Love;
He pointed to her foot-steps on the snow,
Where first the angel lighted from above,
And bid me note the way and onward go;
Through populous streets of cities spreaking wide,
By lonely cottage rising on the moor,
Where bursts from sundered cliff the struggling tide,
To where it hails to sea with answering roar,
She led me on; o'er mountain's frozen head,
where mile on mile still stretches on the plain,
Then homeward whither first my feet she led,
I traced her path along the snow again;
But there the sun had melted from the earth
The prints where first she trod, a child of mortal birth.

On Visiting the Graves of Hawthorne and Thoreau

Beneath these shades, beside yon winding stream,
Lies Hawthorne's manly form, the mortal part!
The soul, that loved to meditate and dream,
Might linger here unwilling to depart,
But that a higher life has called away
To fairer scenes, to nobler work and thought.
Why should the spirit then on earth delay,
That has a glimpse of such bright regions caught!
And near another, Nature's child, doth rest,ó
Thoreau, who loved each woodland path to tread;
So gently sleeping on his mother's breast!
Living, though numbered with the numerous dead.
We mourn! But hope will whisper in the heart,
We meet again and meet no more to part.
[1864?]


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