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I KNOW the splendor of the Sun,
And beauty in the leaves, and moss, and grass;
I love the birds' small voices every one,
And all the hours have kindness as they pass;

But still the heart can apprehend
A deeper purport than the brain may know:
I see it at the dying daylight's end,
And hear it when the winds begin to blow. 

It strives to speak from all the world,
Out of dumb earth, and moaning ocean-tides;
And brooding Night, beneath her pinions furled,
Some message writ in starry cipher hides.

Must I go seeking everywhere
The meanings that behind our objects be --
A depth serener in the azure air,
A something more than peace upon the sea?

Not one least deed one soul to bless?
Unto the stern-eyed Future shall I bear
Only the sense of pain without redress,
Self-sickness, and a dull and stale despair?

Nay, let me shape, in patience slow,
My years, like the Holy Child his bird of clay,
Till suddenly the clod its Master know,
And thrill with life, and soar with songs away.

Poem published in 1868  as part of "The Hermitage and Other Poems" by the house of Leypoldt and Holt.

Edward Rowland Sill (1841– 1887) was an American poet, essayist and educator born in Windsor, Connecticut. He graduated from Yale in 1861 and entered the Harvard Divinity School but left it to work for the New York Evening Mail. After teaching for three years in Ohio he moved to California where he became principal of Oakland High School. In 1874 he was appointed Professor Of English language at California University. Much of his work was published posthumously.

Gettin' together to smile an' rejoice,
An' eatin' an' laughin' with folks of your choice;
An' kissin' the girls an' declarin' that they
Are growin' more beautiful day after day;
Chattin' an' braggin' a bit with the men,
Buildin' the old family circle again;
Livin' the wholesome an' old-fashioned cheer,
Just for awhile at the end of the year.

Greetings fly fast as we crowd through the door
And under the old roof we gather once more
Just as we did when the youngsters were small;
Mother's a little bit grayer, that's all.
Father's a little bit older, but still
Ready to romp an' to laugh with a will.
Here we are back at the table again
Tellin' our stories as women an' men.

Bowed are our heads for a moment in prayer;
Oh, but we're grateful an' glad to be there.
Home from the east land an' home from the west,
Home with the folks that are dearest an' best.
Out of the sham of the cities afar
We've come for a time to be just what we are.
Here we can talk of ourselves an' be frank,
Forgettin' position an' station an' rank.

Give me the end of the year an' its fun
When most of the plannin' an' toilin' is done;
Bring all the wanderers home to the nest,
Let me sit down with the ones I love best,
Hear the old voices still ringin' with song,
See the old faces unblemished by wrong,
See the old table with all of its chairs
An' I'll put soul in my Thanksgivin' prayers.

Edgar Albert Guest (1881 – 1959) was a British-born American poet who became known as the People's Poet. His family moved from England to Detroit, Michigan when he was ten years old and he lived there the rest of his life. He worked for the Detroit Free
Press for 64 years. He published more than twenty volumes of poetry and was thought to have written over 12,000 poems. His poems often had an inspirational and optimistic view of everyday life. Of his poems he said, "I take simple everyday things that happen to me and I figure it happens to a lot of other people and I make simple rhymes out of them. "His popularity led NBC to produce a weekly 15-minute radio program, “Guest in Your Home,” which ran from 1931 to 1942. The Joplin Globe editorialized his passing by quoting Philip Coldren, the late editorial page editor who wrote that the key to Guest’s greatness was “that among the thousands of Guest poems, ‘there has not been a single one that has promoted wickedness or meanness or anything else but kindness and gentleness and peace and hope."

O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell,
Let it not be among the jumbled heap
Of murky buildings; climb with me the steep,—
Nature’s observatory—whence the dell,
Its flowery slopes, its river’s crystal swell,
May seem a span; let me thy vigils keep
’Mongst boughs pavillion’d, where the deer’s swift leap
Startles the wild bee from the fox-glove bell.
But though I’ll gladly trace these scenes with thee,
Yet the sweet converse of an innocent mind,
Whose words are images of thoughts refin’d,
Is my soul’s pleasure; and it sure must be
Almost the highest bliss of human-kind,
When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee.

This was John Keats' first poem and it was published in 1817 (This poem is in the public domain)

John Keats - (1795-1821) English poet of the second generation of Romantic poets. He published only fifty-four poems during his short life time, having died of tuberculosis at the age of 25. Although his poems were indifferently received in his lifetime, his fame grew rapidly after his death. Today his poems and letters remain among the most popular and analyzed in English literature. Read more

Upon the silent sea-swept land
 The dreams of night fall soft and gray,
          The waves fade on the jeweled sand
               Like some lost hope of yesterday.

The dreams of night fall soft and gray
 Upon the summer-colored seas,
  Like some lost hope of yesterday,
               The sea-mew’s song is on the breeze.

Upon the summer-colored seas
 Sails gleam and glimmer ghostly white,
      The sea-mew’s song is on the breeze
               Lost in the monotone of night.

Sails gleam and glimmer ghostly white,
     They come and slowly drift away,
          Lost in the monotone of night,
               Like visions of a summer-day.

They shift and slowly drift away
     Like lovers’ lays that wax and wane,
          The visions of a summer-day
               Whose dreams we ne’er will dream again.

Like lovers’ lays wax and wane
     The star dawn shifts from sail to sail,
          Like dreams we ne’er will dream again;
               The sea-mews follow on their trail.

The star dawn shifts from sail to sail,
     As they drift to the dim unknown,
          The sea-mews follow on their trail
               In quest of some dreamland zone.

In quest of some far dreamland zone,
     Of some far silent sea-swept land,
          They are lost in the dim unknown,
               Where waves fade on jeweled sand
                    And dreams of night fall soft and gray,
                         Like some lost hope of yesterday.

Carl Sadakichi Hartmann ( 1867 - 1944 ) Was a poet, playwright, and art critic. He was born on the artificial island of Dejima, Nagasaki, to a Japanese mother Osada Hartmann (who died soon after childbirth) and German businessman Carl Herman Oskar Hartmann and raised in Germany. He came to the U.S. in1882 and became an American citizen in1894. (His application for naturalization shows little regard for the correct spelling of his Japanese or German names. containing two misspellings). Hartmann was an important early participant in Modernism and he was a friend of such diverse figures as  Walt Whitman, Stéphane Mallarmé and Ezra Pound. Read more

This poem is in the public domain. 

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