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Poems Every Child Should Know by  Mary E. Burt

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JUNE

"June" (by James Russell Lowell, 1819-91), is a fragment from "The Vision of Sir Launfal." It finds a place in this volume because it is the most perfect description of a charming day ever written.

What is so rare as a day in June?

Then, if ever, come perfect days;

Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,

And over it softly her warm ear lays:

Whether we look, or whether we listen,

We hear life murmur, or see it glisten;

Every clod feels a stir of might,

An instinct within it that reaches and towers,

And, groping blindly above it for light,

Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers;

The flush of life may well be seen

Thrilling back over hills and valleys;

The cowslip startles in meadows green.

The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice,

And there's never a leaf nor a blade too mean

To be some happy creature's palace;

The little bird sits at his door in the sun,

Atilt like a blossom among the leaves,

And lets his illumined being o'errun

With the deluge of summer it receives;

His mate feels the eggs beneath her wings,

And the heart in her dumb breast flutters and sings;

He sings to the wide world, and she to her nest,—

In the nice ear of Nature which song is the best?


JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.


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