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The World's Music

119

The wonderful air is over me,
And the wonderful wind is shaking the tree-
It walks on the water, and whirls the mills,
And talks to itself on the top of the hills.

!

You friendly Earth, how far do you go,
With the wheat-fields that nod and the rivers that flow,
With cities and gardens, and cliffs and isles,
And people upon you for thousands of miles?

Ah! you are so great, and I am so small,
I hardly can think of you, World, at all;
And yet, when I said my prayers to-day,
My mother kissed me, and said, quite gay,
"If the wonderful World is great to you,
And great to father and mother, too,
You are more than the Earth, though you are such a dot!
You can love and think, and the Earth cannot!"

William Brighty Rands (1823-1882)

THE WORLD'S MUSIC

The world's a very happy place,
Where
every

child should dance and sing,
And always have a smiling face,

And never sulk for anything.
I waken when the morning's come,

And feel the air and light alive
With strange sweet music like the hum

Of bees about their busy hive.

The linnets play among the leaves

At hide-and-seek, and chirp and sing;
While, flashing to and from the eaves,

The swallows twitter on the wing.

The twigs that shake, and boughs that sway;

And tall old trees you could not climb;
And winds that come, but cannot stay,

Are gaily singing all the time.

From dawn to dark the old mill-wheel

Makes music, going round and round; And dusty-white with flour and meal,

The miller whistles to its sound.

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And if you listen to the rain

When leaves and birds and bees are dumb, You hear it patuering on the pane

Like Andrew beating on his drum.

The coals beneath the kettle croon,

And clap their hands and dance in glee; And even the kettle hums a tune

To tell you when it's time for tea.

The world is such a happy place,

That children, whether big or small, Should always have a smiling face, And never, never sulk at all.

Gabriel Setoun (1861

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A BOY'S SONG

1

WHERE the pools are bright and deep,
Where the gray trout lies asleep,
Up the river and over the lea,
That's the way for Billy and me.

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Where the blackbird sings the latest,
Where the hawthorn blooms the sweetest,
Where the nestlings chirp and flee,
That's the way for Billy and me.

Where the mowers mow the cleanest,
Where the hay lies thick and greenest,
There to track the homeward bee,
That's the way for Billy and me.

Where the hazel bank is steepest,
Where the shadow falls the deepest,
Where the clustering nuts fall free,
That's the way for Billy and me.

Going Down Hill on a Bicycle

I 21

Why the boys should drive

away
Little sweet maidens from the play,
Or love to banter and fight so well,
That's the thing I never could teH.

But this I know, I love to play
Through the meadow, among the hay;
Up the water and over the lea,
That's the way for Billy and me.

James Hogg (1770-1835)

GOING DOWN HILL ONA BICYCLE

A BOY'S SONG

With lifted feet, hands still,
I am poised, and down the hill
Dart, with heedful mind;
The air goes by in a wind'.

Swister and yet more swift,
Till the heart with a mighty lift
Makes the lungs laugh, the throat cry:-
“O bird, see; see, bird, I fly.

“Is this, is this your joy?
O bird, then I, though a boy,
For a golden moment share
Your feathery life in air!”

Say, heart, is there aught like this
In a world that is full of bliss?
'Tis more than skating, bound
Steel-shod to the level ground.

Speed slackens now, I float
Awhile in my airy boat;
Till, when the wheels scarce crawl,
My feet to the treadles fall.

Alas, that the longest hill
Must end in a vale; but still,
Who climbs with toil, wheresoe 'er,
Shall find wings waiting there.

llenry Charles Beeching (1859

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They don't know much about the moss

And all the stones they pass: They never lie and play among

The forests in the grass:

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But, when the snow is on the ground

And all the puddles freeze, I wish that I were very tall, High up above the trees.

Laurence Alma-Tadema (18

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Who has seen the wind?

Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,

The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?

Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

Christina Georgina Rosselli (1830-1894)

The Wind's Song

123

THE WIND'S SONG

O WINDS that blow across the sea,

What is the story that you bring? Leaves clap their hands on every tree

And birds about their branches sing.

You sing to flowers and trees and birds

Your sea-songs over all the land. Could you not stay and whisper words

A little child might understand?

The roses nod to hear you sing;

But though I listen all the day, You never tell me anything

Of father's ship so far away.

Its masts are taller than the trees;

Its sails are silver in the sun; There's not a ship upon the seas

So beautiful as father's one.

With wings spread out it flies so fast

It leaves the waves all white with foam. Just whisper to me, blowing past,

If you have seen it sailing home. I feel your breath upon my cheek,

And in my hair, and on my brow. Dear winds, if you could only speak,

I know that you would tell me now. My father's coming home, you'd say,

With precious presents, one, two, three; A shawl for mother, beads for May,

And eggs and shells for Rob and me.

The winds sing songs where'er they roam;

The leaves all clap their little hands;
For father's ship is coming home
With wondrous things from foreign lands.

Gabriel Setoun (1861

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