NOW is the high-tide of the year,

And whatever of life hath ebbed away,

Comes flooding back, with a ripply cheer,

Into every bare inlet and creek and bay;

Now the heart is so full that a drop overfills it,

We are happy now because God wills it;

No matter how barren the past may have been,

'T is enough for us now that the leaves are green;

We sit in the warm shade, and feel right well

How the sap creeps up and the blossoms swell;

We may shut our eyes, but we cannot help knowing

That skies are clear and grass is growing;

The breeze comes whispering in our ear

That dandelions are blossoming near,

That maize has sprouted, that streams are flowing.

That the river is bluer than the sky,

That the robin is plastering his house hard by;

And if the breeze kept the good news back,

For other couriers we should not lack;

We could guess it all by yon heifer's lowing,—

And hark! How clear bold chanticleer,

Warmed with the new wine of the year,

Tells all in his lusty crowing!

Joy comes, grief goes, we know not how;

Everything is happy now,

Everything is upward striving;

'T is as easy now for the heart to be true

As for grass to be green or skies to be blue,—

'T is the natural way of living.

Who knows whither the clouds have fled?

In the unscarred heaven they leave no wake,

And the eyes forget the tears they have shed,

The heart forgets its sorrow and ache;

The soul partakes the season's youth,

And the sulphurous rifts of passion and woe

Lie deep 'neath a silence pure and smooth,

Like burnt-out craters healed with snow.





James Russell Lowell.