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Green Things Growing

OH, the green things growing, the green thing growing,

The faint sweet smell of the green things grow> ing!

I should like to live, whether I smile or grieve, Just to watch the happy life of my green things growing.

Oh, the fluttering and the pattering of those green things growing!

How they talk each to each, when none of us are knowing;

In the wonderful white of the weird moonlight Or the dim dreamy dawn when the cocks are crowing.

I love, I love them so,―my green things grow


And I think that they love me, without false showing;

Green For by many a tender touch, they comfort me so Things much,


With the soft mute comfort of green things



The Sigh of Silence

I stood tiptoe upon a little hill;

The air was cooling and so very still,

That the sweet buds which with a modest pride
Pull droopingly, in slanting curve aside,
Their scanty-leaved, and finely-tapering stems,
Had not yet lost their starry diadems

Caught from the early sobbing of the morn.
The clouds were pure and white as flocks new-

And fresh from the clear brook; sweetly they


On the blue fields of heaven, and then there crept
A little noiseless noise among the leaves,
Born of the very sigh that silence heaves;
For not the faintest motion could be seen
Of all the shades that slanted o'er the green.


Under the Greenwood Tree

Under the greenwood tree,


Things Growing

Who loves to lie with me,

And tune his merry note

Unto the sweet bird's throat,

Come hither, come hither, come hither!

Here shall he see

No enemy

But winter and rough weather.

Who doth ambition shun,

And loves to live i' the sun,

Seeking the food he eats,

And pleased with what he gets,

Come hither, come hither, come hither!
Here shall he see

No enemy

But winter and rough weather.


From "As You Like It."

The Planting of the Apple Tree*
Come, let us plant the apple tree.
Cleave the tough greensward with the spade;
Wide let its hollow bed be made;
There gently lay the roots, and there
Sift the dark mold with kindly care,

* By courtesy of D. Appleton & Co., publishers of Bryant's Complete Poetical Works.


Things Growing

And press it o'er them tenderly,
As, round the sleeping infant's feet
We softly fold the cradle sheet;

So plant we the apple tree.

What plant we in this apple tree?
Buds, which the breath of summer days

Shall lengthen into leafy sprays;

Boughs where the thrush, with crimson breast,

Shall haunt and sing and hide her nest;

We plant, upon the sunny lea,

A shadow for the noontide hour,
A shelter from the summer shower,
When we plant the apple tree.

What plant we in this apple tree?
Sweets for a hundred flowery springs
To load the May wind's restless wings,
When, from the orchard row, he pours
Its fragrance through our open doors;
A world of blossoms for the bee,
Flowers for the sick girl's silent room,
For the glad infant sprigs of bloom,
We plant with the apple tree.

What plant we in this apple tree?
Fruits that shall swell in sunny June,
And redden in the August noon,
And drop, when gentle airs come by,
That fan the blue September sky,

While children come, with cries of glee, And seek them where the fragrant grass Betrays their bed to those who pass,

At the foot of the apple tree.

And when, above this apple tree,
The winter stars are quivering bright,
And winds go howling through the night,
Girls, whose young eyes o'erflow with mirth,
Shall peel its fruit by cottage hearth,

And guests in prouder homes shall see,
Heaped with the grape of Cintra's vine
And golden orange of the line,

The fruit of the apple tree.

The fruitage of this apple tree
Winds, and our flag of stripe and star,
Shall bear to coasts that lie afar,
Where men shall wonder at the view,
And ask in what fair groves they grew;
And sojourners beyond the sea
Shall think of childhood's careless day
And long, long hours of summer play,
In the shade of the apple tree.

Each year shall give this apple tree
A broader flush of roseate bloom,
A deeper maze of verdurous gloom,
And loosen, when the frost clouds lower,
The crisp brown leaves in thicker shower.

Green Things Growing

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