The meadow lark’s trill and the brown thrush’s whistle
From morning to evening fill all the sweet air,
And my heart is as light as the down of a thistle –
The world is so bright and the earth is so fair.
There is life in the wood,
there is bloom on the meadow;
The air drops with songs that the merry birds sing.
The sunshine has won, in the battle with shadow,
And she’s dressed the glad earth with robes of the spring.
The bee leaves his hive for the field of red clover
And the vale where the daisies bloom white as the snow,
And a mantle of warm yellow sunshine hangs over
The calm little pond, where the pale lillies grow.
In the woodland beyond it, a thousand gay voices
Are singing in chorus some jubilant air.
The bird and the bee and all nature rejoices,
The world is so bright, and the earth is so fair.
I am glad as a child, in this beautiful weather;
I have tossed all my burdens and trials away;
My heart is as light – yes, as light as a feather; -
I am care-free, and careless, and happy to-day.
Can it be there approaches a dark, dreary to-morrow?
Can shadows e’er fall on this beautiful earth?
Ah! To-day is my own! No forebodings of sorrow
Shall darken my skies, or shall dampen my mirth.
This poem is in the public domain.
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Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919) was a popular and prolific poet. Published and lauded before she even graduated from high school, Ella preferred to write happy, upbeat poetry and was much beloved for it. More than a dozen of her poems are included in the book, Best Loved Poems of the American People (Doubleday, 2008). The familiar saying, "Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep, and you weep alone. . ." comes from her best-known poem, "Solitude." A morally strong and spiritual person, Ella believed that her purpose on earth was to practice kindness and service. Read more about her here.
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