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Heron Poems

Table of Contents

  1. The Blue Heron by Bliss Carman
  2. The Blue Heron by Maurice Thompson
  3. A Green Heron by Maurice Thompson
  4. The Heron by Edward Hovell-Thurlow

  1. The Blue Heron

    by Bliss Carman

    I see the great blue heron
    Rising among the reeds
    And floating down the wind,
    Like a gliding sail
    With the set of the stream.

    I hear the two-horse mower
    Clacking among the hay,
    In the heat of a July noon,
    And the driver's voice
    As he turns his team.

    I see the meadow lilies
    Flecked with their darker tan,
    The elms, and the great white clouds;
    And all the world
    Is a passing dream.

  2. The Blue Heron

    by Maurice Thompson

    Where water-grass grows overgreen
    On damp, cool flats by gentle streams,
    Still as a ghost and sad of mien,
    With half-closed eyes the heron dreams.

    Above him in the sycamore
    The flicker beats a dull tattoo;
    Through pawpaw groves the soft airs pour
    Gold dust of blooms and fragrance new.

    And from the thorn it loves so well,
    The oriole flings out its strong,
    Sharp lay, wrought in the crucible
    Of its flame-circled soul of song.

    The heron nods. The charming runes
    Of Nature's music thrill his dreams;
    The joys of many Mays and Junes
    Wash past him like cool summer streams.

    What tranquil life, what joyful rest,
    To feel the touch of fragrant grass,
    And doze like him, while tenderest
    Dream-waves across my sleep would pass!

  3. A Green Heron

    by Maurice Thompson

    Where a bright creek into the river's side
    Shoots its keen arrow, a green heron sits,
    Watching the sunfish as it gleaming flits
    From sheen to shade. He sees the turtle glide
    Through the clear spaces of the rhythmic stream,
    Like some weird fancy through a poet's dream;
    He turns his golden eyes from side to side,
    In very gladness that he is not dead,
    While the swift wind-stream ripples overhead
    And the creek's wavelets babble underneath!

    O bird! that in a cheerful gloom dost live,
    Thou art, to me, a type of happy death;
    For when thou fliest away no mate will grieve
    Because a lone, strange spirit vanisheth!

  4. The Heron

    by Edward Hovell-Thurlow

    O melancholy bird, a winter's day
    Thou standest by the margin of the pool,
    And, taught by God, dost thy whole being school
    To Patience, which all evil can allay.
    God has appointed thee the Fish thy prey;
    And given thyself a lesson to the Fool
    Unthrifty, to submit to moral rule,
    And his unthinking course by thee to weigh.
    There need not schools, nor the Professor's chair,
    Though these be good, true wisdom to impart;
    He, who has not enough for these to spare
    Of time, or gold, may yet amend his heart,
    And teach his soul, by brooks and rivers fair:
    Nature is always wise in every part.