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Peaceful Poems

Table of Contents

  1. Quiet by Madison Cawein
  2. The Song of the Wind in the Cloud by Ellen Rolfe Veblen
  3. On Evening by Eliza and Sarah Wolcott
  4. My Cloud by Kate Slaughter McKinney
  5. A Picture by William Osborn Stoddard
  6. Silent Hours by Ed Blair
  7. Spring Quiet by Christina Rossetti
  8. Twilight by Ruby Archer

  1. Quiet

    by Madison Cawein

    A log-hut in the solitude,
    A clapboard roof to rest beneath!
    This side, the shadow-haunted wood;
    That side, the sunlight-haunted heath.

    At daybreak Morn shall come to me
    In raiment of the white winds spun;
    Slim in her rosy hand the key
    That opes the gateway of the sun.

    Her smile shall help my heart enough
    With love to labour all the day,
    And cheer the road, whose rocks are rough,
    With her smooth footprints, each a ray.

    At dusk a voice shall call afar,
    A lone voice like the whippoorwill's;
    And, on her shimmering brow one star,
    Night shall descend the western hills.

    She at my door till dawn shall stand,
    With gothic eyes, that, dark and deep,
    Are mirrors of a mystic land,
    Fantastic with the towns of sleep.

  2. The Song of the Wind in the Cloud

    by Ellen Rolfe Veblen

    Rock, rock, my hollow boat!
    Sleepy, sighing, swinging boat!
    Woven from the spray of ocean,
    Swan or seamaid taught thee motion!
    Wistfully earth's children muse
    On thy blithe and wayward cruise,
    All too far remote!

    Float, float, my cradle cloud!
    Moonlit goes my pearly cloud;
    Tossing in the silvery spaces,
    Drifting in the dusky places,
    Smiling earth-children see
    How the night enchanteth thee
    For thy voyage proud.

    Sail, sail, my chiming shell!
    Murmuring flies my curving shell,
    Followed by the laughing star eyes —
    Haste! my cavern home afar lies!
    Dreamily earth-children trace
    'Mong the stars thine airy pace,
    Shiver by thy spell.

  3. On Evening

    by Eliza and Sarah Wolcott

    A stillness now pervades the busy world,
    As night approaches with her mantle gray,
    The cricket now begins her evening lay,
    And all to peace, and quiet sleep, are lull'd.

    This is the hour, if bliss is felt below,
    For sweet reflection now to make complete,—
    Her quiet solitude her calm retreat,—
    More of herself, and less of earth to know.

    The hour to contemplate the soul's true worth,
    When noise and busy care are lull'd away;
    The moon comes forth behind her sable gray,
    And all the stars begin to sparkle forth.

    Now sweet composure calms the mind to rest,
    And all is still, save where the distant bell
    Dies on the ear, the watch-men cry "all's well,"
    Then quiet peace responsive fills the breast.

    Here, in an hour of contemplation sweet,
    The soul can sing with unmolested ease,
    Of future joys, where all may find release
    From this vain world, transform'd to joys complete.

    This world's a scene of varied light and shade,
    Where grief and tears successive cross our way;
    But there's a rest where darkness turns to day—
    Where sorrow never shall the soul invade.

  4. My Cloud

    by Kate Slaughter McKinney

    There's a cloud on my life’s horizon
    wonderful shape and hue,
    Like the feathery down of a snow-drift
    ’Tis dimpled with changeful blue.
    I gaze on its shadowy outline
    And drink in the calm of the skies,
    Till I fancy it floats out of heaven,
    As an angel in disguise.

    No slumbering storm in its bosom,
    No hint of the lightning’s glare,
    Only a feast for the heart and soul
    Is this treasure of the air;
    For I know from its silvery edges,
    And glimpses of hidden gold,
    That a picture of rare tranquility
    Its tender depths enfold.

    Else whence is this mystic feeling
    Of peace that’s stealing o’er me?
    Like the magic of summer moonlight
    Enchanting a restless sea.
    O! heavenly cloud! why are you
    So calm? so angelic you seem,
    My spirit escapes in its longing—
    I am lost in a beautiful dream.

    Up, up on the wings of a swallow
    Piercing the heaven’s deep blue,
    O’er meadow and mount I am rising,
    And floating, sweet spirit, to you;
    Onward, in trance I am wafted,
    Now into the cloudlet above;
    And a face smiles out from its drapery,
    And ah! ’tis a face that I love.

  5. A Picture

    by William Osborn Stoddard

    Saturday night: the sun is going down;
    The purple light glows on the river’s breast,
    Far in the east the dull clouds watch and frown,
    Jealous of all the glory in the west;

    The listless trees lean out along the shore
    To watch their shadows lengthen down the tide;
    And, far above us, slowly floating o’er,
    The weary birds on homeward pinions glide.

    The steamer, on the sand-bar fast asleep,
    Tired with the week’s long labor, heavily lies;
    Longer and longer still the shadows creep,
    And evening mists from out the distance rise.

    All things in peace and patience seem to wait,
    As if in faith that, when the morning came,
    The sun would once more light his golden gate
    With all the glory of his entering flame.

  6. Silent Hours

    by Ed Blair

    When I am silent let me rest alone,
    Oh! shut the door twixt me and anxious care;
    For these are hours that I wish for my own—
    The hours of rest that mend the daily wear.

    When I am silent do not come to me
    And ask with anxious look if I am well,
    I'm only striving for an hour that's free—
    In one hour of forgetfulness to dwell.

    Then let me lie beneath a forest tree,
    Or out where rolling prairies stretch away;
    Where gentle breezes whisper there to me,
    And sing their sweet rest songs the livelong day.

    For sad the soul when Nature cannot come
    Into its "deep recesses" for awhile;
    And drive away all care, and start the hum
    Of music in the heart, and leave a smile.

  7. Spring Quiet

    by Christina Rossetti

    Gone were but the Winter,
    Come were but the Spring,
    I would go to a covert
    Where the birds sing;

    Where in the white-thorn
    Singeth a thrush,
    And a robin sings
    In the holly-bush.

    Full of fresh scents
    Are the budding boughs,
    Arching high over
    A cool green house:

    Full of sweet scents,
    And whispering air
    Which sayeth softly:
    "We spread no snare;

    "Here dwell in safety,
    Here dwell alone,
    With a clear stream
    And a mossy stone.

    "Here the sun shineth
    Most shadily;
    Here is heard an echo
    Of the far sea,
    Though far off it be."

  8. Twilight

    by Ruby Archer

    Twilight enters like a spirit
    With a finger on her lip:
    "Done, O Toiler, be thy labor,
    Lethe's cup I bid thee sip.

    "Let me cool thy brow with dreaming,
    Let me glad thine heart with peace,
    And from every care of daytime
    Give thy being full release.

    "Though I cannot thrill thy pulses
    With the ardent glow of noon,
    Yet I bring a tender glamour—
    Evening star and crescent moon.

    "Weary, lean upon me wholly—
    Heavy head and burning breast.
    I will give thee calm for grieving,
    For thy trouble—perfect rest."