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Poems About Joy

Table of Contents

  1. Joy by Hilda Conkling
  2. Joy and Sorrow by James G. Brooks
  3. Joy by Charles Swain
  4. Joy by Georgia Douglas Johnson
  5. Joy by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse
  6. Joy by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  7. Away, Sad Voices by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
  8. Lost Joy by Emily Dickinson
  9. The Test by Emily Dickinson
  10. The Rainbow by John Keble
  11. Why I Smile by Kate Slaughter McKinney
  12. The Brown Thrush by Lucy Larcom
  13. Morning by Mary Bartol
  14. Pleasure-Seekers by Ruby Archer
  15. The Fountain Is So Happy by Annette Wynne
  16. Joy and Duty by Henry Van Dyke
  17. Nutting Song by Paul Laurence Dunbar
  18. The Joy of Hope by Peter Burn

  1. Joy

    by Hilda Conkling

    Joy is not a thing you can see.
    It is what you feel when you watch waves breaking,
    Or when you peer through a net of woven violet stems
    In Spring grass.
    It is not sunlight, not moonlight,
    But a separate shining.
    Joy lives behind people's eyes.

  2. Joy and Sorrow

    by James G. Brooks

    Joy kneels, at morning's rosy prime,
    In worship to the rising sun;
    But Sorrow loves the calmer time,
    When the day-god his course hath run:
    When Night is in her shadowy car,
    Pale Sorrow wakes while Joy doth sleep;
    And, guided by the evening star,
    She wanders forth to muse and weep.

    Joy loves to cull the summer flower,
    And wreath it round his happy brow;
    But when the dark autumnal hour
    Hath laid the leaf and blossom low;
    When the frail bud hath lost its worth,
    And Joy hath dash'd it from his crest,
    Then Sorrow takes it from the earth,
    To wither on her wither'd breast.

  3. Joy

    by Charles Swain

    Earth her summer wealth is bringing,
    Every bough is, like a lyre,
    Answering to the wind's low singing—
    Sweet as bells from Fancy's spire!
    Milder light is on the fountain,
    Softer bloom upon the flower;
    Joy comes dancing down the mountain,
    Joy with roses wreathes the hour.

    See the stars in golden dances
    O'er the fields of azure glide;
    See, the ocean soft advances—
    Sparkling light with fairy tide:
    Flowers with fond and gentle motion,
    Leaves with grace no storms annoy;
    All around—earth, heaven, and ocean—
    Feel the influence of Joy!

  4. Joy

    by Georgia Douglas Johnson

    There's a soft rosy glow o'er the whole world to-day,
    There's a freshness and fragrance that trembles in May,
    There's a lilt in the music that vibrates and thrills
    From the uttermost glades to the tops of the hills.

    Oh! I am so happy, my heart is so light,
    The shades and the shadows have vanished from sight,
    This wild pulsing gladness throbs like a sweet pain—
    O soul of me, drink, ere night falleth again!

  5. Joy

    by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse

    Now I can sing of happy things
    And let the sad world go its way,
    Since you have spoken words that turn
    The night to day.

    Now I can sow beside all streams
    And care not if another reap,
    Since all that I would garner here
    Is mine to keep.

    Now I can scatter joy about
    Like green young leaves that fall in spring,
    Because the tree is all too rich
    In bourgeoning!

  6. Joy

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    My heart is like a little bird
    That sits and sings for very gladness.
    Sorrow is some forgotten word,
    And so, except in rhyme, is sadness.

    The world is very fair to me—
    Such azure skies, such golden weather,
    I'm like a long caged bird set free,
    My heart is lighter than a feather.

    I rise rejoicing in my life;
    I live with love for God and neighbor;
    My days flow on unmarred by strife,
    And sweetened by my pleasant labor.

    Oh youth! oh spring! oh happy days,
    Ye are so passing sweet, and tender,
    And while the fleeting season stays,
    I'll revel care-free, in its splendor.

  7. Away, Sad Voices

    by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

    Away, sad voices, telling
    Of old, forgotten pain!
    My heart, at grief rebelling,
    To joy returns again.
    My life, at tears protesting,
    To long delight returns,
    Where, close of all my questing,
    Her dear eyes love discerns.

  8. Lost Joy

    by Emily Dickinson

    I had a daily bliss
    I half indifferent viewed,
    Till sudden I perceived it stir, —
    It grew as I pursued,

    Till when, around a crag,
    It wasted from my sight,
    Enlarged beyond my utmost scope,
    I learned its sweetness right.

  9. The Test

    by Emily Dickinson

    I can wade grief,
    Whole pools of it, —
    I'm used to that.
    But the least push of joy
    Breaks up my feet,
    And I tip — drunken.
    Let no pebble smile,
    'T was the new liquor, —
    That was all!

    Power is only pain,
    Stranded, through discipline,
    Till weights will hang.
    Give balm to giants,
    And they'll wilt, like men.
    Give Himmaleh, —
    They'll carry him!

  10. The Rainbow

    by John Keble

    A fragment of a rainbow bright
    Through the moist air I see,
    All dark and damp on yonder height,
    All bright and clear to me.

    An hour ago the storm was here,
    The gleam was far behind;
    So will our joys and grief appear,
    When earth has ceased to blind.

    Grief will be joy if on its edge
    Fall soft that holiest ray,
    Joy will be grief if no faint pledge
    Be there of heavenly day.

  11. Why I Smile

    by Kate Slaughter McKinney

    I smile because the world is fair;
    Because the sky is blue.
    Because I find, no matter where
    I go, a friend that’s true.

    I smile because the earth is green,
    The sun so near and bright,
    Because the days that o’er us lean
    Are full of warmth and light.

    I smile as past the yards I go,
    Though strange and new the place,
    The violets seem my step to know,
    And look up in my face.

    I smile to hear the robin’s note.
    He comes so newly dressed,
    A love song throbbing in his throat,
    A rose pinned on his breast.

    And so the truth I’ll not disown,
    Because the spring is nigh;
    My heart has somewhat better grown,
    And I forget to sigh.

  12. The Brown Thrush

    by Lucy Larcom

    There's a merry brown thrush sitting up in a tree;
    "He's singing to me! he's singing to me!"
    And what does he say, little girl, little boy?
    "Oh, the world's running over with joy!
    Don't You hear? Don't you see?
    Hush! look! In my tree
    I'm as happy as happy can be!"

    And the brown thrush keeps singing, "A nest do you see,
    And five eggs hid by me in the juniper tree?
    Don't meddle! don't touch! little girl, little boy,
    Or the world will lose some of its joy!
    Now I'm glad! now I'm free!
    And I always shall be,
    If you never bring sorrow to me."

    So the merry brown thrush sings away in the tree,
    To you and to me, to you and to me;
    And he sings all the day, little girl, little boy,
    "Oh, the world's running over with joy!
    But long it won't be,
    Don't you know? Don't you see?
    Unless we're as good as can be."

  13. Morning

    by Mary Bartol

    Above the hills a saffron glow—
    The heavenly azure deepens higher—
    While through dark pines, gleams long and low
    A floating lake of fire!

    Within the grove fresh winds awake,
    A little gush of song is heard,
    And every plumy leaf of brake
    By breezy sighs is stirred.

    One moment's chant—a hush profound—
    Soft songs and ferny dances cease;
    To silence dies the murmuring sound,
    And motion glides to peace.

    The dawn has come with ecstasy,
    And I, a part of her and clay,
    Breathe in the joy she giveth me,
    And put my care away.

  14. Pleasure-Seekers

    by Ruby Archer

    The world is sad with seekers after pleasure.
    Blind eyes deny—they will not see.
    The greatest joys defy their paltry measure
    With worth of simple dignity.

  15. The Fountain Is So Happy

    by Annette Wynne

    The fountain is so happy.
    The fountain is so glad,
    You cannot make it sorry
    You cannot make it sad.

    It loves the sunshine and the air,
    It loves to spring and dart,
    But all the fountain's joyousness
    Begins inside its heart.

    It bubbles up with happiness,
    It sparkles all day through,
    It bubbles and flows over
    And shares its joy with you.

  16. Joy and Duty

    by Henry Van Dyke

    "Joy is a Duty,"—so with golden lore
    The Hebrew rabbis taught in days of yore,
    And happy human hearts heard in their speech
    Almost the highest wisdom man can reach.

    But one bright peak still rises far above,
    And there the Master stands whose name is Love,
    Saying to those whom weary tasks employ:
    "Life is divine when Duty is a Joy."

  17. Nutting Song

    by Paul Laurence Dunbar

    The November sun invites me,
    And although the chill wind smites me,
    I will wander to the woodland
    Where the laden trees await;
    And with loud and joyful singing
    I will set the forest ringing,
    As if I were king of Autumn,
    And Dame Nature were my mate,—

    While the squirrel in his gambols
    Fearless round about me ambles,
    As if he were bent on showing
    In my kingdom he’d a share;
    While my warm blood leaps and dashes,
    And my eye with freedom flashes,
    As my soul drinks deep and deeper
    Of the magic in the air.

    There’s a pleasure found in nutting,
    All life’s cares and griefs outshutting,
    That is fuller far and better
    Than what prouder sports impart.
    Who could help a carol trilling
    As he sees the baskets filling?
    Why, the flow of song keeps running
    O’er the high walls of the heart.

    So when I am home returning,
    When the sun is lowly burning,
    I will once more wake the echoes
    With a happy song of praise,—
    For the golden sunlight blessing,
    And the breezes’ soft caressing,
    And the precious boon of living
    In the sweet November days.

  18. The Joy of Hope

    by Peter Burn

    When lonely and dejected,
    When weary and oppress'd,
    I love to think of heaven,
    That place of joy and rest;
    I love when trials meet me,
    And waves of trouble roll,
    To think upon the pleasures
    Which there await my soul.

    The path I tread is dreary,
    My lot, alas! is poor;
    But heaven's promised to me
    Why should I wish for more?
    This life is but a vapour,
    Which vanisheth away,
    Earth's pleasures are as flowers,
    They wither and decay.

    But, oh! the joys of heaven
    Are not like those of earth,
    They're real and enduring,
    No tongue can speak their worth;
    No mortal eye is able
    To picture aught so fair;
    No blight, no death, no sorrow,
    Are known to enter there.

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