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Poems About Joy

Table of Contents

  1. Joy and Sorrow by James G. Brooks
  2. Joy by Charles Swain
  3. Away, Sad Voices by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
  4. Lost Joy by Emily Dickinson
  5. The Test by Emily Dickinson
  6. The Rainbow by John Keble
  7. Why I Smile by Kate Slaughter McKinney
  8. The Brown Thrush by Lucy Larcom
  9. Morning by Mary Bartol
  10. Pleasure-Seekers by Ruby Archer

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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."

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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