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Skylark Poems

Table of Contents

  1. To a Skylark by William Wordsworth
  2. To a Skylark by William Wordsworth
  3. The Skylark by James Hogg
  4. The Skylark by Frederick Tennyson
  5. To a Skylark by Percy Bysshe Shelley
  6. Song by Hartley Coleridge
  7. Overflow by John Banister Tabb
  8. The Lark Song by James W. Whilt
  9. A Green Cornfield by Christina Rossetti

  1. To a Skylark

    by William Wordsworth. (1805 version - Wordsworth wrote two poems by this title.)

    Up with me! up with me into the clouds!
    For thy song, Lark, is strong;
    Up with me, up with me into the clouds!
    Singing, singing,
    With clouds and sky about thee ringing,
    Lift me, guide me till I find
    That spot which seems so to thy mind!

    I have walked through wildernesses dreary
    And to-day my heart is weary;
    Had I now the wings of a Fairy,
    Up to thee would I fly.
    There is madness about thee, and joy divine
    In that song of thine;
    Lift me, guide me high and high
    To thy banqueting-Place in the sky.

    Joyous as morning
    Thou art laughing and scorning;
    Thou hast a nest for thy love and thy rest.
    And, though little troubled with sloth,
    Drunken Lark! thou would'st be loth
    To be such a traveler as I.
    Happy, happy Liver,
    With a soul as strong as a mountain river
    Pouring out praise to the Almighty Giver,
    Joy and jollity be with us both!

    Alas! my journey, rugged and uneven,
    Through prickly moors or dusty ways must wind;
    But hearing thee, or others of thy kind,
    As full of gladness and as free of heaven,
    I, with my fate contented, will plod on,
    And hope for higher raptures, when life's day is done.

  2. To a Skylark

    by William Wordsworth. (1825 version - Wordsworth wrote two poems by this title.)

    Ethereal minstrel! pilgrim of the sky!
    Dost thou despise the earth where cares abound?
    Or, while the wings aspire, are heart and eye
    Both with thy nest upon the dewy ground?
    Thy nest which thou canst drop into at will,
    Those quivering wings composed, that music still!

    To the last point of vision, and beyond,
    Mount, daring warbler!—that love-prompted strain
    —'Twixt thee and thine a never-failing bond—
    Thrills not the less the bosom of the plain:
    Yet might'st thou seem, proud privilege! to sing
    All independent of the leafy spring.

    Leave to the nightingale her shady wood;
    A privacy of glorious light is thine,
    Whence thou dost pour upon the world a flood
    Of harmony, with instinct more divine:
    Type of the wise, who soar, but never roam—
    True to the kindred points of Heaven and Home!

  3. The Skylark

    by James Hogg

    Bird of the wilderness,
    Blithesome and cumberless,
    Sweet be thy matin o'er moorland and lea!
    Emblem of happiness,
    Blest is thy dwelling-place—
    O to abide in the desert with thee!

    Wild is thy lay and loud,
    Far in the downy cloud,
    Love gives it energy, love gave it birth.
    Where, on thy dewy wing,
    Where art thou journeying?
    Thy lay is in heaven, thy love is on earth.

    O'er fell and fountain sheen,
    O'er moor and mountain green,
    O'er the red streamer that heralds the day,
    Over the cloudlet dim,
    Over the rainbow's rim,
    Musical cherub, soar, singing, away!

    Then, when the gloaming comes,
    Low in the heather blooms
    Sweet will thy welcome and bed of love be!
    Emblem of happiness,
    Blest is thy dwelling-place—
    O to abide in the desert with thee!

  4. The Skylark

    by Frederick Tennyson

    How the blithe Lark runs up the golden stair
    That leans through cloudy gates from Heaven to Earth,
    And all alone in the empyreal air
    Fills it with jubilant sweet songs of mirth;
    How far he seems, how far
    With the light upon his wings,
    Is it a bird, or star
    That shines, and sings?

    What matter if the days be dark and frore,
    That sunbeam tells of other days to be,
    And singing in the light that floods him o'er
    In joy he overtakes Futurity;
    Under cloud-arches vast
    He peeps, and sees behind
    Great Summer coming fast
    Adown the wind!

    And now he dives into a rainbow's rivers,
    In streams of gold and purple he is drowned,
    Shrilly the arrows of his song he shivers,
    As though the stormy drops were turned to sound;
    And now he issues through,
    He scales a cloudy tower,
    Faintly, like falling dew,
    His fast notes shower.

    Let every wind be hushed, that I may hear
    The wondrous things he tells the World below,
    Things that we dream of he is watching near,
    Hopes that we never dreamed he would bestow;
    Alas! the storm hath rolled
    Back the gold gates again,
    Or surely he had told
    All Heaven to men!

    So the victorious Poet sings alone,
    And fills with light his solitary home,
    And through that glory sees new worlds foreshown,
    And hears high songs, and triumphs yet to come;
    He waves the air of Time
    With thrills of golden chords,
    And makes the world to climb
    On linked words.

    What if his hair be gray, his eyes be dim,
    If wealth forsake him, and if friends be cold,
    Wonder unbars her thousand gates to him,
    Truth never fails, nor Beauty waxes old;
    More than he tells his eyes
    Behold, his spirit hears,
    Of grief, and joy, and sighs
    'Twixt joy and tears.

    Blest is the man who with the sound of song
    Can charm away the heartache, and forget
    The frost of Penury, and the stings of Wrong,
    And drown the fatal whisper of Regret!
    Darker are the abodes
    Of Kings, though his be poor,
    While Fancies, like the Gods,
    Pass through his door.

    Singing thou scalest Heaven upon thy wings,
    Thou liftest a glad heart into the skies;
    He maketh his own sunrise, while he sings,
    And turns the dusty Earth to Paradise;
    I see thee sail along Far up the sunny streams,
    Unseen, I hear his song,
    I see his dreams.

  5. To a Skylark

    by Percy Bysshe Shelley

    Hail to thee, blithe spirit!
    Bird thou never wert,
    That from heaven, or near it,
    Pourest thy full heart
    In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.

    Higher still and higher,
    From the earth thou springest
    Like a cloud of fire;
    The blue deep thou wingest,
    And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.

    In the golden lightning
    Of the sunken sun,
    O'er which clouds are bright'ning,
    Thou dost float and run;
    Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.

    The pale purple even
    Melts around thy flight;
    Like a star of heaven
    In the broad daylight
    Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight.

    Keen as are the arrows
    Of that silver sphere,
    Whose intense lamp narrows
    In the white dawn clear,
    Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.

    All the earth and air
    With thy voice is loud,
    As, when night is bare,
    From one lonely cloud
    The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflowed.

    What thou art we know not;
    What is most like thee?
    From rainbow clouds there flow not
    Drops so bright to see
    As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.

    Like a poet hidden
    In the light of thought,
    Singing hymns unbidden
    Till the world is wrought
    To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:

    Like a high-born maiden
    In a palace tower,
    Soothing her love-laden
    Soul in secret hour
    With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower:

    Like a glow-worm golden
    In a dell of dew,
    Scattering unbeholden
    Its aerial hue
    Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the view:

    Like a rose embowered
    In its own green leaves,
    By warm winds deflowered,
    Till the scent it gives
    Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-winged thieves:

    Sound of vernal showers
    On the twinkling grass,
    Rain-awakened flowers,
    All that ever was
    Joyous, and clear, and fresh, thy music doth surpass.

    Teach us, sprite or bird,
    What sweet thoughts are thine:
    I have never heard
    Praise of love or wine
    That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

    Chorus hymeneal,
    Or triumphal chaunt,
    Matched with thine would be all
    But an empty vaunt—
    A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.

    What objects are the fountains
    Of thy happy strain?
    What fields, or waves, or mountains?
    What shapes of sky or plain?
    What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of pain?

    With thy clear keen joyance
    Languor cannot be:
    Shadow of annoyance
    Never came near thee:
    Thou lovest; but ne'er knew love's sad satiety.

    Waking or asleep,
    Thou of death must deem
    Things more true and deep
    Than we mortals dream,
    Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?

    We look before and after,
    And pine for what is not:
    Our sincerest laughter
    With some pain is fraught;
    Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

    Yet if we could scorn
    Hate, and pride, and fear;
    If we were things born
    Not to shed a tear,
    I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.

    Better than all measures
    Of delightful sound,
    Better than all treasures
    That in books are found,
    Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground!

    Teach me half the gladness
    That thy brain must know,
    Such harmonious madness
    From my lips would flow,
    The world should listen then, as I am listening now.

  6. Song

    by Hartley Coleridge

    'Tis sweet to hear the merry lark,
    That bids a blithe good-morrow;
    But sweeter to hark, in the twinkling dark,
    To the soothing song of sorrow.
    Oh nightingale! What doth she ail?
    And is she sad or jolly?
    For ne'er on earth was sound of mirth
    So like to melancholy.

    The merry lark, he soars on high,
    No worldly thought o'ertakes him;
    He sings aloud to the clear blue sky,
    And the daylight that awakes him.
    As sweet a lay, as loud, as gay,
    The nightingale is trilling;
    With feeling bliss, no less than his,
    Her little heart is thrilling.

    Yet ever and anon, a sigh
    Peers through her lavish mirth;
    For the lark's bold song is of the sky,
    And hers is of the earth.
    By night and day, she tunes her lay,
    To drive away all sorrow;
    For bliss, alas! to-night must pass,
    And woe may come to-morrow.

  7. Overflow

    by John Banister Tabb

    With sudden gush
    As from a fountain, sings in yonder bush
    The Hermit Thrush.

    Did ever Lark
    With swifter scintillations fling the spark
    That fires the dark?

    Like April rain
    Of mist and sunshine mingled, moves the strain
    O'er hill and plain.

    As love, O Song,
    In flame or torrent sweep through Life along,
    O'er grief and wrong.

  8. The Lark Song

    by James W. Whilt

    This morn at dawn I woke,
    The rain beat its tattoo,
    And through the dewy, fragrant air
    A lark's song whistled through:

    And while he sang his song so true,
    Then sang my soul's refrain;
    "Oh! may my heart, like yours, dear bird,
    Sing ever through the rain."

    And when the sky of life seems grey,
    The sun itself seems very dark,
    And all ahead is black despair,
    I bethink me of the lark.

    And always have I found this fact;
    However low the clouds may drop—
    The sun is always shining clear
    Upon the highest mountain top:

    So we should look away beyond
    The things upon this world below,
    And sing our praises unto Him
    Who makes the rain and snow:

    And ever as I travel on
    Upon this life's uncertain road,
    I meet with fellows every day
    Who carry just as big a load.

    No matter if the sky is dark,
    Or if it rains the whole day long,
    God's messenger from out the sky
    Is pouring forth his little song.

  9. A Green Cornfield

    by Christina Rossetti

    "And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest."

    The earth was green, the sky was blue:
    I saw and heard one sunny morn
    A skylark hang between the two,
    A singing speck above the corn;

    A stage below, in gay accord,
    White butterflies danced on the wing,
    And still the singing skylark soared
    And silent sank, and soared to sing.

    The cornfield stretched a tender green
    To right and left beside my walks;
    I knew he had a nest unseen
    Somewhere among the million stalks:

    And as I paused to hear his song
    While swift the sunny moments slid,
    Perhaps his mate sat listening long,
    And listened longer than I did.

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