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Mary Howitt

Summer Woods

Come ye into the summer woods;

There entereth no annoy;

All greenly wave the chestnut leaves,

And the earth is full of joy.

I cannot tell you half the sights

Of beauty you may see,—

The bursts of golden sunshine,

And many a shady tree.

There, lightly swung in bowery glades,

The honeysuckles twine;

There blooms the rose-red campion,

And the dark-blue columbine.

There grows the four-leaved plant, "true-love,"

In some dusk woodland spot;

There grows the enchanter's night-shade,

And the wood forget-me-not.

And many a merry bird is there,

Unscared by lawless men;

The blue-winged jay, the woodpecker,

And the golden-crested wren.

Come down, and ye shall see them all,

The timid and the bold;

For their sweet life of pleasantness,

It is not to be told.

And far within that summer wood,

Among the leaves so green,

There flows a little gurgling brook,

The brightest e'er was seen.

There come the little gentle birds,

Without a fear of ill,

Down to the murmuring water's edge,

And freely drink their fill.

And dash about and splash about,

The merry little things;

And look askance with bright black eyes,

And flirt their dripping wings.

I've seen the freakish squirrels drop

Down from their leafy tree,

The little squirrels with the old,—

Great joy it was to me!

And down into the running brook,

I've seen them nimbly go;

And the bright water seemed to speak

A welcome kind and low.

The nodding plants they bowed their heads

As if in heartsome cheer:

They spake unto these little things,

" 'T is merry living here!"

Oh, how my heart ran o'er with joy!

I saw that all was good,

And how we might glean up delight

All round us, if we would!

And many a wood-mouse dwelleth there,

Beneath the old wood shade,

And all day long has work to do,

Nor is of aught afraid.

The green shoots grow above their heads,

And roots so fresh and fine

Beneath their feet; nor is there strife

'Mong men for mine and thine.

There is enough for every one,

And they lovingly agree;

We might learn a lesson, all of us,

Beneath the greenwood tree.