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CHRISTOPHER PEARCE CRANCH
American poet and painter
(1813 - 1892)

If there comes a little thaw,
  Still the air is chill and raw,
    Here and there a patch of snow,
      Dirtier than the ground below,
        Dribbles down a marshy flood;
          Ankle-deep you stick in mud
            In the meadows while you sing,
              "This is Spring."
      - A Spring Growl [Spring]

One day in the bluest of summer weather,
  Sketching under a whispering oak,
    I heard five bobolinks laughing together,
      Over some ornithological joke.
      - Bird Language [Bobolinks]

December drops no weak, relenting tear,
  By our fond Summer sympathies ensnared,
    Nor from the perfect circle of the year
      Can even Winter's crystal gems be spared.
      - December [December]

Majestic flower! How purely beautiful
  Thou art, as rising from thy bower of green,
    Those dark and glossy leaves so thick and full,
      Thou standest like a high-born forest queen
        Among thy maidens clustering round so fair,--
          I love to watch thy sculptured form unfolding,
            And look into thy depths, to image there
              A fairy cavern, and while thus beholding,
                And while thy breeze floats o'er thee, matchless flower,
                  I breathe the perfume, delicate and strong,
                    That comes like incense from thy petal-bower;
                      My fancy roams those southern woods along,
                        Beneath that glorious tree, where deep among
                          The unsunned leaves thy large while flowercups hung!
      - Poem to the Magnolia Grandiflora
        [Magnolias]

When great poets sing,
  Into the night new constellations spring,
    With music in the air that dulls the craft
      Of rhetoric. So when Shakespeare sang or laughed
        The world with long, sweet Alpine echoes thrilled
          Voiceless to scholars' tongues no muse had filled
            With melody divine.
      - Shakespeare [Shakespeare]

When Nature had made all her birds,
  With no more cares to think on,
    She gave a rippling laugh and out
      There flew a Bobolinkon.
      - The Bobolinks [Bobolinks]

Thought is deeper than all speech,
  Feeling deeper than all thought;
    Souls to souls can never teach
      What unto themselves was taught.
      - Thought [Feeling]


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