When the Summer sun is shining,
And the green things push and grow,
Oft my heart runs over measure,
With its flowing fount of pleasure,
As I feel the sea winds blow;
Ah, then life is good, I know.
And I think of sweet birds building,
And of children fair and free;
And of glowing sun-kissed meadows,
And of tender twilight shadows,
And of boats upon the sea.
Oh, then life seems good to me!
Then unbidden and unwanted,
Come the darker, sadder sights;
City shop and stifling alley,
Where misfortune's children rally;
And the hot crime-breeding nights,
And the dearth of God's delights.
And I think of narrow prisons
Where unhappy songbirds dwell,
And of cruel pens and cages
Where some captured wild thing rages
Like a madman in his cell,
In the Zoo, the wild beasts' hell.
And I long to lift the burden
Of man's selfishness and sin;
And to open wide earth's treasures
Of God's storehouse, full of pleasures,
For my dumb and human kin,
And to ask the whole world in.
Poems of Progress and New Thought Pastels by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1911.
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