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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Elizabeth Gostwycke Roberts

In the Golden Birch

HOW the leaves sing to the wind!

And the wind with its turbulent voices sweet

Gives back the praise of the leaves, as is meet,

To the soft blue sky, where the cumulous clouds are thinned,

And driven away, like a flock of frightened sheep,

By the wind that waketh and putteth to sleep.

Here, in the golden birch,

Folded in rapture of golden light,

I taste the joy of the birds in their flight;

And I watch the flickering shadows, that sway and lurch

And flutter, like dancing brownies, over the green,

And the birch is singing wherein I lean.

From over the purple hills

Comes the wind with its strange sweet song to the land;

And the earth looks bright, as it might when planned

By the Maker, and left unblemished of human ills;

And the river runs, like a child to its mother’s knee,

To the heart of the great unresting sea.

How perfect the day, and sweet!

Over me, limitless heavens of blue;

Close to me, leaves that the wind sifts through;

And the one sweet song, that the wind and the leaves repeat,

Till the mild, hushed meadows listen, crowned with light,

And the hill-tops own its might!