June (Lowell)

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June (Lowell)
by James Russell Lowell
"June" (by James Russell Lowell, 1819-91), is a fragment from The Vision of Sir Launfal (1848).

    What is so rare as a day in June?
    Then, if ever, come perfect days;
    Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,
      And over it softly her warm ear lays:
    Whether we look, or whether we listen,
    We hear life murmur, or see it glisten;
    Every clod feels a stir of might,
      An instinct within it that reaches and towers,
    And, groping blindly above it for light,
      Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers;
    The flush of life may well be seen
      Thrilling back over hills and valleys;
    The cowslip startles in meadows green.
      The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice,
    And there's never a leaf nor a blade too mean
      To be some happy creature's palace;
    The little bird sits at his door in the sun,
      Atilt like a blossom among the leaves,
    And lets his illumined being o'errun
      With the deluge of summer it receives;
    His mate feels the eggs beneath her wings,
    And the heart in her dumb breast flutters and sings;
    He sings to the wide world, and she to her nest,--
    In the nice ear of Nature which song is the best?