Poems That Every Child Should Know/June

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For works with similar titles, see June.


"June" (by James Russell Lowell, 1819-91) is a fragment from "The Vision of Sir Launfal." It finds a place in this volume because it is the most perfect description of a charming day ever written.

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?

James Russell Lowell.