Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE NESTING SWALLOWS, by CELIA LEIGHTON THAXTER

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THE NESTING SWALLOWS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The summer day was spoiled with fitful storm.
Last Line: To make me glad and grateful. That is all.
Subject(s): Nature; Summer; Swallows

The summer day was spoiled with fitful storm.
At night the wind died and the soft rain dropped
with lulling murmur, and the air was warm.
And all the tumult and the trouble stopped.

We sat within the bright and quiet room
glowing with light and flowers and friendliness;
and faces in the radiance seemed to bloom
touched into beauty as by a caress.

And one struck music from the ivory keys—
Beethoven's music. And the awful chords
upbore us like the waves of mighty seas
that sing aloud, "All glory is the Lord's!"

And the great sound awoke, beneath the eaves,
the nestling swallows. And their twittering cry
with the light touch of raindrops on the leaves
broke into the grand surging melody.

Across its deep tremendous questioning,
its solemn acquiescence, low and clear,
the rippling notes ran sweet—with airy ring
surprised, inquiring, but devoid of fear;

lapsing to silence at the music's close—
a dreamy clamor, a contented stir.
"It made no discord," smiling as he rose,
said the great master's great interpreter.

No discord, truly. Ever nature weaves
her sunshine with her shadow, joy with pain:
the asking thunder through high heaven that cleaves
is lost in the low ripple of the rain.

About the edges of the dread abyss
the innocent blossoms laugh toward the sun.
Questions of life and death, of bale or bliss
a thousand tender touches overrun.

Why should I chronicle so slight a thing?
But such things light up life like wayside flowers,
and memory, like a bird with folded wing,
broods with still joy o'er such delicious hours.

Dear unforgotten time. Fair summer night!
Thy nestling swallows and thy dropping rain,
the golden music and the faces bright
will steal with constant sweetness back again:

a joy to keep when winter darkness comes,
a living sense of beauty to recall,
a warm bright thought when bitter cold benumbs,
to make me glad and grateful. That is all.

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