Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Today's poem by Mary Botham Howitt

Summer Song of the Strawberry-Girl
by Mary Botham Howitt (1799-1888)

It is summer! it is summer! how beautiful it looks!
There is sunshine on the old gray hills, and sunshine on the brooks
A singing-bird on every bough, soft perfumes on the air,
A happy smile on each young lip, and gladness everywhere.

Oh! is it not a pleasant thing to wander through the woods,
To look upon the painted flowers, and watch the opening buds;
Or seated in the deep cool shade at some tall ash-tree's root,
To fill my little basket with the sweet and scented fruit?

They tell me that my father's poor - that is no grief to me
When such a blue and brilliant sky my upturn'd eye can see;
They tell me, too, that richer girls can sport with toy and gem;
It may be so - and yet, methinks, I do not envy them.

When forth I go upon my way, a thousand toys are mine,
The clusters of dark violets, the wreaths of the wild vine;
My jewels are the primrose pale, the bind-weed, and the rose;
And shew me any courtly gem more beautiful than those.

And then the fruit! the glowing fruit, how sweet the scent it breathes!
I love to see its crimson cheek rest on the bright green leaves!
Summer's own gift of luxury, in which the poor may share,
The wild-wood fruit my eager eye is seeking everywhere.

Oh! summer is a pleasant time, with all its sounds and sights;
Its dewy mornings, balmy eves, and tranquil calm delights;
I sigh when first I see the leaves fall yellow on the plain,
And all the winter long I sing - Sweet summer, come again.


  1. A poem more perfect could not have been posted! Yes, yes, yes!
    Summer is a luxury for rich and poor as we can all freely enjoy the beauty of summer unfold!
    love it!

  2. Happy first official day of summer, Nan. Thanks for posting such an exuberant poem. I love it.

    Love the gorgeous photo in your header, too. :)

  3. summer is a pleasant time

    It can be, but it's more like autumn over here!

  4. Such a sweet poem to start my day with. Mary Botham Howitt brings such joy with her words, doesn't she?

  5. Thank you so much for sharing that Nan!!! I just loved it and even read it aloud on Skype to my mother. :-) Welcome summer...

    It has been too long since we have visited but you have been on my mind lately. How have you been? How is your beautiful home? Did you ever post a picture of the poppy you were going to take when you were last at my blog?

    Hugs from Holland ~

  6. Oh, Joanne, I felt the same way when I first read it!

    Yvette, 'exuberant' - just the right word!!

    Sorry about your weather, call me madam.

    Penny, this is the first I've read by her, and I look forward to more.

    Heidi, I love thinking of you reading it to your mother! Just so wonderful. Here are some poppy pics:


    and here:


  7. Summer can be all of those things and this should be a reminder of that. If we can divorce ourselves for a while from all of modern life's distractions and get outdoors, we'll all remember how sweet it is.

  8. Beautifully expressed, Barbara. You are so right.


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