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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

A Perfect Day

By Ina Donna Coolbrith (1841–1928)

[From A Perfect Day, and Other Poems. 1881.]

I WILL be glad to-day: the sun

Smiles all adown the land;

The lilies lean along the way;

Serene on either hand,

The full-blown roses, red and white,

In perfect beauty stand.

The mourning-dove within the woods

Forgets, nor longer grieves;

A light wind lifts the bladed corn,

And ripples the ripe sheaves;

High overhead some happy bird

Sings softly in the leaves.

The butterflies flit by, and bees;

A peach falls to the ground;

The tinkle of a bell is heard

From some far pasture-mound;

The crickets in the warm, green grass

Chirp with a softened sound.

The sky looks down upon the sea,

Blue, with not anywhere

The shadow of a passing cloud;

The sea looks up as fair—

So bright a picture on its breast

As if it smiled to wear.

A day too glad for laughter—nay,

Too glad for happy tears!

The fair earth seems as in a dream

Of immemorial years:

Perhaps of that far morn when she

Sang with her sister spheres.

It may be that she holds to-day

Some sacred Sabbath feast;

It may be that some patient soul

Has entered to God’s rest,

For whose dear sake He smiles on us,

And all the day is blest.