Public Domain Nature Poem for Card Making or Junk Journaling: A Spring Morning by Anne Beale


From 1880, here is a Victorian poem on aged paper entitled "A Spring Morning" by Anne Beale. Accompanying the poem is a decorative border with an illustration of flower pickers in early spring gathering flowers in the open fields surrounding a big house. There is also a posy of spring flowers embellishing the foreground. You can download a high-res JPEG of the original poem (without a watermark) for card making or junk journaling here. The poem goes as follows:

How joyfully the heart doth ring
A merry peal of pleasure
At the nativity of spring,
And the earth's renewing treasure!
How the thoughts leap up, welcoming
The gladsome vernal measure!

The squirrel, in his wild delight,
From branch to branch is springing;
The warbling lark her homeward flight
In ecstasy is winging;
While every mead and grove and height
With joyous song is ringing.

The snowdrop from her winter rest
Is joyously awaking;
The merry primrose bares her breast,
A fill of pleasure taking;
The violet, from her mossy nest,
In loveliness is breaking.

Wandering 'neath the cloudless sky,
The children shout for gladness,
And deem the sun's enkindling eye
An antidote for sadness;
Then would not murmuring needlessly
Be even worse than madness?

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From my personal collection. All digitized poems by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source when sharing or publishing.

Public Domain Nature Poem for Card Making or Junk Journaling: An Open-Air Hymn by Beatrice Hanscom


A poem of thanksgiving for nature's gifts published in July 1904. The decorative border of various flowers was drawn by the artist and illustrator, Henry McMaster. You can download a high-res JPEG of the original poem (without a watermark) for card making or junk journaling here.

This is "An Open-Air Hymn" written by Beatrice Hanscom:

Not for rich gifts of gold or gems,
Not for the gauds but few afford,
But for thy sunshine, pure and free,
I thank thee, Lord.

For those deep draughts of air I quaff
When, shoulders squared and blood aglow,
I swing along the country road
Where daisies blow.

And in the sultry noonday heat,
For wayside rest, lulled by the breeze,
As, shaded by the sheltering oak,
I take my ease.

For every winding forest-path,
For every stretch of sedge and sea,
For every pebbly brook that rills
Its song of glee.

For that glad radiance when the sun
His crimson cloud of glory spills,
For every violet mist that veils
The distant hills.

For every bloom the summer brings,
For every sheaf the harvest binds,
For spring's first bud, for winter's snow
And bracing winds,

For these thy gifts -- for earth and sky
Mingling their moods in sweet accord,
For health, and for the seeing eye,
I thank thee, Lord.

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From my personal collection. All digitized poems by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source when sharing or publishing.

Spot that Plant: Erythronium americanum (Trout Lily or Adder's Tongue)


Dancing faces you towards Heaven, whichever direction you turn.
Terri Guillemets

I took the picture above while on a family walk at Toronto's G. Lord Ross Park, located in the West Don River valley north of Finch Avenue. This is a great park for a long walk with the dog as it has an extensive nature trail. We especially love it in the spring when you can see the vegetation coming back to life and in the fall for the amazing colours on the trees!

Also called adder's tongue, the yellow trout-lily (Erythronium americanum) is one of the earliest wildflowers you will see in spring, sometimes appearing even while there is still snow on the ground. This particular picture is somewhat unusual because it shows the flower with its head tossed confidently back, unlike its usual tendency of nodding shyly on its thin, gangly stalk, its face hidden away from you. Since the blooms are diminutive and shrink timidly into the embrace of deep layers of dead leaves, you really have to look closely to detect this ephemeral wildflower. You will have better luck locating it by looking for its green and brown spotted leaves that makes the plant look like it has tied an army jacket around its waist!

Here is a wonderful article on this little flower's name origins and how to propagate trout lilies in your backyard garden from the Canadian Wildlife Federation. Have you ever spotted this plant? Leave a comment and let us know!

Yellow trout-lily (Erythronium americanum) in Guelph, Ontario, Canada
by Ryan Hodnett on Wikimedia Commons

© 2020 FieldandGarden.com. All rights reserved. (Originally published in 2016.)

Public Domain Nature Poem for Card Making or Junk Journaling: An April Song by an Unknown Author


From 1881, here is a Victorian poem called "An April Song" by an unknown author. Accompanying the poem is a decorative border with an illustration of a blossoming tree and various spring flowers plus a scattering of assorted planting paraphernalia in the garden. You can download a high-res JPEG of the poem for card making or junk journaling projects here.

The poem goes as follows:

Earth's heart with gladness glows again,
Gone is all wintry gloom;
The sun peeps through my lattice-pane,
And fills my little room
With life divine, and bids me fly
My books and pens awhile,
To wander forth beneath a sky
That wears an April smile.

Old loves at every step I meet,
Sweet fragrance fills the air;
Such songs of praise that birds repeat,
As move my soul to prayer.
E'en primrose clusters on the banks,
And violets nesting low,
To Him uplift a look of thanks,
From whom all blessings flow.

The hyacinth hangs her languid head,
And waits the gentle May,
Now drawing near with noiseless tread,
To kiss her tears away;
The fields with daisies are besprent,
As white as flakes of snow;
And from the whispering woods are sent
Joy-murmurs, soft and low.

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From my personal collection. All digitized poems by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source when sharing or publishing.

Public Domain Nature Poem for Card Making or Junk Journaling: Each In His Place by Caris Brooke


A Victorian poem from 1893 by Caris Brooke called "Each In His Place." The verses are accompanied by an illustration of a pair of birds up in their nest, snugly anchored to a branch of flowering apple blossoms. Here is how it goes:

Bird, sitting there in the bright sun's ray,
You do nothing but sing all the summer's day,
While I have my lessons to learn.
Now leave your perch on that blossoming spray,
Give me your wings, and in my place stay,
Till I return.

Oh, to fly so far! Oh, to soar so high!
Till I find the gold door in the bright blue sky,
And the way that leads me to the moon;
Then good-bye to lessons, to sums good-bye,
Don't expect me back when I've learned to fly --
At least not soon.

For answer, the bird's song seemed to say,
"Will you do my work while I am away?
Do you know how to build a nest?
Feathers and wool, and dry moss and hay --
Can you fit them in, and make them stay,
If you did your best?

"You must never leave it to romp and play;
You must sit quite still the whole long day,
And not stir a peg.
And before you go, will you kindly say,
If, while you're there, you'll be sure to lay
A little blue egg?"

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From my personal collection. All digitized poems by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source when sharing or publishing.

Nature Poetry for Kids: Apple-Tree Hall by Elizabeth Roberts Macdonald (Public Domain Children's Poem)


Here is an antique children's poem of nature and imagination by Elizabeth Roberts Macdonald, published in the October 1910 issue of St. Nicholas Magazine.

APPLE-TREE HALL

There's an old spreading apple-tree, gnarly and wide,
In an orchard (I can't tell you where),
Where Dora and I can curl up side by side,
And nobody know we are there.
We go there on Saturdays, -- that's if it's fine,
And Mother is willing, and all, --
Take our dolls and our dishes, and there we keep house
Till tea-time, in Apple-Tree Hall.

There's the loveliest carpet, all wood-brown and gray,
And the walls have a pattern of green;
The windows are curtained the coziest way
That ever was thought of or seen;
And as for the ceiling, it's blue as the sky;
And we've crimson globe-lamps in the fall --
In the spring we have pink, and in summer use none
(Such a saving!), in Apple-Tree Hall.

All the neighbors are charming, -- so musical, too!
Madam Thrush has a voice like a bird,
And the love-songs she sings (in Italian, I think)
Are the sweetest we ever have heard.
Then the dryads and wood-nymphs dwell close to us, too,
Though they are too bashful to call.
The society really is quite the best
When we're living at Apple-Tree Hall.

Oh, I wish I could tell you one half of our plays,
And the fine things we plan when we're there,
Of the books that we'll write and the deeds that we'll do
In the years that wait, shining and fair.
My mother says, sometimes, -- and so does Aunt Kate, --
That these are the best days of all;
But we think it's just the beginning of fun,
Keeping house here in Apple-Tree Hall!

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From my personal collection. All digitized poems by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source when sharing or publishing.

Nature Poetry for Kids: Cheery Robin by B. Lander (Public Domain Children's Poem)

Image source: Wikimedia

The following is a public domain Victorian children's poem written by B. Lander and originally published in 1880. The poem is called "Cheery Robin" and this is how it goes:

Robin in the April time
Blithely sings of summer prime,
Every mellow note outwelling
Sweetly telling of his glee;
How his merry carol rings!
As he sings,
In the budding April time, -- Cheerily!

Robin in the summer prime,
What cares he for autumn rime!
Present care and present pleasure
Fill the measure of each day;
And his merry carol rings,
While he sings,
In the golden summer prime, -- Cheerily!

Robins in the autumn rime
Singeth of a sunny clime,
Where the bowers glow with flowers,
Where the hours brim with glee.
Still his merry carol rings!
Still he sings,
In the chilly autumn rime, -- Cheerily!

Robin to the aged Year
Sings a parting note of cheer;
Happy heart of sunshine, Robin,
Ever throbbing merrily.
Sweet contentment Robin brings,
When he sings,
With a cadence loud and clear, -- Cheerily!

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From my personal collection. All digitized poems by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source when sharing or publishing.

Nature Poetry for Kids: The Winter Queen by Lucy Fitch Perkins (Public Domain Children's Poem)


This little poem by Lucy Fitch Perkins is entitled "The Winter Queen" and was originally published in the December 1904 issue of St. Nicholas Magazine. I believe the illustration that accompanied the poem was also drawn by Mrs. Perkins, based on the signature of the artist in the bottom right corner. The two short stanzas read:

Oh, have you seen the Winter Queen
In her robe of filmy lace,
With her shining crown and her cloak of down
And her gentle dreaming face?

The flowers love her, for a snow-white cover
To keep them warm she brings.
She tucks them around, with a crooning sound,
And they fall asleep as she sings.

Creative Commons Licence
From my personal collection. All digitized poems by FieldandGarden.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please cite FieldandGarden.com as your source when sharing or publishing.