When the Summer sun is shining,
And the green things push and grow,
Oft my heart runs over measure,
With its flowing fount of pleasure,
As I feel the sea winds blow;
Ah, then life is good, I know.
And I think of sweet birds building,
And of children fair and free;
And of glowing sun-kissed meadows,
And of tender twilight shadows,
And of boats upon the sea.
Oh, then life seems good to me!
Then unbidden and unwanted,
Come the darker, sadder sights;
City shop and stifling alley,
Where misfortune’s children rally;
And the hot crime-breeding nights,
And the dearth of God’s delights.
And I think of narrow prisons
Where unhappy songbirds dwell,
And of cruel pens and cages
Where some captured wild thing rages
Like a madman in his cell,
In the Zoo, the wild beasts’ hell.
And I long to lift the burden
Of man’s selfishness and sin;
And to open wide earth’s treasures
Of God’s storehouse, full of pleasures,
For my dumb and human kin,
And to ask the whole world in.