The heart that cannot ache no love can know:
the strain of pinion-wing to rise above
and look upon the green of fields below
alone can teach us flight -- and that is love.
When wings unused for long are stretched to fly,
the muscles, moved and stressed, will feel the pain,
but oh! to soar and swoop with wing on high
will make such minor ache a kind of gain!
Thus proud the athlete feels the burn within,
resistance overcome and well endured,
as flame that ripples underneath the skin
to prove all challenge met, and prowess pure.
So let your heart from drowsy slumber wake
and seek out things so great, so pure, so fair,
so sad, your heart will at the vision ache
and thus grow strong, and heaven's glories dare.
The hollow-laden willow waves the leaflets of its limbs
in the winds that whip around it in the shadowed evendim;
my heart is hale and singing with a hymn of hope and praise,
a hymn of hope and praise that I have learned from summer rain,
a healing psalm so soulful that it saves from fear and pain
and lengthens out like prayer all the wonder of my days.
With the waving willow I with spirit rise and sway
as the raindrops, kissed by moonlight, on my eyelids leap and play.