The earth is full of dancing life,
The rosy hours fleet by,
Bringing no shadow o’er the earth,
No cloud across the sky.
But one wide stainless vault of blue,
God’s azure flag unfurled,
Whose centre is the golden sun,
Arches the laughing world.
Close in her heart the blushing rose
Her wealth of perfume folds;
And every tall white lily cup
A crystal diamond holds.
A thousand insects, jewel-winged,
Are glancing to and fro;
And in the sunlight and the wind
The scarlet poppies blow.
The birds are singing everywhere,
The streamlets flash and play;
All nature wears her fairest dress;
The earth is glad to-day.
Glad in the beauty of the light,
The glory of the sun;
The earth that for six thousand years
Her changeless course has run.
Glad in the glory of the sun,
The beauty of the light;
The earth that still is young and strong,
And beautiful and bright.
O song of birds! O dew-gemmed flowers!
O south winds sighing low!
We know not whence your breezes come,
Nor where their soft breaths go.
We know not why the flowers should bloom,
Nor why the birds should sing;
We only know our hearts are glad
Because of lovely spring.
We only know our hearts are glad,
We glory in the light;
We love the time of birds and flowers,
And all things fair and bright.
Agnes Neale, Shadows and Sunbeams, Adelaide: Burden & Bonython, 1890, pages 72-74
azure = the blue of a clear unclouded sky
o’er = over (pronounced the same as “oar”, “or”, and “ore”)
[Editor: Changed “We no not why” to “We know not why”.]