Caroline Bowles Southey



There Is A Tongue In Every Leaf

by Caroline Bowles Southey

There is a tongue in every leaf,
A voice in every rill;
A voice that speaketh every where, --
In flood and fire, through earth and air, --
A tongue that's never still.

'Tis the great Spirit, wide diffused
Through every thing we see,
That with our spirits communeth
Of things mysterious -- life and death,
Time and eternity.

I see him in the blazing sun;
And in the thunder-cloud;
I hear him in the mighty roar
That rushes through the forest hoar
When winds are piping loud.

I see him, hear him, every where;
In all things, -- darkness, light,
Silence, and sound; but, most of all,
When slumber's dusky curtains fall,
At the dead hour of night.

Ifeel him in the silent dews
By grateful earth betrayed;
Ifeel him in the gentle showers,
The soft south wind, the breath of flowers,
The sunshine and the shade.

And yet -- ungrateful that I am! --
I've turned in sullen mood
From all these things, whereof He said,
When the great work was finished,
That they were very good!

My sadness on the fairest things
Fell like unwholesome dew;
The darkness that encompassed me,
The gloom I felt so palpably,
Mine own dark spirit threw.

Yet He was patient, slow to wrath,
Though every day provoked
By selfish, pining discontent,
Acceptance cold, or negligent,
And promises revoked.

And still the same rich feast was spread
For my insensate heart. --
Not always so; I woke again,
To join creation's rapturous strain;
O Lord! how good thou art!

The clouds drew up, the shadows fled,
The glorious sun broke out;
And love, and hope, and gratitude,
Dispelled that miserable mood
Of darkness and of doubt.


The Floral Wreath Of Autumn Flowers
Copyright 1850
Detroit: Kerr, Doughty and Lapham