Poems by Louisa May Alcott

downloadAmerican novelist and poet Louisa May Alcott worked hard her entire life and eventually was able to make a name for herself. Born on November 29, 1832 in Germantown, Pennsylvania, Alcott came into the world as the daughter of two transcendentalist parents. She died on March 6, 1888 in Boston, Massachusetts. 

 

 

 

Fairy Song

The moonlight fades from flower and rose 
And the stars dim one by one; 
The tale is told, the song is sung, 
And the Fairy feast is done.
 
The night-wind rocks the sleeping flowers, 
And sings to them, soft and low.
 
The early birds erelong will wake: 
'T is time for the Elves to go.
 

O'er the sleeping earth we silently pass, 
Unseen by mortal eye, 
And send sweet dreams, as we lightly float 
Through the quiet moonlit sky;-- 
For the stars' soft eyes alone may see, 
And the flowers alone may know, 
The feasts we hold, the tales we tell; 
So't is time for the Elves to go
 

From bird, and blossom, and bee, 
We learn the lessons they teach; 
And seek, by kindly deeds, to win 
A loving friend in each.
 
And though unseen on earth we dwell, 
Sweet voices whisper low, 
And gentle hearts most joyously greet 
The Elves where'er they go.
 

When next we meet in the Fairy dell, 
May the silver moon's soft light 
Shine then on faces gay as now, 
And Elfin hearts as light.
 
Now spread each wing, for the eastern sky 
With sunlight soon shall glow.
 
The morning star shall light us home: 
Farewell! for the Elves must go.



 

The Rock and The Bubble

 Oh! a bare, brown rock 
Stood up in the sea, 
The waves at its feet 
Dancing merrily.
 

A little bubble 
Once came sailing by, 
And thus to the rock 
Did it gayly cry,-- 

"Ho! clumsy brown stone, 
Quick, make way for me: 
I'm the fairest thing 
That floats on the sea.
 

"See my rainbow-robe, 
See my crown of light, 
My glittering form, 
So airy and bright.
 

"O'er the waters blue, 
I'm floating away, 
To dance by the shore 
With the foam and spray.
 

"Now, make way, make way; 
For the waves are strong, 
And their rippling feet 
Bear me fast along.
" 

But the great rock stood 
Straight up in the sea: 
It looked gravely down, 
And said pleasantly-- 

"Little friend, you must 
Go some other way; 
For I have not stirred 
this many a long day.
 

"Great billows have dashed, 
And angry winds blown; 
But my sturdy form 
Is not overthrown.
 

"Nothing can stir me 
In the air or sea; 
Then, how can I move, 
Little friend, for thee?" 

Then the waves all laughed 
In their voices sweet; 
And the sea-birds looked, 
From their rocky seat, 

At the bubble gay, 
Who angrily cried, 
While its round cheek glowed 
With a foolish pride,-- 

"You SHALL move for me; 
And you shall not mock 
At the words I say, 
You ugly, rough rock.
 

"Be silent, wild birds! 
While stare you so? 
Stop laughing, rude waves, 
And help me to go! 

"For I am the queen 
Of the ocean here, 
And this cruel stone 
Cannot make me fear.
" 

Dashing fiercely up, 
With a scornful word, 
Foolish Bubble broke; 
But Rock never stirred.
 

Then said the sea-birds, 
Sitting in their nests 
To the little ones 
Leaning on their breasts,-- 

"Be not like Bubble, 
Headstrong, rude, and vain, 
Seeking by violence 
Your object to gain; 

"But be like the rock, 
Steadfast, true, and strong, 
Yet cheerful and kind, 
And firm against wrong.
 

"Heed, little birdlings, 
And wiser you'll be 
For the lesson learned 
To-day by the sea.



 

Transfiguration

 Mysterious death! who in a single hour 
Life's gold can so refine 
And by thy art divine 
Change mortal weakness to immortal power! 

Bending beneath the weight of eighty years 
Spent with the noble strife 
of a victorious life 
We watched her fading heavenward, through our tears.
 

But ere the sense of loss our hearts had wrung 
A miracle was wrought; 
And swift as happy thought 
She lived again -- brave, beautiful, and young.
 

Age, pain, and sorrow dropped the veils they wore 
And showed the tender eyes 
Of angels in disguise, 
Whose discipline so patiently she bore.
 

The past years brought their harvest rich and fair; 
While memory and love, 
Together, fondly wove 
A golden garland for the silver hair.
 

How could we mourn like those who are bereft, 
When every pang of grief 
found balm for its relief 
In counting up the treasures she had left?-- 

Faith that withstood the shocks of toil and time; 
Hope that defied despair; 
Patience that conquered care; 
And loyalty, whose courage was sublime; 

The great deep heart that was a home for all-- 
Just, eloquent, and strong 
In protest against wrong; 
Wide charity, that knew no sin, no fall; 

The spartan spirit that made life so grand, 
Mating poor daily needs 
With high, heroic deeds, 
That wrested happiness from Fate's hard hand.
 

We thought to weep, but sing for joy instead, 
Full of the grateful peace 
That follows her release; 
For nothing but the weary dust lies dead.
 

Oh, noble woman! never more a queen 
Than in the laying down 
Of sceptre and of crown 
To win a greater kingdom, yet unseen; 

Teaching us how to seek the highest goal, 
To earn the true success -- 
To live, to love, to bless -- 
And make death proud to take a royal soul.