Alice Freeman Palmer was most noted as an educator, but she also wrote poetry. Here are three of her published poems:
I hold you at last in my hand,
Exquisite child of the air.
Can I ever understand
How you grew to be so fair?
You came to my linden tree
To taste its delicious sweet,
I sitting here in the shadow and shine
Playing around its feet.
Now I hold you fast in my hand,
You marvelous butterfly,
Till you help me to understand
The eternal mystery.
From that creeping thing in the dust
To this shining bliss in the blue!
God give me courage to trust
I can break my chrysalis too!
I pass my days among the quiet places
Made sacred by your feet.
The air is cool in the fresh woodland spaces,
The meadows very sweet.
The sunset fills the wide sky with its splendor,
The glad birds greet the night;
I stop and listen for a voice strong, tender,
I wait those dear eyes’ light.
You are the heart of every gleam of glory,
Your presence fills the air,
About you gathers all the fair year’s story;
I read you everywhere.
A SPRING JOURNEY
We journeyed through broad woodland ways,
My Love and I.
The maples set the shining fields ablaze.
The blue May sky
Brought to us its great Spring surprise;
While we saw all things through each other’s eyes.
And sometimes from a steep hillside
Shone fair and bright
The shadhush, like a young June bride,
Fresh clothed in white.
Sometimes came glimpses glad of the blue sea;
But I smiled only on my Love; he smiled on me.
The violets made a field one mass of blue –
Even bluer than the sky;
The little brook took on that color too,
And sang more merrily.
“Your dress is blue,” he laughing said. “Your eyes,”
My heart sang, “sweeter than the bending skies.”
We spoke of poets dead so long ago,
And their wise words;
We glanced at apple-trees, like drifted snow;
We watched the nesting birds, –
Only a moment! Ah, how short the day!
Yet all the winters cannot blow its sweetness quite away.