What is so rare as a day in June? Definitely not poems about the month of June — there are many! Here are five June poems that offer varying glimpses of this lovely month. Choose one or more for copywork, memorization, and/or recitation, and allow them to help you see and feel the seasonal beauty of this bright month.
by James Russell Lowell (1819-1981)
And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,
And over it softly her warm ear lays:
Whether we look, or whether we listen,
We hear life murmur, or see it glisten;
Every clod feels a stir of might,
An instinct within it that reaches and towers,
And, groping blindly above it for light,
Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers;
The flush of life may well be seen
Thrilling back over hills and valleys;
The cowslip startles in meadows green,
The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice,
And there’s never a leaf nor a blade too mean
To be some happy creature’s palace;
The little bird sits at his door in the sun,
Atilt like a blossom among the leaves,
And lets his illumined being o’errun
With the deluge of summer it receives;
His mate feels the eggs beneath her wings,
And the heart in her dumb breast flutters and sings;
He sings to the wide world, and she to her nest,—
In the nice ear of Nature which song is the best?
Now is the high-tide of the year,
And whatever of life hath ebbed away
Comes flooding back with a ripply cheer,
Into every bare inlet and creek and bay;
Now the heart is so full that a drop over-fills it,
We are happy now because God wills it;
No matter how barren the past may have been,
‘Tis enough for us now that the leaves are green;
We sit in the warm shade and feel right well
How the sap creeps up and the blossoms swell;
We may shut our eyes, but we cannot help knowing
That skies are clear and grass is growing;
The breeze comes whispering in our ear,
That dandelions are blossoming near,
That maize has sprouted, that streams are flowing,
That the river is bluer than the sky,
That the robin is plastering his house hard by;
And if the breeze kept the good news back,
For other couriers we should not lack;
We could guess it all by yon heifer’s lowing,—
And hark! how clear bold chanticleer,
Warmed with the new wine of the year,
Tells all in his lusty crowing!
The Approach Of June, Or The Month Of Roses
by Eliza and Sarah Wolcott (c.1838)
‘Tis blushing on through brier and thorn,
The wintry winds are still;
Now softer zephyrs waft along,
The month of June to fill.
Soft dews descend upon the flowers
And kindly rest awhile;
‘Tis sweet to wait upon these hours,
To see the roses smile.
How beautiful the charming scene,
‘Tis far surpassing art,
Like purity in heavenly mien,
Reviving to the heart.
Sweet exhalations fill the air,
While music in the grove,
Invites my pensive soul to share
In all the songs of love.
Put off thy wintry robe my soul,
Born to rejoice and sing,
Let gratitude thy lips control
In praises to your king.
The soul with innocence possess’d,
Her incense safe may bear
To Christ, whose righteousness hath bless’d
The humblest form of prayer.
Thus while the roses greet our eyes,
In all their rich perfume,
Should our prayers like incense rise,
Our summer to illume.
by Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823-1911)
She needs no teaching,—no defect is hers;
She stands in all her beauty ‘mid the trees,
‘Neath the tall pines her golden sunshine stirs
And shifts and trembles with each passing breeze.
All the long day upon the broad green boughs
Lieth the lustre of her lovely life,
While too much drugged with rapture to carouse
Broods her soft world of insect-being rife.
So without effort or perplexing thought
She comes to claim all homage as her own,
Clad in the richest garments Nature wrought,
Melting the strongest with her magic zone.
O wondrous June! our lives should be like thee,
With such calm grace fulfilling destiny.
A Night in June
by Madison Cawein (1865-1914)
White as a lily moulded of Earth’s milk
That eve the moon bloomed in a hyacinth sky;
Soft in the gleaming glens the wind went by,
Faint as a phantom clothed in unseen silk:
Bright as a naiad’s leap, from shine to shade
The runnel twinkled through the shaken brier;
Above the hills one long cloud, pulsed with fire,
Flashed like a great enchantment-welded blade.
And when the western sky seemed some weird land,
And night a witching spell at whose command
One sloping star fell green from heav’n; and deep
The warm rose opened for the moth to sleep;
Then she, consenting, laid her hands in his,
And lifted up her lips for their first kiss.
There where they part, the porch’s steps are strewn
With wind-blown petals of the purple vine;
Athwart the porch the shadow of a pine
Cleaves the white moonlight; and like some calm rune
Heaven says to Earth, shines the majestic moon;
And now a meteor draws a lilac line
Across the welkin, as if God would sign
The perfect poem of this night of June.
The wood-wind stirs the flowering chestnut-tree,
Whose curving blossoms strew the glimmering grass
Like crescents that wind-wrinkled waters glass;
And, like a moonstone in a frill of flame,
The dewdrop trembles on the peony,
As in a lover’s heart his sweetheart’s name.
by John Burroughs (1837-1921)
Now have come the shining days
When field and wood are robed anew,
And o’er the world a silver haze
Mingles the emerald with the blue.
Summer now doth clothe the land
In garments free from spot or stain—
The lustrous leaves, the hills untanned,
The vivid meads, the glaucous grain.
The day looks new, a coin unworn,
Freshly stamped in heavenly mint;
The sky keeps on its look of morn;
Of age and death there is no hint.
How soft the landscape near and far!
A shining veil the trees infold;
The day remembers moon and star;
A silver lining hath its gold.
Again I see the clover bloom,
And wade in grasses lush and sweet;
Again has vanished all my gloom
With daisies smiling at my feet.
Again from out the garden hives
The exodus of frenzied bees;
The humming cyclone onward drives,
Or finds repose amid the trees.
At dawn the river seems a shade—
A liquid shadow deep as space;
But when the sun the mist has laid,
A diamond shower smites its face.
The season’s tide now nears its height,
And gives to earth an aspect new;
Now every shoal is hid from sight,
With current fresh as morning dew.
June in Maine
by Hannah Augusta Moore (born c. 1827-28)
Beautiful, beautiful summer!
Odorous, exquisite June!
All the sweet roses in blossom,
All the sweet birdies in tune.
Dew on the meadows at sunset;
Gems on the meadows at morn;
Melody hushing the evening;
Melody greeting the dawn.
All the dim aisles of the forest
Ringing and thrilling with song;
Music—a flood-tide of music—
Poured the green valleys along.
Rapturous creatures of beauty.
Winging their way through the sky,
Heavenward warble their praises—
Mount our thanksgivings as high?
Lo! when a bird is delighted,
His ecstacy prompts him to soar;
The greater, the fuller his rapture,
His songs of thanksgiving the more.
See how the winds from the mountains
Sweep over meadows most fair;
The green fields are tossed like the ocean,
Are shadowed by clouds in the air.
For now fleecy shadows are chasing
The sunshine from woodland and vale,
As white clouds come gathering slowly,
Blown up by the sweet-scented gale
Birds and the gales and the flowers
Call us from study away,
Out to the fields where the mowers
Soon will be making the hay.
Buttercups, daisies, and clover,
Roses, sweet-briar, and fern,
Mingle their breath on the breezes—
Who from such wooing could turn?
Out! to the heath and the mountain,
Where mid the fern and the brake,
Under the pines and the spruces,
Fragrant the bower we will make.
Ravishing voices of Nature,
Ye conquer—and never too soon—
We yield to thy luscious embraces,
Thou odorous, exquisite June!
That’s all the June poems for now, but if you have a favorite you’d like to see added, please leave a comment below.