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POEMS OF NATURE.
Wescription of Spring. The soote season, that bud and bloom forth brings,
With green hath clad the hill, and eke the vale ; The nightingale with feathers new she sings;
The turtle to her make hath told her tale. Summer is come, for every spray now springs;
The hart hath hung his old head on the pale, The buck in brake his winter coat he flings;
The fishes flete with new repaired scale; The adder all her slough away she flings;
The swift swallow pursueth the flies smale ; The busy bee her honey now she mings;
Winter is worn that was the flowres' bale. And thus I see among these pleasant things Each care decays, and yet my sorrow springs.
HENRY HOWARD, EARL OF SURREY.
Thou, if stormy Boreas throws
Return of Spring.
Houps, cuckoos, nightingales,
Through the green woods and dales.
The Airs of Spring. Sweetly breathing, vernal air, That with kind warmth doth repair Winter's ruins; from whose breast All the gums and spice of th' East Borrow their perfumes; whose eye Gilds the morn, and clears the sky; Whose dishevelled tresses shed Pearls upon the violet bed; On whose brow, with calm smiles drest, The halcyon sits and builds her nest ; Beauty, youth, and endless spring, Dwell upon thy rosy wing!
God shield ye, Easter daisies all,
And he whom erst the gore
I welcome ye once more.
God shield ye, bright, embroidered train Of butterflies, that on the plain,
Of each sweet herblet sip;
To kiss them with your lip.
This season how I love,
PIERRE RONSARD (French). Anonymous Translation,
Where now the seamew pipes, or dives
In yonder greening gleam, and fly
The happy birds, that change their sky To build and brood, that live their lives From land to land; and in my breast
Spring wakens too: and my regret
Becomes an April violet,
O sweet new year, delaying long;
Thou doest expectant nature wrong, Delaying long; delay no more. What stays thee from the clouded noons,
Thy sweetness from its proper place
Can trouble live with April days, Or sadness in the summer moons ? Bring orchis, bring the fox-glove spire,
The little speedwell's darling blue,
Deep tulips dashed with fiery dew,
Delayest the sorrow in my blood,
That longs to burst a frozen bud, And flood a fresher throat with song.
When the Hounds of Spring. When the hounds of spring are on winter's traces,
The mother of months in meadow or plain
With lisp of leaves and ripple of rain;
The tongueless vigil, and all the pain.
Maiden most perfect, lady of light, With a noise of winds and many rivers,
With a clamor of waters, and with might; Bind on thy sandals, 0 thou most feet, Over the splendor and speed of thy feet ; For the faint east quickens, the wan west shivers,
Round the feet of the day and the feet of thenight. Where shall we find her, how shall we sing to her,
Fold our hands round her knees and cling? Oh that man's heart were as fire and could spring
to her, Fire, or the strength of the streams that spring! For the stars and the winds are unto her As raiment, as songs of the harp-player ; For the risen stars and the fallen cling to her,
And the south-west wind and the west wind sing. For winter's rains and ruins are over,
And all the season of snows and sins; The days dividing lover and lover,
The light that loses, the night that wins; And time remembered is grief forgotten, And frosts are slain and flowers begotten, And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins.
Now fades the last long streak of snow,
Now burgeons every maze of quick
About the flowering squares, and thick By ashen roots the violets blow. Now rings the woodland loud and long,
The distance takes a lovelier hue,
And drowned in yonder living blue The lark becomes a sightless song. Now dance the lights on lawn and lea,
The flocks are whiter down the vale,
And milkier every milky sail, On winding stream or distant sea ;
Small clouds are sailing,
Blue sky prevailing;
The full streams feed on flower of rushes,
Ripe grasses trammel a travelling foot,
From leaf to flower and flower to fruit;
The chestnut-husk at the chestnut-root.
LESSONS sweet of Spring returning,
Welcome to the thoughtful heart ! May I call ye sense or learning,
Instinct pure, or heaven-taught art ! Be your title what it may, Sweet and lengthening April day, While with you the soul is free, Ranging wild o'er hill and lea;
And Pan by noon and Bacchus by night,
Fleeter of foot than the fleet-foot kid,
The Mænad and the Bassarid;
The god pursuing, the maiden hid.
Over her eyebrows shading her eyes; The wild vine slipping down leaves bare
Her bright breast shortening into sighs; The wild vine slips with the weight of its leaves, But the berried ivy catches and cleaves To the limbs that glitter, the feet that scare The wolf that follows, the fawn that flies..
ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE.
Soft as Memnon's harp at morning,
To the inward ear devout,
Your transporting chords ring out.
Needs no show of mountain hoary,
Winding shore or deepening glen, Where the landscape in its glory,
Teaches truth to wandering men. Give true hearts but earth and sky, And some flowers to bloom and die, Homely scenes and simple views Lowly thoughts may best infuse.
The lake doth glitter,
The oldest and youngest
Their heads never raising ; There are forty feeding like one!
See the soft green willow springing
Where the waters gently pass, Every way her free arms flinging
O'er the moss and reedy grass ; Long ere winter blasts are fled, See her tipped with vernal red, And her kindly flower displayed Ere her leaf can cast a shade.
Like an army defeated
On the top of the bare hill;
There's joy on the mountains;
Though the rudest hand assail her,
Patiently she droops awhile, But when showers and breezes hail her,
Wears again her winning smile.
Thus I learn contentment's power
Up the stormy vale I wind,
For the shades I leave behind,
Of the greenest, darkest tree,
All may hear, but none may see.
Song: On May Morning. Now the bright morning star, day's harbinger, Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her The flowery May, who from her green lap throws The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose. Hail, bounteous May, that doth inspire Mirth, and youth, and warm desire; Woods and groves are of thy dressing, Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing. Thus we salute thee with our early song, And welcome thee, and wish thee long.
Now the earth prolific swells
Nursing into luxury.
Wrop of Wew. See how the orient dew, Shed from the bosom of the morn
Into the blowing roses,
(Yet careless of its mansion new For the clear region where 'twas born)
Round in itself incloses,
And in its little globe's extent Frames, as it can, its native element.
How it the purple flower does slight,
Scarce touching where it lies;
Like its own tear,
Restless it rolls, and unsecure,
Trembling, lest it grow impure;
Till the warm sun pities its pain,
So the soul, that drop, that ray,
Remembering still its former height,
And, recollecting its own light,
In how coy a figure wound,