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THE CHANGING YEAR

A SONG FOR THE SEASONS

WHEN the merry lark doth gild

With his song the summer hours, And their nests the swallows build

In the roofs and tops of towers,
And the golden broom-flower burns

All about the waste,
And the maiden May returns
With a pretty haste,-

Then, how merry are the times!
The Spring times! the Summer times!

Now, from off the ashy stone

The chilly midnight cricket crieth, And all merry birds are flown,

And our dream of pleasure dieth;
Now the once blue, laughing sky/

Saddens into gray,
And the frozen rivers sigh,
Pining all away!

Now, how solemn are the times!
The Winter times! the Night times!

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Yet, be merry; all around

Is through one vast change revolving; Even Night, who lately frowned,

Is in paler dawn dissolving;
Earth will burst her fetters strange,

And in Spring grow free;
All things in the world will change,
Save-my love for thee!

Sing then, hopeful are all times!
Winter, Spring, Summer times!

Bryan IValler Procter (1787-1874)

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Sing a song of Winter,

The world stops dead;
Under snowy coverlid

Flowers lie abed.
There's hunting for the young ones

And wine for the old,
And a sexton in the churchyard
Digging in the cold.

Cosmo Monkhouse (1840–1901)

TURN O' THE YEAR

This is the time when bit by bit
The days begin to lengthen sweet
And every minute gained is joy-
And love stirs in the heart of a boy.

This is the time the sun, of late
Content to lie abed till eight,
Lifts up betimes his sleepy head-
And love stirs in the heart of a maid.

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This is the time we dock the night
Of a whole hour of candlelight;
When song of linnet and thrush is heard-
And love stirs in the heart of a bird.

This is the time when sword-blades green,
With gold and purple damascene,
Pierce the brown crocus-bed a-row-
And love stirs in a heart I know.

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Katharine Tynan (1861

THE WAKING YEAR

A LADY red upon the hill

Her annual secret keeps;
A lady white within the field

In placid lily sleeps!

The tidy breezes with their brooms

Sweep vale, and hill, and tree!
Prithee, my pretty housewives!

Who may expected be?

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Early Spring

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And yet how still the landscape stands,

How nonchalant the wood,
As if the resurrection
Were nothing very odd!

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

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From "Pippa Passes"

THE year's at the spring,
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hill-side's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in His Heaven-
All's right with the world!

Robert Browning (1812–1889)

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The woods with living airs

How softly fanned,
Light airs from where the deep,

Al down the sand,
Is breathing in his sleep,

Heard by the land.
O, follow, leaping blood,

The season's lure!
O heart, look down and up,

Serene, secure,
Warm as the crocus cup,

Like snow-drops, pure!

Past, Future glimpse and fade

Through some slight spell,
A gleam from yonder vale,

Some far blue fell,
And sympathies, how frail,

In sound and smell!

Till at thy chuckled note,

Thou twinkling bird,
The fairy fancies range,

And, lightly stirred,
Ring little bells of change

From word to word.
For now the Heavenly Power

Makes all things new,
And thaws the cold, and fills

The flower with dew;
The blackbirds have their wills,
The poets too.

Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)

LINES WRITTEN IN EARLY SPRING

I HEARD a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sat reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

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