« PreviousContinue »
In Early Spring
To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
Through primrose tufts, in that sweet bower,
The birds around me hopped and played,
But the least motion which they made
The budding twigs spread out their fan
And I must think, do all I can,
If this belief from heaven be sent,
What Man has made of Man?
William Wordsworth (1770-1850]
IN EARLY SPRING
O SPRING, I know thee! Seek for sweet surprise
But I have learnt the years, and know the yet
Mine ear, awake to silence, can foretell
The cuckoo's fitful bell.
I wander in a gray time that encloses
A year's procession of the flowers doth pass
And all you sweet birds silent yet, I know
The notes that stir you so,
Your songs yet half devised in the dim dear
In these young days you meditate your part;
I know the secrets of the seeds of flowers
And how, in kindling Spring, the cuckoo shall
Alter his interval.
But not a flower or song I ponder is
My own, but memory's.
I shall be silent in those days desired
Before a world inspired.
O dear brown birds, compose your old song-phrases, Earth, thy familiar daisies.
The poet mused upon the dusky height,
Between two stars towards night,
His purpose in his heart. I watched, a space,
There was the secret, fled from earth and skies,
My heart and all the Summer wait his choice,
Who shall foretell his songs, and who aspire
Sweet earth, we know thy dimmest mysteries,
Alice Meynell [1853
From "Summer's Last Will and Testament "
SPRING, the sweet Spring, is the year's pleasant king;
The palm and may make country houses gay,
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!
"When Daffodils Begin to Peer" 1295
The fields breathe sweet, the daisies kiss our feet,
Spring, the sweet Spring!
Thomas Nashe [1567-1601]
From "Alexander and Campaspe "
WHAT bird so sings, yet so does wail?
Hark, how the jolly cuckoos sing
Cuckoo!" to welcome in the spring,
"Cuckoo!" to welcome in the spring!
John Lyly [1554?-1606]
"WHEN DAFFODILS BEGIN TO PEER"
From "The Winter's Tale"
WHEN daffodils begin to peer,
With heigh! the doxy, over the dale,
Why, then comes in the sweet o' the year;
The white sheet bleaching on the hedge,
With heigh! the sweet birds, O, how they sing!
Doth set my pugging tooth on edge;
For a quart of ale is a dish for a king.
The lark, that tirra-lirra chants,
With heigh! with heigh! the thrush and the jay, Are summer songs for me and my aunts,
While we lie tumbling in the hay.
William Shakespeare [1564-1616]
From "In Memoriam "
DIP down upon the northern shore,
What stays thee from the clouded noons,
Bring orchis, bring the fox-glove spire,
O thou, new-year, delaying long,
Now fades the last long streak of snow,
Now burgeons every maze of quick
By ashen roots the violets blow.
Now rings the woodland loud and long,
"When the Hounds of Spring" 1297
Now dance the lights on lawn and lea,
On winding stream or distant sea;
Where now the seamew pipes, or dives
From land to land; and in my breast
And buds and blossoms like the rest.
Alfred Tennyson [1809-1892]
"THE SPRING RETURNS"
THE Spring returns! What matters then that War
That Death ascends, man's most desirèd star,
And at her coronation are set ope
The prisons of the mind, and man is free!
The beggar-garbed or over-bent with snows,
Each mortal, long defeated, disallowed,
Feeling her touch, grows stronger limbed, and knows
The Spring returns! O madness beyond sense,
Charles Leonard Moore [1854
"WHEN THE HOUNDS OF SPRING"
WHEN the hounds of spring are on winter's traces,
Fills the shadows and windy places
With lisp of leaves and ripple of rain;