Ye stars, more swiftly wheel,
O’er earth’s still breast;
More wildly plunge and reel
In the dim west!
The earth is lone and lorn,
Till the glad day be born,
Till with the happy morn
She comes to me.
When April woke the drowsy flowers,
And vagrant odors thronged the breeze,
And bluebirds wrangled in the bowers,
And daisies flashed along the leas,
And faint arbutus strove among
Dead winter’s leaf-strewn wreck to rise,
And nature’s sweetly jubilant song
Went murmuring up the sunny skies,
Into this cheerful world you came,
And gained by right your vernal name.
I think the springs have changed of late,
For “Arctics” are my daily wear,
The skies are turned to cold gray slate,
And zephyrs are but draughts of air;
But you make up whatever we lack,
When we, too rarely, come together,
More potent than the almanac,
You bring the ideal April weather;
When you are with us we defy
The blustering air, the lowering sky;
In spite of Winter’s icy darts,
We’ve spring and sunshine in our hearts.
In fine, upon this April day,
This deep conundrum I will bring:
Tell me the two good reasons, pray,
I have, to say you are like spring?
[You give it up?] Because we love you—
And see so very little of you.
In the dim chamber whence but yesterday
Passed my beloved, filled with awe I stand;
And haunting Loves fluttering on every hand
Whisper her praises who is far away.
A thousand delicate fancies glance and play
On every object which her robes have fanned,
And tenderest thoughts and hopes bloom and expand
In the sweet memory of her beauty’s ray.
Ah! could that glass but hold the faintest trace
Of all the loveliness once mirrored there,
The clustering glory of the shadowy hair
That framed so well the dear young angel face!
But no, it shows my own face, full of care,
And my heart is her beauty’s dwelling-place.
I love a woman tenderly,
But cannot know if she loves me.
I press her hand, her lips I kiss,
But still love’s full assurance miss,
Our waking life forever seems
Cleft by a veil of doubt and dreams.
But love and night and sleep combine
In dreams to make her wholly mine.
A sure love lights her eyes’ deep blue,
Her hands and lips are warm and true.
Always the fact unreal seems,
And truth I find alone in dreams.
Each shining light above us
Has its own peculiar grace;
But every light of heaven
Is in my darling’s face.