And the young Year rose from his snow-white bier,
And the flowers from their green retreat;
And they came and knelt at the lady’s feet,
Saying all, with their mingled voices sweet:
“O lady! behold us here.”
The day of wintry wrath is o’er,
The whirlwind and the storm have pass’d,
The whiten’d ashes of the snow
Enwrap the ruined world no more;
Nor keenly from the orient blow
The venom’d hissings of the blast.
The frozen tear-drops of despair
Have melted from the trembling thorn;
Hope plumes unseen her radiant wing,
And lo! amid the expectant air,
The trumpet of the angel Spring
Proclaims the resurrection morn.
Oh! what a wave of gladsome sound
Runs rippling round the shores of space,
As the requicken’d earth upheaves
The swelling bosom of the ground,
And Death’s cold pallor, startled, leaves
The deepening roses of her face.
Up from their graves the dead arise—
The dead and buried flowers of spring;—
Up from their graves in glad amaze,
Once more to view the long-lost skies,
Resplendent with the dazzling rays
Of their great coming Lord and King.
And lo! even like that mightiest one,
In the world’s last and awful hour,
Surrounded by the starry seven,
So comes God’s greatest work, the sun,
Upborne upon the clouds of heaven,
In pomp, and majesty, and power.
The virgin snowdrop bends its head
Above its grave in grateful prayer;
The daisy lifts its radiant brow,
With a saint’s glory round it shed;
The violet’s worth, unhidden now,
Is wafted wide by every air.
The parent stem reclasps once more
Its long-lost severed buds and leaves;
Once more the tender tendrils twine
Around the forms they clasped of yore
The very rain is now a sign
Great Nature’s heart no longer grieves.
And now the judgment-hour arrives,
And now their final doom they know;
No dreadful doom is theirs whose birth
Was not more stainless than their lives;
’Tis Goodness calls them from the earth,
And Mercy tells them where to go.
Some of them fly with glad accord,
Obedient to the high behest,
To worship with their fragrant breath
Around the altars of the Lord;
And some, from nothingness and death,
Pass to the heaven of beauty’s breast.
Oh, let the simple fancy be
Prophetic of our final doom;
Grant us, O Lord, when from the sod
Thou deign’st to call us too, that we
Pass to the bosom of our God
From the dark nothing of the tomb!
Hush! hush! through the azure expanse of the sky
Comes a low, gentle sound, ’twixt a laugh and a sigh;
And I rise from my writing, and look up on high,
And I kneel, for the first of God’s angels is nigh!