O Kathleen, dear Kathleen! what treasures are piled
In the mines of the past for this wonderful Child!
The lore of the sages, the lays of the bards,
Like a primer, the eye of this infant regards;
All the dearly-bought knowledge that cost life and limb,
Without price, without peril, is offered to him;
And the blithe bee of Progress concealeth its sting,
As it offers its sweets to the beautiful Spring!
O Kathleen, they tell us of wonderful things,
Of speed that surpasseth the fairy’s fleet wings;
How the lands of the world in communion are brought,
And the slow march of speech is as rapid as thought.
Think, think what an heir-loom the great world will be
With this wonderful wire ’neath the earth and the sea;
When the snows and the sunshine together shall bring
All the wealth of the world to the feet of The Spring.
Oh! Kathleen, but think of the birth-gifts of
That the master who lives in the great house above
Prepares for the poor child that’s born on His land—
Dear God! they’re the sweet flowers that fall from Thy hand—
The crocus, the primrose, the violet given
Awhile, to make earth the reflection of heaven;
The brightness and lightness that round the world wing
Are thine, and are ours too, through thee, happy Spring!
O Kathleen, dear Kathleen! that dream is gone by,
And I wake once again, but, thank God! thou art by;
And the land that we love looks as bright in the beam,
Just as if my sweet dream was not all out a dream,
The spring-tide of Nature its blessing imparts,
Let the spring-tide of Hope send its pulse through our hearts;
Let us feel ’tis a mother, to whose breast we cling,
And a brother we hail, when we welcome the Spring.
The Sun called a beautiful Beam, that was playing
At the door of his golden-wall’d palace on high;
And he bade him be off, without any delaying,
To a fast-fleeting Cloud on the verge of the sky:
“You will give him this letter,” said roguish Apollo
(While a sly little twinkle contracted his eye),
With my royal regards; and be sure that you follow
Whatsoever his Highness may send in reply.”
The Beam heard the order, but being no novice,
Took it coolly, of course—nor in this was he wrong—
But was forced (being a clerk in Apollo’s post-office)
To declare (what a bounce!) that he wouldn’t be long;
So he went home and dress’d—gave his beard an elision—
Put his scarlet coat on, nicely edged with gold lace;
And thus being equipped, with a postman’s precision,
He prepared to set out on his nebulous race.