The crows go by, a noisy throng;
About the meadows all day long
The shore-lark drops his brittle song;
And up the leafless tree
The nut-hatch runs, and nods, and clings;
The bluebird dips with flashing wings,
The robin flutes, the sparrow sings,
And the swallows float and flee.
I break the spirit’s cloudy bands,
A wanderer in enchanted lands,
I feel the sun upon my hands;
And far from care and strife
The broad earth bids me forth. I rise
With lifted brow and upward eyes.
I bathe my spirit in blue skies,
And taste the springs of life.
I feel the tumult of new birth;
I waken with the wakening earth;
I match the bluebird in her mirth;
And wild with wind and sun,
A treasurer of immortal days,
I roam the glorious world with praise,
The hillsides and the woodland ways,
Till earth and I are one.
There is singing of birds in the deep wet woods,
In the heart of the listening solitudes,
Pewees, and thrushes, and sparrows, not few,
And all the notes of their throats are true.
The thrush from the innermost ash takes on
A tender dream of the treasured and gone;
But the sparrow singeth with pride and cheer
Of the might and light of the present and here.
There is shining of flowers in the deep wet woods,
In the heart of the sensitive solitudes,
The roseate bell and the lily are there,
And every leaf of their sheaf is fair.
Careless and bold, without dream of woe,
The trilliums scatter their flags of snow;
But the pale wood-daffodil covers her face,
Agloom with the doom of a sorrowful race.
Again the warm bare earth, the noon
That hangs upon her healing scars,
The midnight round, the great red moon,
The mother with her brood of stars,
The mist-rack and the wakening rain
Blown soft in many a forest way,
The yellowing elm-trees, and again
The blood-root in its sheath of gray.
The vesper-sparrow’s song, the stress
Of yearning notes that gush and stream,
The lyric joy, the tenderness,
And once again the dream! the dream!
A touch of far-off joy and power,
A something it is life to learn,
Comes back to earth, and one short hour
The glamours of the gods return.
This life’s old mood and cult of care
Falls smitten by an older truth,
And the gray world wins back to her
The rapture of her vanished youth.
Dead thoughts revive, and he that heeds
Shall hear, as by a spirit led,
A song among the golden reeds:
“The gods are vanished but not dead!”
For one short hour, unseen yet near,
They haunt us, a forgotten mood,
A glory upon mead and mere,
A magic in the leafless wood.