Et nunc omnis ager, mine omms parturit arbos; Nunc frondent sylvae, nunc formostssimus annus. —Virgil.
Delightful harbinger of joys to come,
Of summer’s verdure and a fruitful year,
Who bids thee o’er our northern snow-fields roam,
And make all gladness in thy bright career?
Lo from the Indian Isle thou dost appear,
And dost a thousand pleasures with thee bring:
But why to us art thou so ever dear?
Bearest thou the hope—upon thy radiant wing—
Of Immortality, O soft, celestial Spring?
Yea, buds and flowers that fade not, they are thine,
And youth-renewing balms; the sear and old
Are young and gladsome at thy touch divine.
Thou breath’st upon the frozen earth—behold,
Meadows and vales of grass and floral gold,
Green-covered hills and leafy mountains grand:
Young life leaps up where all was dumb and cold,
As smoldering embers into flame are fanned,
Or the dead came back to life at the touch of the Savior’s hand.
The snow-clouds fly the canopy of heaven;
The rivulets ripple with the merry tone
Of wanton waters, and the breezes given
To fan the budding hills are all thine own.
Returning songsters from the tropic zone
Their vernal love-songs in the tree tops sing,
And talk and twitter in a tongue unknown
Of joys that journey on thy golden wing,
And God who sends thee forth to wake the world, O Spring!
[ILLUSTRATION: SPRING ADA MARY HUNTLY WILLIE]
Emblem of youth—enchanting
Lo now the happy rustic wends his way
O’er meadows decked with violets from thy wing,
And laboring to the rhythm of song all day,
Performs the task the harvest shall repay
An hundredfold into the reaper’s hand.
What recks the tiller of his toil in May?
What cares he if his cheeks are tinged and tanned
By thy warm sunshine-kiss and by thy breezes bland?
Hark to the tinkling bells of grazing kine!
The lambkins bleating on the mountain-side!
The red squirrel chippering in the proud old pine!
The pigeon-cock cooing to his vernal bride!
O’er all the land and o’er the peaceful tide,
Singing and praising every living thing,
Till one sweet anthem, echoed far and wide,
Makes all the broad blue bent of ether ring
With welcomings to thee, God-given, supernal Spring.
O Mollie, I would I possessed such a heart;
It enchants me—so gentle and true;
I would I possessed all its magical art,
Then, Mollie, I would enchant you.
Those dear, rosy lips—tho’ I never
Are as sweet as the wild honey-dew;
Your cheeks—all the angels in Heaven have blessed them,
But not one is as lovely as you.
Then give me that heart,—O that innocent
For mine own is cold and perdu;
It enchants me, but give me its magical art,
Then, Mollie, I will enchant you.