And I shall sleep—and on thy side,
As ages after ages glide,
Children their early sports shall try,
And pass to hoary age and die.
But thou, unchanged from year to year,
Gayly shalt play and glitter here;
Amid young flowers and tender grass
Thy endless infancy shalt pass;
And, singing down thy narrow glen,
Shalt mock the fading race of men.
The stormy March is come at last,
With wind, and cloud, and changing skies,
I hear the rushing of the blast,
That through the snowy valley flies.
Ah, passing few are they who speak,
Wild stormy month! in praise of thee;
Yet, though thy winds are loud and bleak,
Thou art a welcome month to me.
For thou, to northern lands, again
The glad and glorious sun dost bring,
And thou hast joined the gentle train
And wear’st the gentle name of Spring.
And, in thy reign of blast and storm,
Smiles many a long, bright, sunny day,
When the changed winds are soft and warm,
And heaven puts on the blue of May.
Then sing aloud the gushing rills
And the full springs, from frost set free,
That, brightly leaping down the hills,
Are just set out to meet the sea.
The year’s departing beauty hides
Of wintry storms the sullen threat;
But in thy sternest frown abides
A look of kindly promise yet.
Thou bring’st the hope of those calm skies,
And that soft time of sunny showers,
When the wide bloom, on earth that lies,
Seems of a brighter world than ours.
Ay, thou art for the grave; thy glances shine
Too brightly to shine long; another Spring
Shall deck her for men’s eyes,—but not for thine—
Sealed in a sleep which knows no wakening.
The fields for thee have no medicinal leaf,
And the vexed ore no mineral of power;
And they who love thee wait in anxious grief
Till the slow plague shall bring the fatal hour.
Glide softly to thy rest then; Death should come
Gently, to one of gentle mould like thee,
As light winds wandering through groves of bloom
Detach the delicate blossom from the tree.
Close thy sweet eyes, calmly, and without pain;
And we will trust in God to see thee yet again.
“I know where the timid fawn abides
In the depths of the shaded dell,
Where the leaves are broad and the thicket hides,
With its many stems and its tangled sides,
From the eye of the hunter well.
“I know where the young May violet grows,
In its lone and lowly nook,
On the mossy bank, where the larch-tree throws
Its broad dark boughs, in solemn repose,
Far over the silent brook.