“All are vanished, and my heart is breaking;
And my tears they slowly drip and fall;
Only death could listen without waking
To the grief and passion of my call!”
Thus she plaineth. Then ten million voices.
Tiny, murmurous, like drops of rain,
Raised in song as when the wind rejoices,
Ring the answer, “We are here again.
“We were hiding, April. Did you miss
None of us were really gone away;
Stoop thy pretty head and gently kiss us
Once before we all come out to play.
“Here are all the clustering burls of
And the dandelion’s mimic sun;
Of thy much-beloved and vanished posies
None are missing, not a single one!”
Little points of green push out to greet her,
Little creepers grasp her garment’s hem,
Hidden sweetnesses grow ever sweeter
As she bends and brightly smiles at them.
Every tear is answered by a blossom,
Every high with songs and laughter blent,
Apple-blooms upon the breezes toss them.
April knows her own, and is content.
New flowery scents strewed everywhere,
New sunshine poured in largesse fair,
“We shall be happy now,” we say.
A voice just trembles through the air,
And whispers, “May.”
Nay, but we must! No tiny bud
But thrills with rapture at the flood
Of fresh young life which stirs to-day.
The same wild thrill irradiates our blood;
Why hint of “May”?
For us are coming fast and soon
The delicate witcheries of June;
July, with ankles deep in hay;
The bounteous Autumn. Like a mocking tune
Again sounds, “May.”
Spring’s last-born darling, clear-eyed,
Pauses a moment, with white twinkling feet,
And golden locks in breezy play,
Half teasing and half tender, to repeat
Her song of “May.”
Ah, month of hope! all promised glee,
All merry meanings, lie in thee;
Surely no cloud can daunt thy day.
The ripe lips part in smiling mockery,
And murmur, “May.”
Still from the smile a comfort may we glean;
Although our “must-be’s,” “shall-be’s,” idle seem,
Close to our hearts one little word we lay:
We may not be as happy as we dream,
But then we—may.
In the long, bright summer, dear to bird and
When the woods are standing in liveries green and gay,
Merry little voices sound from every tree,
And they whisper secrets all the day.
If we knew the language, we should hear strange
Mrs. Chirry, Mrs. Flurry, deep in private chat.
“How are all your nestlings, dear? Do they use their wings?
What was that sad tale about a cat?”
“Where is your new cottage?” “Hush!
I pray you, hush”.
Please speak very softly, dear, and make no noise.
It is on the lowest bough of the lilac bush.
And I am so dreadfully afraid of boys.