Page images

Thou that givest back so many a buried thing,
Restorer of forgotten harmonies !
Fresh songs and scents break forth, where'er thou


What wakest thou in the heart?

Too much, oh! there too much! We know not well Wherefore it should be thus, yet roused by thee, What fond, strange yearnings, from the soul's deep


Gush for the faces we no more may see !
How are we haunted, in the wind's low tone,

By voices that are gone!

Looks of familiar love, that never more,
Never on earth, our aching eyes shall meet,
Past words of welcome to our household door,
And vanished smiles, and sounds of parted feet,-
Spring! 'midst the murmurs of thy flowering trees,

Why, why revivest thou these?

Vain longings for the dead !-why come they back With thy young birds, and leaves, and living blooms? Oh! is it not, that from thine earthly track



Hope to thy world may look beyond the tombs ?
Yes, gentle Spring! no sorrow dims thine air,

Breathed by our loved ones there!



The hawthorn whitens, and the juicy groves
Put forth their buds unfolding by degrees,
Till the whole leafy forest stands displayed,
In full luxuriance, to the sighing gales ;
Where the deer rustle through the twining brake,
And the birds sing concealed. At once, arrayed
In all the colors of the flushing year,
By Nature's swift and secret-working hand,
The garden glows, and fills the liberal air
With lavish fragrance : while the promised fruit
Lies yet a little embryo, unperceived,
Within its crimson folds. Now from the town,
Buried in smoke, and sleep, and noisome damps,
Oft let me wander o'er the dewy fields,
Where freshness breathes, and dash the trembling
Of sweet-brier hedges I pursue my walk ;
Or taste the smell of dairy: or ascend
Some eminence, Augusta, in thy plains,
And see the country far diffused around,
One boundless blush, one white-empurpled shower
Of mingled blossoms, where the raptured eye
Hurries from joy to joy.

drops From the bent bush as though the verdant maze,



LET us walk where reeds are growing,

By the alders in the mead;
Where the crystal streams are flowing:

In whose waves the fishes feed.

There the golden carp is laving,

With the trout, the perch, and bream;
Mark! their flexile fins are waving,

As they glance along the stream.

Now they sink in deeper billows,

Now upon the surface rise;
Or from under roots of willows,

Dart to catch the water flies.



Midst the reeds and pebbles hiding,

See the minnow and the roach ;
Or by water-lilies gliding,

Shun with fear our near approach.

Do not dread us, timid fishes,

We have neither net nor hook ;
Wanderers we, whose only wishes

Are to read in Nature's book.)



For lo! no sooner has the cold withdrawn, Than the bright elm is tufted on the lawn; The merry sap has run up in the bowers, And burst the windows of the buds in flowers; With song the bosoms of the birds run o'er, The cuckoo calls, the swallow's at the door, And (apple-trees at noon, with bees alive, Burn with the golden chorus of the hive.) Now all these sweets, these sounds, this vernal blaze Is but one joy, expressed a thousand ways:

And honey from the flowers, and song from birds, Are from the poet's pen his overflowing words.



All is still, A balmy night! and though the stars be dim, Yet let us think upon the vernal showers That gladden the green earth, and we shall find A pleasure in the dimness of the stars. And hark! the Nightingale begins its song, “ Most musical, most melancholy” bird ! A melancholy bird! Oh! idle thought ! In Nature there is nothing melancholy.


'Tis the merry Nightingale That crowds, and hurries, and precipitates With fast thick warble his delicious notes, As he were fearful that an April night Would be too short for him to utter forth His love-chant, and disburden his full soul Of all its music!

« PreviousContinue »