by: Henry Timrod (1829-1867)
- PRING, with that nameless pathos
in the air
- Which dwells with all things fair,
- Spring, with her golden suns and silver rain,
- Is with us once again.
- Out in the lonely woods the jasmine burns
- Its fragrant lamps, and turns
- Into a royal court with green festoons
- The banks of dark lagoons.
- In the deep heart of every forest tree
- The blood is all aglee,
- And there's a look about the leafless bowers
- As if they dreamed of flowers.
- Yet still on every side we trace the hand
- Of Winter in the land,
- Save where the maple reddens on the lawn,
- Flushed by the season's dawn;
- Or where like those strange semblances we find
- That age to childhood bind,
- The elm puts on, as if in Nature's scorn,
- The brown of Autumn corn.
- And yet the turf is dark, although you know
- That, not a span below,
- A thousand germs are groping through the gloom,
- And soon will burst their tomb.
- Already, here and there, on frailest stems
- Appear some azure gems,
- Small as might deck, upon a gala day,
- The forehead of a fay.
- In gardens you may note amid the dearth,
- The crocus breaking earth;
- And near the snowdrops tender white and green,
- The violet in its screen.
- But many gleams and shadows needs must pass
- Along the budding grass,
- And weeks go by, before the enamored South
- Shall kiss the rose's mouth.
- Still there's a sense of blossoms yet unborn
- In the sweet airs of morn;
- One almost looks to see the very street
- Grow purple at his feet.
- At times a fragrant breeze comes floating by,
- And brings, you know not why,
- A feeling as when eager crowds await
- Before a palace gate
- Some wondrous pageant; and you scarce would start,
- If from a beech's heart
- A blue-eyed Dryad, stepping forth, should say,
- "Behold me! I am May!"
POEMS BY HENRY TIMROD
"Spring" is reprinted
from The Little Book of American Poets: 1787-1900. Ed.
Jessie B. Rittenhouse. Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1915.