Saturday, April 12, 2014

Welcoming Spring - 2014

--‘Spring’, by our near of kin from South Carolina, Henry Timrod (Source:, 7 Feb. 2013, accessed 12 April 2014):

     Spring, 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.
     As 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 snowdrop's tender white and green,
     The violet in its screen.
     But many gleams and shadows need 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!"
     Ah! who would couple thoughts of war and crime
     With such a blessëd time!
     Who in the west wind's aromatic breath
     Could hear the call of Death!
     Yet not more surely shall the Spring awake
     The voice of wood and brake,
     Than she shall rouse, for all her tranquil charms,
     A million men to arms.
     There shall be deeper hues upon her plains
     Than all her sunlit rains,
     And every gladdening influence around,
     Can summon from the ground.
     Oh! standing on this desecrated mould,
     Methinks that I behold,
     Lifting her bloody daisies up to God,
     Spring kneeling on the sod,
     And calling, with the voice of all her rills,
     Upon the ancient hills
     To fall and crush the tyrants and the slaves
     Who turn her meads to graves.

--‘The Spring’, by our more distant kinsman, the Rev William Barnes of Dorset, England (Source:, 9 June 2007, accessed 12 April 2014):

When wintry weather's all a-done,
An' brooks do sparkle in the zun,
An' nâisy-buildèn rooks do vlee
Wi' sticks toward their elem tree;
When birds do zing, an' we can zee
Upon the boughs the buds o' spring,—
Then I'm as happy as a king,
A-vield wi' health an' zunsheen.

Vor then the cowslip's hangèn flow'r
A-wetted in the zunny show'r,
Do grow wi' vi'lets, sweet o' smell,
Bezide the wood-screen'd grægle's bell;
Where drushes' aggs, wi' sky-blue shell,
Do lie in mossy nest among
The thorns, while they do zing their zong
At evenèn in the zunsheen.

An' God do meäke his win' to blow
An' raïn to vall vor high an' low,
An' bid his mornèn zun to rise
Vor all alike, an' groun' an' skies
Ha' colors vor the poor man's eyes:
An' in our trials He is near,
To hear our mwoan an' zee our tear,
An' turn our clouds to zunsheen.

An' many times when I do vind
Things all goo wrong, an' vo'k unkind,
To zee the happy veedèn herds,
An' hear the zingèn o' the birds,
Do soothe my sorrow mwore than words;
Vor I do zee that 'tis our sin
Do meäke woone's soul so dark 'ithin,
When God would gi'e woone zunsheen.

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