Hope waits upon the flowery prime.

Sweet daughter of a rough and stormy sire,
Hoar Winter's blooming child; delightful Spring!
    Whose unshorn locks with leaves
    And swelling buds are crowned;

From the green islands of eternal youth,
Crowned with fresh blooms and ever springing shade,
    Turn, hither turn thy step,
    O thou, whose powerful voice

More sweet than softest touch of Doric reed,
Or Lydian flute, can sooth the madding winds,
    And through the stormy deep
    Breathe thy own tender calm.

Thee, best beloved! the virgin train await
With songs and festal rites, and joy to rove
    Thy blooming wilds among,
    And vales and dewy lawns,

With untired feet; and cull thy earliest sweet
To weave fresh garlands for the glowing brow
    Of him, the favoured youth
    That prompts their whispered sigh.

Unlock thy copious stores,—those tender showers
That drop their sweetness on the infant buds;
    And silent dews that swell
    The milky ear's green stem,

And feed the flowering osier's early shoots;
And call those winds which through the whispering boughs
    With warm and pleasant breath
    Salute the blowing flowers.

Now let me sit beneath the whitening thorn,
And mark thy spreading tints steal o'er the dale,
    And watch with patient eye
    Thy fair unfolding charms.

O nymph, approach! while yet the temperate sun
With bashful forehead though the cool moist air
    Throws his young maiden beams,
    And with chaste kisses wooes

The earth's fair bosom; while the streaming veil
Of lucid clouds with kind and frequent shade
    Protects thy modest blooms
    From his severer blaze.

Sweet is thy reign, but short;—the red dog-star
Shall scorch thy tresses, and the mower's scythe
    Thy greens, thy flowerets all,
    Remorseless shall destroy.

Reluctant shall I bid thee then farewell:
For O not all that Autumn's lap contains,
    Nor Summer's ruddiest fruits,
    Can aught for thee atone,

Fair Spring! whose simplest promise more delights
Than all their largest wealth, and through the heart
    Each joy and new-born hope
    With softest influence breathes.


This poem is in the public domain.