By Charles Sangster



          The Spring is in the air,
I feel her spirit-kiss upon my lips,
          I lay my forehead bare,
And the blood rushes to my finger-tips,
And back through the full veins of my glad heart:


          Her purple breath is warm
In every pore of my encarmined cheek,
          And through my limbs the storm
Of renewed life, no longer winter-weak,
Gives health and vigor to each vital part,


          I fling my arms abroad,
And clasp the atmosphere unto my breast,
          I feel the grassy sod
Beneath my feet springing from its long rest,
Like buried hopes arising in the soul:


          The erewhile aged hills
With youth reänimate are fresh and green,
          From their old lips the rills
Leap forth, like crystal images serene,
Pearl thoughts of wisdom bounding to their goal. [Page 63]

          Close by the gray old stone
Where sat the Boy, where lately paused the Man,
          A violet has blown—
The eye of Pallas on the cheek of Pan—
A blue-eyed infant at a giant’s feet:


          Over the meadows pass
The bronzed butterflies and the wild bees,
          Searching in the young grass
For the fresh daisies; and the lilac trees
Surfeit the odorous air with breathings sweet.


          The fields are carpeted
With amethystine hyacinths; the rose
          Peers from its leafy bed
Along the ledge; the purling brooklet flows
Over the white sands to the lilies’ side:


          Here, in the apple tree,
Where, surely as the spring time comes, is heard
          His soft, rich melody,
The happy robin sits—a welcome bird,
Waking the pulse to joy each morning tide.


          The music of the bells
Tinkling among the early shepherd flocks,
          In silvery pantings, swells
Along the Orient, ere the saffron locks
Of the proud sun have yellowed o’er the sea:


          Scarcely a breath of air
Quickens the thrilling silence of the vale: [Page 64]
          But the warm Spring is there,
A thousand choirs her rosy presence hail,
Stirring the heart-chords all to minstrelsy—


          Rousing the organ-tone
That peals melodiously through the old woods,
          Making the forests groan
With music, shaking the deep solitudes
Whose vigorous allelujahs rouse the morn:


          The many-voicéd hills
Take up the pæan, bearing it along
          Until the wild chant fills
The vocal wilderness with solemn song:
“Shout mighty forests! for to-day is born


          “The rosy-featured Spring!
Shout your deep-chested pæans, till the bass,
          Upon the lightning wing
Of startled Echo, fills the listening space
With psalmy welcome to our light-robed Queen:


          “Her breath is in the air,
It floats upon the distant mountain peak,
          The strolling zephyrs bear
Her loving kisses to each human cheek,
And Spring reigns blandly o’er the wide demesne.” [Page 65]