So war has begun, they say:
Well, Spring is here before it;
If war takes much away,
And leaves us to deplore it,—
Yet see! the woody dells once more
Are turning green, in spite of war.
On yonder maple-tree
The misty buds are swelling;
Peep from their mossy dwelling,
And bluebirds, far and near, outpour
Their brimming hope, in spite of war.
Rumor, with awful tales
Of death and of disaster,
May clamor through our vales,
But Spring comes hither faster,
Humming a tender rune of peace—
Breathing of bloom and life's increase.
Old soldiers still relate
How at Resaca's battle,—
As if to compensate,—
Above the din and rattle
Of musketry, continued long,
A mockingbird sang rapturous song:
And one who lay near death,—
A soldier sorely wounded,
Drew less distressful breath,
As clear that music sounded,
And felt to his tired spirit come
The most delightful dreams of home.
Ah, well! we talk of war,
But peace is so much kinder,
That all our strife is for
Is just the hope to find her:
And see!—how Spring, with look serene,
Is garlanding her halls in green!