The wild bird's first exultant strain
Says,—"Winter is over—over!"
And spring returns to the wold again,
With breath as of lilac and clover.
With a certain soft, appealing grace
(Surely some sorrow hath kissed her!)
She gives to our vision her girlish face,
And we know how we've missed her—missed her!
For on a day she went away,
Long ere the leaves were falling,
And came no more for the whitethroat's lay,
Or the pewee's plaintive calling:
In tender tints on her broidered shoon
Blossomed the leaves of the myrtle,
And silky buds of the darling June
Were folded up in her kirtle;
And fair, fair, fair, in her sunlit hair
Were violets intertwining,
That seemed more fresh and unfading there
Than when with dewdrops shining!
She hid them all in her dim retreat:
But, heart! a truce to sighing;
She's here—incomparably sweet,
Unchanging and undying!
We see her brow, and we rejoice,
Her cheek, as it pales and flushes,
We hear once more in her thrilling voice
The note of the woodland thrushes;
And through her lashes, tear-empearled,
A mystic light is breaking,
And all the love of the whole wide world
Seems in her eyes awaking!