Sweet April sat in a regal wood,
And I sat down by her side;
Glad with the promise of leaf and of bud,
Flushed with the glory of Sol's bright flood, -
There she sat in her queenly pride.
Out and away from the regal wood
Cloud-isles hung in the motionless sky;
And the heavenly league, and the earthly rood,
Seem'd fresh from the voice that pronounced them "good," -
And happy were April and I.
In and about in the regal wood
The birds were full of April glee;
On a leafing elm a bold thrush stood,
Singing a song that was understood
By a mate on a neighboring tree.
But a cloud came over the regal wood,
In the scream of a frighted hare;
A hound pursued it eager for blood;
A squirrel nigh me shook where it stood;
And I fancied the world less fair.
Then I rose to depart from the regal wood,
And saw in the grass that there lay
A glittering snake with a raven hood;
The sight of it cooled and curdled my blood:
I trembled, - and went on my way.