The spring has passed this way. Look! where she trod
The daring crocus sprang up through the sod
To greet her coming with glad heedlessness,
Scarce waiting to put on its leafy dress,
But bright and bold in its brave nakedness.
And further on — mark! — on this gentle rise
She must have paused, for frail anemones
Are trembling to the wind, couched low among
These fresh green grasses, that so lush have sprung
O'er the hid runnel, that with tinkling tongue
Babbles its secret troubles. Here she stopped
A longer while, and on this grassy sweep,
While pensively she lingered, see! she dropped
This knot of lovesick violets from her breast,
Which, as she threw them down, she must have kissed,
For still the fragrance of her breath they keep.
And look! here too her floating robes have brushed,
Where suddenly these almond-branches flushed
To greet her, and in blossoms burst as she
Swept by them — gladsomely and gracefully.
Where is she now? Gone! Vain it were to try
To overtake her. Here, then, let us lie
On this green bank and weave a wreath, and sing
From our full hearts the joyous praise of spring,
Grateful for these dear gifts she left behind —
The flowers, the grass, the soft and odorous wind,
The lingering effluence, the subtle grace
That still, though she has vanished, haunts the place.
Pursuit is vain; for she, like all things fair.
Will not be hunted down into her lair,
And caught and prisoned. Let us not be rude,
Nor seek into her presence to intrude,
But praise her in the distance. Then, perchance,
She may not flee away with winged feet,
But pause and backward cast a favoring glance,
And waft a fragrance to us rare and sweet.
Too eager, we our present joy may miss
In the vain chase of an imagined bliss;
The ideal joy no human hand can seize,
The dream that lures us and before us flees.
The day is passing. Let us own its spell;
And as these trees, feeling within them swell
The blind, dim stirring of the spring, express
In leaves and blossoms their mute thankfulness,
So, grateful, let us take what nature gives;
Love be our blossoms — gentle thoughts our leaves.