The April rains are past, the frosts austere,
The flowers are hungering for the genial sun,
The snow 's dissolved, the merry birds are here,
And rural labors now are well begun.
Hither, from the disturbing, noisy Court
I 've flown to this sequestered, quiet scene,
To meditate on Love and Love's disport
Mid these smooth pastures and the meadows green.
Sure 't were no fault of mine, no whispering sin,
If these coy leaves he sends me seem to speak
All that my heart, caressing, folds within;
Nor if I sought to smother, my flushed cheek
Would tell too plainly what I cannot hide,
Fond fancy disenchant nor set aside.
WHO nearer Nature’s life would truly come
Must nearest come to him of whom I speak;
He all kinds knew,—the vocal and the dumb;
Masterful in genius was he, and unique,
Patient, sagacious, tender, frolicsome.
This Concord Pan would oft his whistle take,
And forth from wood and fen, field, hill, and lake,
Trooping around him in their several guise,
The shy inhabitants their haunts forsake:
Then he, like Æsop, man would satirize,
Hold up the image wild to clearest view
Of undiscerning manhood’s puzzled eyes,
And mocking say, “Lo! mirrors here for you:
Be true as these, if ye would be more wise.”