Between The Showers
Between the showers I went my way,
The glistening street was bright with flowers;
It seemed that March had turned to May
Between the showers.
Above the shining roofs and towers
The blue broke forth athwart the grey;
Birds carolled in their leafless bowers.
Hither and tither, swift and gay,
The people chased the changeful hours;
And you, you passed and smiled that day,
Between the showers.
On The Wye In May
Now is the perfect moment of the year.
Half naked branches, half a mist of green,
Vivid and delicate the slopes appear;
The cool, soft air is neither fierce nor keen,
And in the temperate sun we feel no fear;
Of all the hours which shall be and have been,
It is the briefest as it is most dear,
It is the dearest as the shortest seen.
O it was best, belovèd, at the first.--
Our hands met gently, and our meeting sight
Was steady; on our senses scarce had burst
The faint, fresh fragrance of the new delight. . .
I seek that clime, unknown, without a name,
Where first and best and last shall be the same.
"Mein Herz, mein Herz ist traurig
Doch lustig leuchtet der Mai"
There's May amid the meadows,
There's May amid the trees;
Her May-time note the cuckoo
Sends forth upon the breeze.
Above the rippling river
May swallows skim and dart;
November and December
Keep watch within my heart.
The spring breathes in the breezes,
The woods with wood-notes ring,
And all the budding hedgerows
Are fragrant of the spring.
In secret, silent places
The live green things upstart;
Ice-bound, ice-crown'd dwells winter
For ever in my heart.
Upon the bridge I linger,
Near where the lime-trees grow;
Above, swart birds are circling,
Beneath, the stream runs slow.
A stripling and a maiden
Come wand'ring up the way;
His eyes are glad with springtime,
Her face is fair with May.
Of warmth the sun and sweetness
All nature takes a part;
The ice of all the ages
Weighs down upon my heart.
A March Day In London
The east wind blows in the street to-day;
The sky is blue, yet the town looks grey.
'Tis the wind of ice, the wind of fire,
Of cold despair and of hot desire,
Which chills the flesh to aches and pains,
And sends a fever through all the veins.
From end to end, with aimless feet,
All day long have I paced the street.
My limbs are weary, but in my breast
Stirs the goad of a mad unrest.
I would give anything to stay
The little wheel that turns in my brain;
The little wheel that turns all day,
That turns all night with might and main.
What is the thing I fear, and why?
Nay, but the world is all awry--
The wind's in the east, the sun's in the sky.
The gas-lamps gleam in a golden line;
The ruby lights of the hansoms shine,
Glance, and flicker like fire-flies bright;
The wind has fallen with the night,
And once again the town seems fair
Thwart the mist that hangs i' the air.
And o'er, at last, my spirit steals
A weary peace ; peace that conceals
Within its inner depths the grain
Of hopes that yet shall flower again.
The Old Poet
I will be glad because it is the Spring;
I will forget the winter in my heart--
Dead hopes and withered promise; and will wring
A little joy from life ere life depart.
For spendthrift youth with passion-blinded eyes,
Stays not to see how woods and fields are bright;
He hears the phantom voices call, he flies
Upon the track of some unknown delight.
To him the tender glory of the May,
White wonder of the blossom, and the clear,
Soft green leaves that opened yesterday,
This only say: Forward, my friend, not here!
They breathe no other messages than this,
They have no other meaning for his heart;
Unto his troubled sense they tell of bliss,
Which make, themselves, of bliss the better part.
Yea, joy is near him, tho' he does not know;
Her unregarded shape is at his side,
Her unheard voice is whispering clear and low,
Whom, resting never, seeks he far and wide.
So once it was with us, my heart ! To-day
We will be glad because the leaves are green,
Because the fields are fair and soft with May,
Nor think on squandered springtimes that have been.