Treasure Island

Emma Lazarus

(22 July 1849 – 19 November 1887 / New York City / United States)

Spring Longing


Lilac hazes veil the skies.
Languid sighs
Breathes the mild, caressing air.
Pink as coral's branching sprays,
Orchard ways
With the blossomed peach are fair.

Sunshine, cordial as a kiss,
Poureth bliss
In this craving soul of mine,
And my heart her flower-cup
Lifteth up,
Thirsting for the draught divine.

Swift the liquid golden flame
Through my frame
Sets my throbbing veins afire.
Bright, alluring dreams arise,
Brim mine eyes
With the tears of strong desire.

All familiar scenes anear
Disappear-
Homestead, orchard, field, and wold.
Moorish spires and turrets fair
Cleave the air,
Arabesqued on skies of gold.

Low, my spirit, this May morn,
Outward borne,
Over seas hath taken wing:
Where the mediaeval town,
Like a crown,
Wears the garland of the Spring.

Light and sound and odors sweet
Fill the street;
Gypsy girls are selling flowers.
Lean hidalgos turn aside,
Amorous-eyed,
'Neath the grim cathedral towers.

Oh, to be in Spain to-day,
Where the May
Recks no whit of good or evil,
Love and only love breathes she!
Oh, to be
'Midst the olive-rows of Seville!

Or on such a day to glide
With the tide
Of the berylline lagoon,
Through the streets that mirror heaven,
Crystal paven,
In the warm Venetian noon.

At the prow the gondolier
May not hear,
May not see our furtive kiss;
But he lends with cadenced strain
The refrain
To our ripe and silent bliss.

Golden shadows, silver light,
Burnish bright
Air and water, domes and skies;
As in some ambrosial dream,
On the stream
Floats our bark in magic wise.

Oh, to float day long just so!
Naught to know
Of the trouble, toil, and fret!
This is love, and this is May:
Yesterday
And to-morrow to forget!

Whither hast thou, Fancy free,
Guided me,
Wild Bohemian sister dear?
All thy gypsy soul is stirred
Since yon bird
Warbled that the Spring was here.

Tempt no more! I may not follow,
Like the swallow,
Gayly on the track of Spring.
Bounden by an iron fate,
I must wait,
Dream and wonder, yearn and sing.

Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010

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