Alfred Austin

(30 May 1835 – 2 June 1913 / Headingley)

Another Spring Carol - Poem by Alfred Austin

Now Winter hath drifted
To bygone years,
And the sod is uplifted
By crocus spears;
And out of the hive the bee wings humming,
And we know that the Spring, the Spring, is coming.

For the snow hath melted
From sunless cleft,
And the clouds that pelted
Slant sleet have left
The sky as blue as a child's gaze after
Its tears have vanished and veered to laughter.

See! light is gleaming
In primrose brakes,
And out of its dreaming
The speedwell wakes,
And the tender tips of the timid clover
Peep forth to see if the frost be over.

The celandine gazes
Straight at the sun;
The starlike daisies
Peer one by one;
And, over the pool where the sallow glistens,
The daffodil hangs its head and listens.

At first but single,
And then in flocks,
In dell and dingle
The lady-smocks
Make mist for the golden cowslip tapers
To shine like sunrise through morning vapours.

In fat-ribbed fallows
The lapwings nest,
And the home-coming swallows
Seek out where best
They may build, with a love that is sure and stable,
Their cosy cribs under last year's gable.

The blackcaps treble
A strain as sweet
As stream o'er pebble,
Or wind through wheat,
While, like flickering light, the kinglet hovers
Round woodbined haven of hiding lovers.

The lark chants, soaring
From moist brown heath,
'Twixt Heaven's high flooring
And earth beneath,
Like a true wise poet, in wavering weather,
A carol to link the twain together.

The cuckoo, flaunting
O'er glen and glade,
Flies loudly vaunting
New loves betrayed,
Till we all of us echo the madcap saying,
And laugh, and joyously wend a'maying.

Then in mask and tabard
The mummer trips,
And out of its scabbard
The iris slips,
And calls to the lily and rose, ``Why tarry,
Now the nightingale under the silence starry,

``Keeps trilling, trilling,
Its nest above,
The descant thrilling
Of straining love,
That yearneth for more-more-more,-till gladness,
Still winged with wanting, seems one with sadness.''

But once the roses
And lilies blow,
Our wilding posies
Follow the snow,
And, turning to greet the fair new comer,
We find the face of the fearless Summer.

But though sultry shimmer
And panting heat
Lure senses dimmer
To deem them sweet,
Who would not exchange their passionate thunder
For May's moist blushes of maiden wonder?

But Winter hath drifted
To bygone years,
And the sod is uplifted
By crocus spears;
And out of the hive the bee wings humming,
And we know that the Spring is coming, coming!


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 8, 2010



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