Early April Poem by Roden Berkeley Wriothesley Noel

Early April

Is it sweet to look into one another's faces
Over where the clear laughing water races,
Where the herbs are all like delicate laces?
Are ye in love with one another's faces?
Flowers of the wildwood, tell me!

Virginal purity of pale primroses!
Petal on petal of a sister reposes,
And the shadow of either on either dozes;
Wildwood flowers, we hail you!

Many daintily-formed green leaves have met,
Strawberry leaf and violet,
'Tis a little too cold for the nightingale yet;
Philomel, he'll not fail you!

Fairy windflower, wood anemones,
Delicate company under the trees,
Snowflake ruffled by a merryfoot breeze,
Frolicsome singing aërial glees,
Frail white stars of the wildwood!

Every frail face looking a different way,
O'er you arriveth a silver ray;
Bronze boughs embroider a pearly grey,
Luminous air in the wildwood.

O white windflower with the purple dyes,
Your candour of innocence meets mine eyes,
And bids the bowed heart in me arise;
You are kin to the little ones, humble and wise,
Young, newly-born in the wildwood.

The joy of our Earth-mother thrills through the groves;
A long cooing sound of woodland doves!
Feathered folk serenade the fair nest-lying loves,
Call young flowers in the wildwood.

We are glad you are here again lovely and gay,
Dull was the winter when you were away;
We never have had any heart to play,
While you were afar from the wildwood;
And now we are off to the woodland!

Come along, little children! blithe birds are singing,
Budding leaves with a magical melody ringing,
Flowers faint censers of odour swinging;
Come along, little loves, to the wildwood!
We may find fairy forms in the woodland!

All the boughs are alive with a luminous green,
Leaflets uncurl fairy frills to the sheen,
Wings dip and dart over the woodland scene;
We listen and lighten, we know what they mean;
Spring has arrived in the woodland!
Sing heigh! sing ho! for the woodland!

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