06 November 2013

An American Forest Song - An 1856 Poem

By Alfred B. Street.
Now fluttering breeze, now stormy blast,
Mild rain, then blustering snow —
Winter's stern, fluttering cold is passed,
But, sweet Spring, where are thou?
The white cloud floats 'mid smiling blue,
The broad bright sunshine's golden hue
Bathes the still frozen earth;
'Tis changed! — above black vapors roll —
We turn from our expected stroll,
And seek the blazing hearth.
Hark! — that sweet carol — with delight
We leave the sitting room, —
The little blue bird meets our sight —
Spring, glorious Spring has come!
The south-wind's balm is in the air,
The melting snow wreaths everywhere
Are leaping off in showers;
And Nature, in her brightening looks
Tells that her flowers and leaves and brooks
And birds will soon be ours.
A few soft sunny days have shone,
The air has lost its chill,
A bright green tinge succeeds the brown
Upon the southern hill
Off to the woods — a pleasant scene;
Here sprouts the fresh young wintergreen,
There swells a mossy mound;
Though in the hollow drifts are piled,
The wandering wind is sweet and mild,
And buds are bursting sound.
Where its long rings uncurls the fern,
The violet, nestling low,
Casts back the white lid of its urn,
Its purple streaks to show
Beautiful blossom! first to rise
And smile beneath Spring's weakening skies.
The courier of the band
Of coming flowers, — what feelings sweet
Gush as the silvery gem we meet
Upon its slender wand!
Warmer is each successive sky,
More soft the breezes pass;
The maple's gems of crimson lie
Upon the thick green grass
The dogwood sheds its clusters white,
The birch has dropped its tassels slight,
Cowslips are round the rill;
The thresher whistles in the glen,
Flutters around the warbling wren,
And swamps have voices shrill.
A simultaneous burst of leaves
Has clothed the forest now;
A single day's bright sunshine weaves
This vivid, gorgeous show
Masses of shade are cast beneath,
The flowers are spread in varied wreath
Night brings its soft, sweet moon;
Morn wakes in mist, and twilight gray
Weeps its bright dew, and smiling May
Melts into blooming June.
May 29, 1856. Washington D.C. Evening Star 7(1032): 4.