06 November 2013

Spring Answers - An 1885 Indiana Poem

By Mary A.F. Humphrey.
Tell me, sweet crocus, — I long so to know, —
How did it seem to you under the snow?
Were you afraid of the dark and the cold?
How did you know when to creep from the mold?
"Oh I had never a thought of harm!
Under my coverlet soft and white,
Folded so warmly away from the storm,
All the long winter seemed only a night!
Till I felt how the earth's heart under me beat,
And sprang up to the sunshine, strong and sweet!"
Blue-bird, dear blue-bird, and have you come back?
How could you fly without compass or track?
Will you not grieve if some days should be drear, —
Leaving a summer that lasts all the year?
"Bright were the bowers of the orange and lime,
Yet dearer my home in the apple tree now,
Daily and nightly I dream of the time
When my soft fledglings shall rock on the bough,
I needed no compass or chart on my way, —
I heard a voice call me, and could but obey!"
Little red squirrel, high up on the tree,
Why do you chatter and scold at me?
How have the long months fared with you?
Shy little squirrel, O tell me true!
"Snug in a hollow I made my nest,
Lined with the softest of leaves and moss, —
Nothing it mattered to break my rest
How the long branches might writhe and toss, —
But my nuts, — and sweeter than mine were none! —
Were all gathered in autumn, one by one."
Shy, little brook, why such riot and rout?
What is the noise of your babbling about?
You can not surely have stories to tell,
Shut up so long like a monk in a cell!
"Ah! but the fetters that bound me are burst,
Melted away in the smile of the skies!
Down in the meadow, the spring-flowers athirst,
Wait for my coming to open their eyes,
There's a call on the breeze that blows soft from the west,
From my mother, the river — I fly to her breast.
May 3, 1885. Indianapolis Sentinel 34(123): 7.