06 November 2013

The Birds of Spring - An 1859 Poem

Sing on by fane and forest old,
By tombs and cottage eaves,
And tell the waste of coming flowers,
The weed of noming leaves;
The same sweet song that o'er the birth
Of earliest blossoms rang,
And caught its music from the hymn
The stars of morning sang.
It hailed the radient path of Spring,
By stream and valley fair,
And o'er the earth's green hill-tops, when
No stop but here was there;
And like the laurel's gift of green,
The violet's depth of blue,
It has survived a thousands thrones,
And yet the song is new.
Now as we heard it in the years
Whose memories still are young,
When life's first rainbow o'er the path
That visioned light has melted long,
From hearts whose hopes have met
The shower and shadow; but your strains
Are loved and trusted yet.
They some when sunset's dying lines,
Or morning's waking smiles
Light up the mountain's rocky shrines,
The lonely forest aisles.
Our souls, from all their early store,
Have kept one answering tone
Of joy, to greet each gushing song
With gladness like its own.
There have been harps among us strung —
It seemed beside "the tree
Of life," where all the flowers we sought,
Or dreamt of, yet might be;
But early fell the hush of death
On each unwearied string,
That caught, though from afar, the dew
Of everlasting Spring.
O blest in true and tearless love!
O free of earth and air!
For whom the past has no regret,
The all to come no care!
Still, from its Summers far away,
To the worn heart, ye bring
Its early store of love and hope —
Sweet prophet — birds of Spring!
March 17, 1859. Highland Weekly News 22(46): 1. Poetry feature on the front page.