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Red windy dawn,

Swift rain and sunny;

Wild bees seeking honey,
Crocus on the lawn;

Blossom on the plum. .

Grass begins to grow,

Dandelions come;
Snowdrops haste to go
After last month's snow;
Rough winds beat and blow,
Blossom on the plum.

Nora Hopper (18

WRITTEN IN MARCH
THE Cock is crowing,
The stream is flowing,
The small birds twitter,

The lake doth glitter,
The green field sleeps in the sun;

The oldest and youngest
Are at work with the strongest;
The cattle are grazing,

Their heads never raising;
There are forty feeding like one!

Like an army defeated
The snow hath retreated,
And now doth fare ill

On the top of the bare hill;
The ploughboy is whooping-anon-anon

There's joy in the mountains;
There's life in the fountains;
Small clouds are sailing,

Blue sky prevailing;
The rain is over and gone!

William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

Home Thoughts, From Abroad 1309

THE PASSING OF MARCH
THE braggart March stood in the season's door

With his broad shoulders blocking up the way,
Shaking the snow-flakes from the cloak he wore,

And from the fringes of his kirtle gray. Near by him April stood with tearful face,

With violets in her hands, and in her hair Pale, wild anemones; the fragrant lace

Half-parted from her breast, which seemed like fair, Dawn-tinted mountain snow, smooth-drifted there.

She on the blusterer's arm laid one white hand,

But he would none of her soft blandishment,
Yet did she plead with tears none might withstand,

For even the fiercest hearts at last relent.
And he, at last, in ruffian tenderness,

With one swift, crushing kiss her lips did greet. Ah, poor starved heart!—for that one rude caress, She cast her violets underneath his feet.

Robert Burns Wilson (1850–

HOME THOUGHTS, FROM ABROAD
Oh, to be in England
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England-now!

And after April, when May follows
And the white-throat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops—at the bent spray's edge-
That's the wise thrush: he sings each song twice over,

Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower
-Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

Robert Browning (1812–1889)

SONG
APRIL, April,
Laugh thy girlish laughter;
Then, the moment after,
Weep thy girlish tears!
April, that mine ears
Like a lover greetest,
If I tell thee, sweetest,
All my hopes and fears,
April, April,
Laugh thy golden laughter,
But, the moment after,
Weep thy golden tears!

William Watson (1858–

AN APRIL ADORATION

SANG the sunrise on an amber morn-
“Earth, be glad! An April day is born.

“Winter's done, and April's in the skies,
Earth, look up with laughter in your eyes!”

Putting off her dumb dismay of snow,
Earth bade all her unseen children grow.

Then the sound of growing in the air
Rose to God a liturgy of prayer;

And the thronged succession of the days
Uttered up to God a psalm of praise.

Sweet Wild April

1311

Laughed the running sap in every vein,
Laughed the running flurries of warm rain,

Laughed the life in every wandering root,
Laughed the tingling cells of bud and shoot.

God in all the concord of their mirth
Heard the adoration-song of Earth.

Charles G. D. Roberts (1860

SWEET WILD APRIL
O SWEET wild April

Came over the hills,
He skipped with the winds

And he tripped with the rills;
His raiment was all
Of the daffodils.

Sing hi,
Sing hey,
Sing ho!

O sweet wild April

Came down the lea,
Dancing along

With his sisters three:
Carnation, and Rose,
And tall Lily.

Sing hi,
Sing hey,
Sing ho!

O sweet wild April,

On pastoral quill
Came piping in moonlight

By hollow and hill,
In starlight at midnight,
By dingle and rill.

Sing hi,
Sing hey,
Sing ho!

Where sweet wild April

His melody played,
Trooped cowslip, and primrose,

And iris, the maid,
And silver narcissus,
A star in the shade.

Sing hi,
Sing hey,
Sing ho!

When sweet wild April

Dipped down the dale, Pale cuckoopint brightened,

And windflower frail,
And white-thorn, the wood-bride,
In virginal veil.

Sing hi,
Sing hey,
Sing ho!

When sweet wild April

Through deep woods pressed, Sang cuckoo above him,

And lark on his crest,
And Philomel fluttered
Close under his breast.

Sing hi,
Sing hey,
Sing ho!

O sweet wild April,

Wherever you went
The bondage of winter

Was broken and rent,
Sank elfin ice-city
And frost-goblin's tent.

Sing hi,
Sing hey,
Sing ho!

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