The Promise of the Hawthorn

A poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne

Spring sleeps and stirs and trembles with desire
Pure as a babe's that nestles toward the breast.
The world, as yet an all unstricken lyre,
With all its chords alive and all at rest,
Feels not the sun's hand yet, but feels his breath
And yearns for love made perfect. Man and bird,
Thrilled through with hope of life that casts out death,
Wait with a rapturous patience till his word
Speak heaven, and flower by flower and tree by tree
Give back the silent strenuous utterance. Earth,
Alive awhile and joyful as the sea,
Laughs not aloud in joy too deep for mirth,
Presageful of perfection of delight,
Till all the unborn green buds be born in white.

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