The Adventurers

A poem by Henry Newbolt

Over the downs in sunlight clear
Forth we went in the spring of the year:
Plunder of April's gold we sought,
Little of April's anger thought.

Caught in a copse without defence
Low we crouched to the rain-squall dense:
Sure, if misery man can vex,
There it beat on our bended necks.

Yet when again we wander on
Suddenly all that gloom is gone:
Under and over through the wood,
Life is astir, and life is good.

Violets purple, violets white,
Delicate windflowers dancing light,
Primrose, mercury, moscatel,
Shimmer in diamonds round the dell.

Squirrel is climbing swift and lithe,
Chiff-chaff whetting his airy scythe,
Woodpecker whirrs his rattling rap,
Ringdove flies with a sudden clap.

Rook is summoning rook to build,
Dunnock his beak with moss has filled,
Robin is bowing in coat-tails brown,
Tomtit chattering upside down.

Well is it seen that every one
Laughs at the rain and loves the sun;
We too laughed with the wildwood crew,
Laughed till the sky once more was blue.

Homeward over the downs we went
Soaked to the heart with sweet content;
April's anger is swift to fall,
April's wonder is worth it all.

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