How sweet it us'd to be, when April first
Unclos'd the arum-leaves, and into view
Its ear-like spindling flowers their cases burst,
Beting'd with yellowish white or lushy hue:
Though manhood now with such has small to do,
Yet I remember what delight was mine
When on my Sunday walks I us'd to go,
Flower-gathering tribes in childish bliss to join;
Peeping and searching hedge-row side or woods,
When thorns stain green with slow unclosing buds.
Ah, how delighted, humming on the time
Some nameless song or tale, I sought the flowers;
Some rushy dyke to jump, or brink to climb,
Ere I obtain'd them; while from hasty showers
Oft under trees we nestled in a ring,
Culling our "lords and ladies."--O ye hours!
I never see the broad-leav'd arum spring
Stained with spots of jet; I never see
Those dear delights which April still does bring,
But memory's tongue repeats it all to me.
I view her pictures with an anxious eye,
I hear her stories with a pleasing pain:
Youth's wither'd flowers, alas! ye make me sigh,
To think in me ye'll never bloom again.