Spring

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

(After the German of Goethe, Faust, II)


When on the mountain tops ray-crowned Apollo
Turns his swift arrows, dart on glittering dart,
Let but a rock glint green, the wild goats follow
Glad-grazing shyly on each sparse-grown part.

Rolled into plunging torrents spring the fountains;
And slope and vale and meadowland grow green;
While on ridg'd levels of a hundred mountains,
Far fleece by fleece, the woolly flocks convene.

With measured stride, deliberate and steady,
The scattered cattle seek the beetling steep,
But shelter for th' assembled herd is ready
In many hollows that the walled rocks heap:

The lairs of Pan; and, lo, in murmuring places,
In bushy clefts, what woodland Nymphs arouse!
Where, full of yearning for the azure spaces,
Tree, crowding tree, lifts high its heavy boughs.

Old forests, where the gnarly oak stands regnant
Bristling with twigs that still repullulate,
And, swoln with spring, with sappy sweetness pregnant,
The maple blushes with its leafy weight.

And, mother-like, in cirques of quiet shadows,
Milk flows, warm milk, that keeps all things alive;
Fruit is not far, th' abundance of the meadows,
And honey oozes from the hollow hive.

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