Hark! upon the east-wind, piping, creeping,
Comes a voice all clamorous with despair;
It is April, crying sore and weeping,
O'er the chilly earth, so brown and bare.
"When I went away," she murmurs, sobbing,
"All my violet-banks were starred with blue;
Who, O, who has been here, basely robbing
Bloom and odor from the fragrant crew?
"Who has reft the robin's hidden treasure,--
All the speckled spheres he loved so well?
And the buds which danced in merry measure
To the chiming of the hyacinth's bell?
"Where are all my hedge-rows, flushed with Maying?
And the leafy rain, that tossed so fair,
Like the spray from silver fountains playing,
Where the elm-tree's column rose in air?
"All are vanished, and my heart is breaking;
And my tears they slowly drip and fall;
Only death could listen without waking
To the grief and passion of my call!"
Thus she plaineth. Then ten million voices.
Tiny, murmurous, like drops of rain,
Raised in song as when the wind rejoices,
Ring the answer, "We are here again.
"We were hiding, April. Did you miss us?
None of us were really gone away;
Stoop thy pretty head and gently kiss us
Once before we all come out to play.
"Here are all the clustering burls of roses,
And the dandelion's mimic sun;
Of thy much-beloved and vanished posies
None are missing, not a single one!"
Little points of green push out to greet her,
Little creepers grasp her garment's hem,
Hidden sweetnesses grow ever sweeter
As she bends and brightly smiles at them.
Every tear is answered by a blossom,
Every high with songs and laughter blent,
Apple-blooms upon the breezes toss them.
April knows her own, and is content.