An April Birthday--At Sea

A poem by James Russell Lowell

On this wild waste, where never blossom came,
Save the white wind-flower to the billow's cap,
Or those pale disks of momentary flame,
Loose petals dropped from Dian's careless lap,
What far fetched influence all my fancy fills,
With singing birds and dancing daffodils?

Why, 'tis her day whom jocund April brought,
And who brings April with her in her eyes;
It is her vision lights my lonely thought,
Even as a rose that opes its hushed surprise
In sick men's chambers, with its glowing breath
Plants Summer at the glacier edge of Death.

Gray sky, sea gray as mossy stones on graves;--
Anon comes April in her jollity;
And dancing down the bleak vales 'tween the waves,
Makes them green glades for all her flowers and me.
The gulls turn thrushes, charmed are sea and sky
By magic of my thought, and know not why.

Ah, but I know, for never April's shine,
Nor passion gust of rain, nor all her flowers
Scattered in haste, were seen so sudden fine
As she in various mood, on whom the powers
Of happiest stars in fair conjunction smiled
To bless the birth, of April's darling child.

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