Welcome, Spring, too long delayed,
by William Bell Scott
Kindest, most reluctant maid:
Sweetest of younger sisters, simplest one
Of the bare bosomed chorus of the year.
Now last season's beech-tree leaf
Hath fallen. The crocus sends her spear
Up through the earth, a little span
Each day increasing to a sheaf.
The housewife sings the damsel's song,
The old man whistles like the boy,
Aches no more his limbs annoy,
He steps out like a sower strong.
Sweetest of younger sisters, odourous tressed
Forcefully wooed by sharp-hoofed breezes, Spring!
Thy advent knows each living thing
Through the dense deep earth impressed
With love's light touch of wondrous flame,
That sense and soul revives the same.
Summer, with her proud silence and her haze
Of heat, her gracious shadows, and her maze
Of leaves and undergrowths and rills
Dropping asleep beneath the cloudless hills,
Hath no such kindly wing
As thou, bird-hatching Spring.
Autumn, with her boisterous mirth
Shaking the red-ripe fruit upon the earth,
Shedding the rose leaves, each eve shedding too
From saddening clouds and stars great drops of dew,
Hath not the prophet tongue,
Like thine, thou ever young,
Young as a child, thou bride more fair,
Innocent as a blush, and strong
As a lion in a poet's song.
May I then venture near thee, in thy hair
To place this pink-edged daisy, Sweet?
Alas, 'tis mortal even there,
Mortal but saintly Margarite.
The heedless sheep goes browsing on,
The daisy from the grass is gone.
Matron Summer is coming anear,
To crown the still inconstant year:
But ere thou flyest, blue-eyed Spring,
It suits us well to bring,
Bound by this withy of poetry,
An offering of thine own flowers to thee.