(30 May 1835 – 2 June 1913 / Headingley)

When Runnels Began To Leap And Sing

When runnels began to leap and sing,
And daffodil sheaths to blow,
Then out of the thicket came blue-eyed Spring,
And laughed at the melting snow.
``It is time, old Winter, you went,'' she said,
And flitted across the plain,
With an iris scarf around her head,
And diamonded with rain.

When the hawthorn put off her bridal veil,
And the nightingale's nocturn died,
Then Summer came forth with her milking-pail,
And hunted the Spring, and cried,
``It is time you went; you have had your share,''
And she carolled a love-song sweet,
With eglantine ravelled about her hair,
And butter-cup dust on her feet.

When the pears swelled juicy, the apples sweet,
And thatched was the new-ricked hay,
And August was bronzing the stripling wheat,
Then Summer besought to stay.
But Autumn came from the red-roofed farm,
And ``'Tis time that you went,'' replied,
With an amber sheaf on her nut-brown arm,
And her sickle athwart her side.

When the farmer railed at the hireling slut,
And fingered his fatted beeves,
And Autumn groped for the last stray nut
In the drift of her littered leaves,
``It is time you went from the lifeless land,''
Bawled Winter, then whistled weird,
With a log for his hearth in his chilblained hand,
And sleet in his grizzled beard.

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Comments (1)

It's a poem that describes the 4 seasons of the year, personifying them and their transitions between their respective dominions.