"The snow-drops came so long ago, /It seemed that Spring was near! /But then returned the snow /With biting winds, and all the earth grew sere"
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Late Spring by Henry Van Dyke
Ah, who will tell me, in these leaden days,
Why the sweet Spring delays,
And where she hides, -- the dear desire
Of every heart that longs
For bloom, and fragrance, and the ruby fire
Of maple-buds along the misty hills,
And that immortal call which fills
The waiting wood with songs?
The snow-drops came so long ago,
It seemed that Spring was near!
But then returned the snow
With biting winds, and all the earth grew sere,
And sullen clouds drooped low
To veil the sadness of a hope deferred:
Then rain, rain, rain, incessant rain
Beat on the window-pane,
Through which I watched the solitary bird
That braved the tempest, buffeted and tossed,
With rumpled feathers, down the wind again.
Oh, were the seeds all lost
When winter laid the wild flowers in their tomb?
I searched their haunts in vain
For blue hepaticas, and trilliums white,
And trailing arbutus, the Spring's delight,
Starring the withered leaves with rosy bloom.
The woods were bare: and every night the frost
To all my longings spoke a silent nay,
And told me Spring was far and far away.
Even the robins were too cold to sing,
Except a broken and discouraged note, --
Only the tuneful sparrow, on whose throat
Music has put her triple finger-print,
Lifted his head and sang my heart a hint, --
"Wait, wait, wait! oh, wait a while for Spring!"