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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.


From the French. Spring

By Charles D’Orleans

GENTLE Spring! in sunshine clad,

Well dost thou thy power display!

For Winter maketh the light heart sad,

And thou, thou makest the sad heart gay.

He sees thee, and calls to his gloomy train,

The sleet, and the snow, and the wind, and the rain;

And they shrink away, and they flee in fear,

When thy merry step draws near.

Winter giveth the fields and the trees, so old,

Their beards of icicles and snow;

And the rain, it raineth so fast and cold,

We must cower over the embers low;

And, snugly housed from the wind and weather,

Mope like birds that are changing feather.

But the storm retires, and the sky grows clear,

When thy merry step draws near.

Winter maketh the sun in the gloomy sky

Wrap him round with a mantle of cloud;

But, Heaven be praised, thy step is nigh;

Thou tearest away the mournful shroud,

And the earth looks bright, and Winter surly,

Who has toiled for naught both late and early,

Is banished afar by the new-born year,

When thy merry step draws near.