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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Poems. I. Spring

Aubrey de Vere (1814–1902)

ONCE more, through God’s high will and grace,

Of hours that each its task fulfils,

Heart-healing Spring resumes its place

The valley through, and scales the hills.

Who knows not Spring? who doubts when blows

Her breath, that Spring is come indeed?

The swallow doubts not; nor the rose

That stirs, but wakes not; nor the weed.

Once more the cuckoo’s call I hear;

I know, in many a glen profound,

The earliest violets of the year

Rise up like water from the ground.

The thorn, I know, once more is white;

And far down many a forest dale,

The anemones in dubious light

Are trembling like a bridal veil.

By streams released that surging flow

From craggy shelf, through sylvan glades,

The pale narcissus, well I know,

Smiles hour by hour on greener shades.

The honey’d cowslip tufts once more

The golden slopes;—with gradual ray

The primrose stars the rock, and o’er

The wood-path strews its milky way.

I see her not—I feel her near,

As charioted in mildest airs

She sails through yon empyreal sphere,

And in her arms and bosom bears

That urn of flowers, and lustral dews,

Whose sacred balm, on all things shed,

Revives the weak, the old renews,

And crowns with votive wreaths the dead.