Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TROY PARK: 1. THE WARMTH OF SPRING, by EDITH SITWELL

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

TROY PARK: 1. THE WARMTH OF SPRING, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Under the five-pointed, the great gold sun
Last Line: "the clouds have long wild hair that tangles sleep."
Subject(s): Spring


UNDER the five-pointed, the great gold sun,
That gardener spring has brought into perfection
The goat-foot satyr waves were sighing strangely
Of unseen beauty; at the hot sand's edge
Anchored by waters like the sound of flutes
Our nurses sat; it seemed, I thought, they listened.
And they were black with shade, and so we named
Them Asia, Africa, and still they seem
Each like a continent with flowers and fruits
Unknown to us; in the hot noon they glistened
With wild dew crying of some long-still dream.

In snow-soft places melting into flowers
Young girls are sitting under zither-thinkling
Green leaves, and they too are black with shade.
But oh, the new worlds hidden in each heart!
And the white seraph flower-bells bright with dew,
So gauzy they seem floating on the air,
Are speaking of those worlds the young girls knew.
Their hair is glittering like jewels, the grass is soft
As little birds and singing of the forests.

For in the forests great flowers shine like music,
Or spread to silence in the tropic heat,
And every flower tells a thousand legends
Of unseen beauty that will never die;
And the birds shining in the dark of forests
Forget the grief of Philomela, knowing
Only her youth, forgetting all the darkness.

Our nurses called to us, their faces lovely
As that dove-soft hour we call good night;
Africa and Asia spoke, "Oh never
Must you wander far into the forests,
Lest you should learn life from the dwarfish dust,
Or, like Cassandra, your deep lips should learn
The speech of birds and serpents in that glade
Where we have spoken with the ultimate Darkness, --
Or know the secrets that in earth are laid --
The buried jewels whose hearts may never soften
Into sweet flowers to bloom in the spring forests.
For there is one dark forest -- one whose name
You know not, haunted by a darker shade."
Yet as they spoke, the old worlds died like dew --
Life was so beautiful that shadow meant
Not death, but only peace, a lovely lulling.


"TELL us the story that the flowers are sighing
Of long ago, ere this old world lay dying."

"In the forest of sweet birds the spring begins
And all the trees have leaves like drops of water,
Or small soft birds that sing of lost delight.
There is a song that one strange bird is singing
To the brown child that seemed an idol buried
Deep beneath the sands, long ages since,
Whose heart has changed into a diamond
Down below the old and wrinkled darkness
Of Mexican forests, buried like an idol --
Awakening now, and changing to a flower,
For this is spring and the forest of sweet birds."

"What is the song that one strange bird is singing
Where in the spring the sweet and yellow weed
Has perfume like a light within the mind?"

And shall we never find those diamonds bright
That were the fawn-queen of Palmyra's eyes?
Ah, dark hot jewels lie hidden from the sight
Under dark palm trees where the river sighs
Beyond the tomb of young eternities.
And in the desert, lonely flowers weep --
The clouds have long wild hair that tangles sleep."

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