Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SPRING ON BROADWAY, by LOUIS UNTERMEYER



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SPRING ON BROADWAY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Make way for spring- / spring that's a stranger in the city
Last Line: Make way!
Alternate Author Name(s): Lewis, Michael
Subject(s): Flowers; Seasons; Spring


MAKE way for Spring—
Spring that's a stranger in the city,
Spring that's a truant in the town.
Make way for Spring, for she has no pity
And she will tear your barriers down—
Make way for Spring!

See from her hidden valleys,
With mirth that never palls,
She comes with songs and sallies,
With bells and magic calls,
And dances down your alleys,
And whispers through your walls.

You who never once have missed her
In your town of pomp and pride
Now in vain you will resist her—
You will feel her at your side;
Even in the smallest street,
Even in the densest throng,
She will follow at your feet,
She will walk with you along.
She will stop you as you start
Here and there, and growing bolder,
She will touch you on the shoulder,
She will clutch you at the heart...

Merchant, you who drink your mead
From a golden cup,
Shut your ears, and do not heed;
Look not up.
Beware—for she is light as air,
And her charm will work confusion;
Spring is but an old delusion
And a snare. ...
Merchant, you who drink your mead
While the thirsty die,
Shut your eyes, and do not heed—
Pass her by.
Maiden with the nun-like eyes
Do not pause to greet her;
Spring is far too wild and wise—
Do not meet her.
Do not listen while she tells
Her persuasive lures and spells;
Do not learn her secrets, lest
She should plant them in your breast;
Whisper things to shame and shock you,
Make your heart beat fast—and mock you;
Send you dreams that rob your rest...
Maiden with the nun-like eyes
Spring is far too wild and wise.

And you, my friend, with hasty stride
Think you to escape her;
Ah, like fire touching paper,
She will burn into your side.
She will rouse you once again;
She will sway you, till you follow
Like the smallest singing swallow
In her train.

Put irons on your feet, my friend,
And chain your soul with golden weights,
Lest she should move you in the end
And lead you past the city gates;
And make you frolic with the wind;
And play a thousand godlike parts;
And sing—until within you starts
A pity for the senseless blind,
The deaf, the dumb and all their kind
Whose eager, aimless footsteps wind
Forever to the frantic marts,
Through every mad and breathless street...
My friend, put irons on your feet.

So—and that is right, my friend;
Do not yield.
Send her on her way, and end
All her follies; let her spend
Her reckless days and nights concealed
In wood and field. ... ..
The paths beyond the town are clear;
These skies are wan—
Bid her begone.
What is she doing here?

What is she doing here—and why?
The city is no place for Spring.
What can she have; what can she bring
That you would care to buy.
Her songs? Alas, you do not sing.
Her smiles? You have no time to try.
Her wings? You do not care to fly—
Spring has not fashioned anything
To tempt your jaded eye.

The city is no place for her—
It is too violent and shrill;
Too full of graver things—but still
Beneath the throbbing surge and stir,
Her spirit lives and moves, until
Even the dullest feel the spur
Of an awakened will.

Make way then—Life, rejoicing,
Calls, with a lyric rout,
Till in this mighty voicing
The very stones sing out;
Till nowhere is a single
Sleeping or silent thing,
And worlds that meet and mingle
Fairly tingle with the Spring.

Make way for Her—
For the fervor of Life,
For the passions that stir,
For the courage of Strife;
For the struggles that bring
A more vivid day—
Make way for Spring;
Make way!





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