Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SPRING, by ABRAHAM COWLEY

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THE SPRING, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Though you be absent here, I needs must say
Last Line: This is for beasts, and that for men the spring.
Subject(s): Love; Spring


THough you be absent here, I needs must say,
The Trees as beauteous are, and flowers as gay,
As ever they were wont to be:
Nay the Birds' rurall musicke too
Is as melodious and free,
As if they sung to pleasure you:
I saw a Rose-bud 'ope this morne; I'le sweare
The blushing Morning op'ned not more faire.


How could it be so faire, and you away?
How could the Trees be beauteous, Flowers so gay?
Could they remember but last yeare,
How you did Them, They you delight,
The sprouting leaves which saw you here,
And called their Fellowes to the sight,
Would, looking round for the same sight in vaine,
Creepe back into their silent Barkes again.


Where-ere you walk'd, trees were as reverend made,
As when of old Gods dwelt in every shade.
Is't possible they should not know,
What losse of honour they sustaine,
That thus they smile and flourish now,
And still their former pride retaine?
Dull creatures! 'tis not without cause that she,
Who fled the God of wit, was made a Tree.


In ancient times sure they much wiser were,
When they rejoyc'd the Thracian verse to heare;
In vaine did Nature bid them stay,
When Orpheus had his Song begunne,
They calld their wondring rootes away,
And bad them silent to him run.
How would those learned trees have follow'd you?
You would have drawne Them, and their Poet too.


But who can blame them now? for, since you're gone,
They're here the onely Faire, and Shine alone.
You did their Natural Rights invade;
Where-ever you did walke or sit,
The thickest Bowes could make no shade,
Although the Sunne had granted it:
The fairest flowers could please noe more, neare you,
Than Painted flowers, set next to them, could doe.


Whene're then you come hither, that shall bee
The time, which this to others is, to Mee.
The little Joyes which here are now,
The name of Punishments doe beare;
When by their sight they let us Know
How we deprived of greater are.
'Tis you the best of Seasons with you bring;
This is for Beasts, and that for Men the Spring.

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