Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE VOICE OF SPRING, by FELICIA DOROTHEA HEMANS



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THE VOICE OF SPRING, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I come, I come! Ye have called me long
Last Line: And the flowers are not death's -- fare ye well, farewell!
Alternate Author Name(s): Browne, Felicia Dorothea
Subject(s): Farewell; Spring; Parting


I COME, I come! ye have called me long --
I come o'er the mountains with light and song!
Ye may trace my step o'er the wakening earth,
By the winds which tell of the violet's birth,
By the primrose-stars in the shadowy grass,
By the green leaves opening as I pass.

I have breathed on the South, and the chestnut flowers
By thousands have burst from the forest-bowers,
And the ancient graves and the fallen fanes
Are veiled with wreaths on Italian plains; --
But it is not for me, in my hour of bloom.
To speak of the ruin or the tomb!

I have looked on the hills of the stormy North,
And the larch has hung all his tassels forth,
The fisher is out on the sunny sea,
And the reindeer bounds o'er the pastures free,
And the pine has a fringe of softer green,
And the moss looks bright where my foot hath been.

I have sent through the wood-paths a growing sigh,
And called out each voice of the deep-blue sky;
From the night-bird's lay through the starry time,
In the groves of the soft Hesperian clime,
To the swan's wild note by the Iceland lakes,
When the dark fir-branch into verdure breaks.

From the streams and founts I have loosed the chain,
They are sweeping on to the silvery main,
They are flashing down from the mountain brows,
They are flinging spray o'er the forest boughs,
They are bursting fresh from their sparry caves,
And the earth resounds with the joy of waves!

Come forth, O ye children of gladness! come!
Where the violets lie may be now your home.
Ye of the rose-lip and dew-bright eye,
And the bounding footstep to meet me fly!
With the lyre, and the wreath, and the joyous lay,
Come forth to the sunshine -- I may not stay.

Away from the dwellings of care-worn men,
The waters are sparkling in grove and glen!
Away from the chamber and sullen hearth,
The young leaves are dancing in breezy mirth!
Their light stems thrill to the wild-wood strains,
And youth is abroad in my green domains.

But ye! -- ye are changed since ye met me last!
There is something bright from your features passed!
There is that come over your brow and eye
Which speaks of a world where the flowers must die!
-- Ye smile! but your smile hath a dimness yet;
Oh! what have you looked on since last we met?

Ye are changed, ye are changed! -- and I see not here
All whom I saw in the vanished year!
There were graceful heads, with their ringlets bright,
Which tossed in the breeze with a play of light;
There were eyes in whose glistening laughter lay
No faint remembrance of dull decay!

There were steps that flew o'er the cowslip's head,
As if for a banquet all earth were spread;
There were voices that rang through the sapphire sky,
And had not a sound of mortality!
Are they gone? is their mirth from the mountains passed? --
Ye have looked on death since ye met me last!

I know whence the shadow comes o'er you now --
Ye have strewn the dust on the sunny brow!
Ye have given the lovely to earth's embrace --
She hath taken the fairest of beauty's race,
With their laughing eyes and their festal crown:
They are gone from amongst you in silence down!

They are gone from amongst you, the young and fair,
Ye have lost the gleam of their shining hair!
But I know of a land where there falls no blight --
I shall find them there, with their eyes of light!
Where Death midst the blooms of the morn may dwell,
I tarry no longer -- farewell, farewell!

The summer is coming, on soft winds borne --
Ye may press the grape, ye may bind the corn!
For me, I depart to a brighter shore --
Ye are marked by care, ye are mine no more;
I go where the loved who have left you dwell,
And the flowers are not Death's -- fare ye well, farewell!





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