Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SPRING AND WINTER, by EDWARD ROBERT BULWER-LYTTON



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SPRING AND WINTER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The world buds every year
Last Line: But the thorns remain behind.
Alternate Author Name(s): Meredith, Owen; Lytton, 1st Earl Of; Lytton, Robert
Subject(s): Spring; Winter


THE world buds every year:
But the heart just once, and when
The blossom falls off sere
No new blossom comes again.
Ah, the rose goes with the wind:
But the thorns remain behind.

Was it well in him, if he
Felt not love, to speak of love so?
If he still unmoved must be,
Was it nobly sought to move so?
-- Pluck the flower, and yet not wear it --
Spurn, despise it, yet not spare it?

Need he say that I was fair,
With such meaning in his tone,
Just to speak of one whose hair
Had the same tinge as my own?
Pluck my life up, root and bloom,
Just to plant it on her tomb?

And she'd scarce so fair a face
(So he used to say) as mine:
And her form had far less grace:
And her brow was far less fine:
But't was just that he loved then
More than he can love again.

Why, if Beauty could not bind him,
Need he praise me, speaking low:
Use my face just to remind him
How no face could please him now?
Why, if loving could not move him,
Did he teach me still to love him?

And he said my eyes were bright,
But his own, he said, were dim:
And my hand, he said, was white,
But what was that to him?
"For," he said, "in gazing at you,
I seem gazing at a statue."

"Yes!" he said, "he had grown wise now:
He had suffered much of yore:
But a fair face to his eyes now,
Was a fair face, and no more.
Yet the anguish and the bliss,
And the dream too, had been his."

Then, why talk of "lost romances"
Being "sick of sentiment!"
And what meant those tones and glances
If real love was never meant?
Why, if his own youth were withered,
Must mine also have been gathered?

Why those words a thought too tender
For the common places spoken?
Looks whose meaning seemed to render
Help to words when speech came broken?
Why so late in July moonlight
Just to say what's said by noonlight?

And why praise my youth for gladness,
Keeping something in his smile
Which turned all my youth to sadness,
He still smiling all the while?
Since, when so my youth was over
He said -- "Seek some younger lover!"

"For the world buds once a year,
But the heart just once," he said.
True! ...so now that Spring is here
All my flowers, like his, are dead.
And the rose drops in the wind.
But the thorns remain behind.





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