Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, EARLY MAY, by JOHN BURROUGHS



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EARLY MAY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The time that hints the coming leaf
Last Line: By orchard bloom and lilac scent.
Subject(s): Spring


The time that hints the coming leaf,
When buds are dropping chaff and scale,
And, wafted from the greening vale,
Are pungent odors, keen as grief.

Now shad-bush wears a robe of white,
And orchards hint a leafy screen;
While willows drop their veils of green
Above the limpid waters bright.

New songsters come with every morn,
And whippoorwill is overdue,
While spice-bush gold is coined anew
Before her tardy leaves are born.

The cowslip now with radiant face
Makes mimic sunshine in the shade,
Anemone is not afraid,
Although she trembles in her place.

Now adder's-tongue new gilds the mould,
The ferns unroll their woolly coils,
And honey-bee begins her toils
Where maple trees their fringe unfold.

The goldfinch dons his summer coat,
The wild bee drones her mellow bass,
And butterflies of hardy race
In genial sunshine bask and float.

The Artist now is sketching in
The outlines of his broad design
So soon to deepen line on line,
Till June and summer days begin.

Now Shadow soon will pitch her tent
Beneath the trees in grove and field,
And all the wounds of life be healed,
By orchard bloom and lilac scent.





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