Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A MARCH BROWN, by PATRICK REGINALD CHALMERS



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A MARCH BROWN, by            
First Line: Once more come clarion and blue-hearted dawns
Last Line: Is yearly first to bid me forth again from town!
Subject(s): March (month); Spring


ONCE more come clarion and blue-hearted dawns,
And Springtide plays her yearly hocus-pocus,
Her magic of high March that decks the lawns
With those her floral fays and leprechauns,
The yellow daff and the green sheathéd crocus—
When through the city softer winds envoke us
To where the streams run down,
And the stark fells above the birch-woods frown,
And you first move upon the waters, Mr. Brown!

A coy bacillus, fair ephemerid,
For some weeks past I've felt you in my being,
Till lately I have come on you amid
My daily toil, and softly you have slid
Across the half-writ page, till to my seeing
Have come green fields, and bosomed clouds a-fleeing,
And mill-stream's foam-flecked fuss,
And banks of primrose, rathe, auriferous;
"And thus," I've said, "I'd cast your counterfeit, and thus";

And rising, I have taken to me rods
From the retreat where they have been reclining
(Waiting your whisper, best of naiant gods),
And idly I've withdrawn the brass-bound wads,
And built them up, the supple and the shining,
As men build hopes, and felt my fingers twining
In that whole-hearted squeeze,
Kept for tried friends and mates of ancient ease,
Round handles ardent from the southern corkwood trees!

Thus then I yield me to your influence,
Shy flutterer of the hill-stream and the river,
Thus does your primal message thrill each sense,
Your wings susurrant seem to call me hence
To grey keen waters where the catkins quiver,
And I, responsive, do acclaim you giver
Of these right god-sent spells
Of dancing streams and far-off waiting fells,
And stop to look up trains and write about hotels.

When other men shall have the mind to praise
June's jovial bug of carnival and riot,
That blossoms with wild roses and red mays,
He the green-drake, who sets whole streams ablaze
With mottled monsters taking change of diet,
By pool and shallow, osier-bed or eyot,
I'll swear by Mr. Brown
Who, in his chill wan water's sober gown,
Is yearly first to bid me forth again from Town!





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