Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A SPRING PRELUDE, by ROBERT UNDERWOOD JOHNSON



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A SPRING PRELUDE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O tardy april, is thy full choir here?
Last Line: My songs and thine but preludes till she come.
Subject(s): Spring


O TARDY April, is thy full choir here?
The redbreast, picket of the swarming spring,
Whistles a sudden chirrup of alarm
Before his level flight; and soft at eve
His melody, on grass half-robin high,
Falls like a vesper's throbbings from aloft.
The sparrow tempts the turf to faster growth
With her coy nesting, while her happy mate,
High in the promise-reddened maple-top,
O'er-bubbles with ecstasies of hoarded song.
The mellow tunings of the oriole's flute,
Rich as his coat, foretell his summer joy
And pitch the key of gladness for the year.
Here is the bluebird, best of mates and sires,
And pewee, restless as a lover's fear,
With cousin phoebe, bleating tearfully.
The humblebee, that, nectar-drunk, shall soon
Linger within the sybaritic flower,
Feeds his impatience at the cautious bud;
And from the furrow's wet and windy reach,
Where March but lately swung his icy scythe,
Ripples the velvet air about the cheek,
Laden with faintest chorusings, as though
The brimming silence overflowed in sound.

O tardy April, is the full choir here?
Alas for me! thou hast forgot to bring
Out of the South one childish, bird-like voice,
Whose absence doth delay the year, and makes
My songs and thine but preludes till she come.





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