No winter twilight chills us now, but rather
The night is waning, and the day is near;
For to the northern distance, and yet farther
Fades the unheeded splendor of the year.
No flower, in truth, may cheer the eager sight,
No lonely bird is calling for its mate;
We have the sense of earth’s forthcoming light,
Spring broods above the hills, and we can wait.
The meadow does not heed the warmth returning,
The starry coltsfoot still withholds her buds,
The wishful eye, far-sighted and discerning,
Can choose no spot of green amid the woods;
There is no winsome odor in the winds,
But with a pulse of living strength they blow,
Though in some hollow still the traveler finds
Half-sheltered from the sun, the lingering snow.
The Spring reveals herself in secret only,
Thro’ hidden signs we guess her mystic power,
The fields are bare, the woodlands wild and lonely,
But lo! beneath the earth she hides the flower.
The willows quicken at the river’s brim,
The eager alder breaks her tawny buds,
The upland hills are wrapt in hazes dim,
And sweet, impulsive life has stirred the woods.