WHEN ice is thawed and snow is gone,
And racy sweetness floods the trees;
When snow-birds from the hedge have flown,
And on the hive-porch swarm the bees,
Drifting down the first warm wind
That thrills the earliest days of spring,
The bluebird seeks our maple groves,
And charms them into tasselling.
He sits among the delicate sprays,
With mists of splendor round him drawn,
And through the spring’s prophetic veil
Sees summer’s rich fulfilment dawn:
He sings, and his is nature’s voice—
A gush of melody sincere
From that great fount of harmony
Which thaws and runs when spring is here.
Short is his song, but strangely sweet
To ears aweary of the low,
Dull tramp of Winter’s sullen feet,
Sandalled in ice and muffed in snow:
Short is his song, but through it runs
A hint of dithyrambs yet to be—
A sweet suggestiveness that has
The influence of prophecy.
From childhood I have nursed a faith
In bluebirds’ songs and winds of spring:
They tell me, after frost and death
There comes a time of blossoming;
And after snow and cutting sleet,
The cold, stern mood of Nature yields
To tender warmth, when bare pink feet
Of children press her greening fields.
Sing strong and clear, O bluebird dear!
While all the land with splendor fills,
While maples gladden in the vales
And plum-trees blossom on the hills:
Float down the wind on shining wings,
And do thy will by grove and stream,
While through my life spring’s freshness runs
Like music through a poet’s dream.