‘Ah, in springs departed, when showers drowsed
Their softening peace, and made compliant the hard
And lifeless soil, through whose suppleness
Would reach the seeds their nascent stems, to blossom
Forth as florets and as shoots; when through
The blooming meadows rang the birds their lays
Of celebration, pleasing the ear to hear;
When one could look upon his fellows,
And even all the world, and feel the issue
Of a sacred and a loving music.


How dimly in winter may the heart attend
To the measure of that lapsed and teeming season;
Now when the biting wind upon the traveler
Afflicts its throes, and the dawn proves all
Pierced to the root with frost; now when the prairie,
Blanketed with snow, is in the glow
Of the sun coldly glossed. How dimly in March,
When the heart but yearns—for a return of all
We, wintering, have lost.’