All round the year the changing suns and rains
Beat on men’s work—to wreck and to decay—
But nature builds more perfectly than they,
Her changing unchanged sea resists, remains.
All round the year new flowers spring up to shew
How gloriously life is more strong than death;
And in our hearts are seeds of love and faith,
Ah, sun and showers, be kind, and let them grow.
Swift pass the hours, or lengthened by our hearts
Uncertain measurement of time,
And when we dream the year has just awoke,
We wake to find her in her prime.
We sadden with the dying Autumn leaves,
Yet falling seeds their promise bring;
Through long dark Winter days we only wait
A resurrection in the coming Spring.
Within each hour the precious minutes lie
Like seeds awaiting Spring’s first breath,
God’s harvest-time shall show us if they bear
The flowers of life or death.
Cold is the earth, the flowers below,
Fearful of Winter’s hand, lie curled;
But Spring will come again you know,
And glorify the world.
Dark is the night, no stars or moon;
But at its blackest night is done;
All after hastens to the noon,
The triumph of the sun!
And life is short, and love is brief—
Be patient! There will be—they say
New life, divine beyond belief,
Somewhere, somehow, some day!MARCH VIOLETS.
This busy, dusty wind that blows
Along the cruel streets,
Right to the heart of violets goes,
And robs them of their sweets.
And as along the cruel street
The keen wind robs the flowers,
So the cold kindness that we meet
Blights these poor hearts of ours.
But if you tend with warmth, you know,
Your violets, they give
Sweet scent again, as if to show
How glad they are to live.
We think if some one loved us too
Our hearts would break to prove
By all that we could say or do,
How glad we were to love!
Dream footsteps wandering past us in our sleep,
A restless presence stirring with the light,
The cry of waters where the snow was white,
A violet’s whisper where dead leaves lay deep;
The dim wood’s music makes a sudden leap,
Broken notes, blending in a wild delight,
And lo! the whole world changes in our sight.
Promise is ended—we must turn and reap
Fulfilment, for the Spring with all her wealth
Is with us, and compels us to her will.
Yet if the sun-dawn we should shun by stealth
Yearning for shadows and the darkened hours,
Sweet Lord, be pitiful, remembering still
One lieth low beneath the budding flowers.
Never a hand on the cottage door
To call me forth in the evening light,
My days grow old, and I watch no more
The cowslips gold and the may-buds white.
Primroses nestle beneath the hedge
Where we kissed and wept and said good-bye—
For twenty years I have watched them bud,
For twenty years I have seen them die.
Yet now that the Spring once more has turned
The sea to silver, the earth to gold,
I shall watch no more from the primrose lane,
Where I waited and watched in the days of old.
Yet the children weave me their daisy chains,
The woodland music is sweet and clear,
Though the footsteps have wandered beyond recall,
That I watched and waited so long to hear...!