In Early Spring
O Spring, I know thee! Seek for sweet surprise
      In the young children’s eyes.
But I have learnt the years, and know the yet
      Leaf-folded violet.
Mine ear, awake to silence, can foretell
      The cuckoo’s fitful bell.
I wander in a grey time that encloses
      June and the wild hedge-roses.
A year’s procession of the flowers doth pass
      My feet, along the grass.
And all you wild birds silent yet, I know
      The notes that stir you so,
Your songs yet half devised in the dim dear
       Beginnings of the year.
In these young days you meditate your part;
      I have it all by heart.
I know the secrets of the seeds of flowers
      Hidden and warm with showers,
And how, in kindling Spring, the cuckoo shall
      Alter his interval.
But not a flower or song I ponder is
      My own, but memory’s.
I shall be silent in those days desired
      Before a world inspired.
O all brown birds, compose your old song-phrases,
      Earth, thy familiar daisies!
A poet mused upon the dusky height,
      Between two stars towards night,
His purpose in his heart. I watched, a space,
      The meaning of his face:
There was the secret, fled from earth and skies,
      Hid in his grey young eyes.
My heart and all the Summer wait his choice,
      And wonder for his voice.
Who shall foretell his songs, and who aspire
      But to divine his lyre?
Sweet earth, we know thy dimmest mysteries,
      But he is lord of his.

Webpage © 2001 ELC
Lane Core Jr. (
Created April 11, 2001; not revised.