Monday, 17 February 2020

Poetry Revisited: Winter and Spring by Hannah Flagg Gould

Winter and Spring

(from The Youth's Coronal: 1851)

“Adieu!“ Father Winter sadly said
To the world, when about withdrawing,
With his old white wig half off his head,
And his icicle fingers thawing.

“Adieu! I am going to the rocks and caves,
And must leave all here behind me;
Or, perhaps I shall sink in the Northern waves,
So deep that none can find me.“

“Good luck! good luck, to your hoary locks!“
Said the gay young Spring, advancing;
“You may take your rest mid the caves and rocks,
While I o'er the earth am dancing.

“But there is not a spot where your foot has trod,
You hard, and clumsy old fellow,
Not a hill, nor a field, nor a single sod,
But I must make haste to mellow.

“And then I shall carpet them o'er with grass,
Which will look so bright and cheering,
That none will regret that they let you pass
Far out of sight and of hearing.

“The fountains that you locked up so tight,
When I shall give them a sunning,
Will sparkle and play with my warmth and light,
And the streams will set to running.

“I'll speak in the earth to the palsied root,
That under your reign was sleeping;
I'll teach it the way in the dark to shoot,
And draw out the vine to creeping.

“The boughs that you cased so close in ice
It was chilling e'en to behold them,
I'll deck all over with buds so nice,
My breath can alone unfold them.

“And when all the trees are with blossoms dressed,
The bird with her song so merry
Will come to the branches to build her nest,
With a view to the future cherry.

“The earth will show by her loveliness,
The wonders I am doing,
While the skies look down, with a smile, to bless
The way that I'm pursuing!“

Said Winter, “Then I would have you learn
By me, my gay new-comer,
To push off too, when it comes your turn
And yield your place to Summer!“

Hannah Flagg Gould (1789-1865)
American poet

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