William Cosmo Monkhouse
Spring Song In The City
WHO remains in London,
In the streets with me,
Now that Spring is blowing
Warm winds from the sea;
Now that trees grow green and tall,
Now the sun shines mellow,
And with moist primroses all
English lanes are yellow?
Little barefoot maiden,
Selling violets blue,
Hast thou ever pictur’d
Where the sweetlings grew?
Oh, the warm wild woodland ways,
Deep in dewy grasses,
Where the windblown shadow strays,
Scented as it passes!
Pedlar breathing deeply,
Toiling into town,
With the dusty highway
You are dusky brown;
Hast thou seen by daisied leas,
And by rivers flowing,
Lilac-ringlets which the breeze
Loosens lightly blowing?
Out of yonder wagon
Pleasant hay-scents float,
He who drives it carries
A daisy in his coat:
Oh, the English meadows, fair
Far beyond all praises!
Freckled orchids everywhere
Mid the snow of daisies!
Now in busy silence
Broods the nightingale,
Choosing his love’s dwelling
In a dimpled dale;
Round the leafy bower they raise
Rose-trees wild are springing;
Underneath, thro’ the green haze,
Bounds the brooklet singing.
And his love is silent
As a bird can be,
For the red buds only
Fill the red rose-tree;
Just as buds and blossoms blow
He ’ll begin his tune,
When all is green and roses glow
Underneath the moon.
Nowhere in the valleys
Will the wind be still,
Everything is waving,
Wagging at his will:
Blows the milkmaid’s kirtle clean,
With her hand press’d on it;
Lightly o’er the hedge so green
Blows the ploughboy’s bonnet.
Oh, to be a roaming
In an English dell!
Every nook is wealthy,
All the world looks well,
Tinted soft the Heavens glow,
Over Earth and Ocean,
Waters flow, breezes blow,
All is light and motion!
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(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
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