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Poem by Archibald Lampman
Pale season, watcher in unvexed suspense, Still priestess of the patient middle day, Betwixt wild March's humored petulence And the warm wooing of green kirtled May, Maid month of sunny peace and sober grey, Weaver of flowers in sunward glades that ring With murmur of libation to the spring: As memory of pain, all past, is peace, And joy, dream-tasted, hath the deepest cheer, So art thou sweetest of all months that lease The twelve short spaces of the flying year. The bloomless days are dead, and frozen fear No more for many moons shall vex the earth, Dreaming of summer and fruit laden mirth. The grey song-sparrows full of spring have sung Their clear thin silvery tunes in leafless trees; The robin hops, and whistles, and among The silver-tasseled poplars the brown bees Murmur faint dreams of summer harvestries; The creamy sun at even scatters down A gold-green mist across the murmuring town. By the slow streams the frogs all day and night Dream without thought of pain or heed of ill, Watching the long warm silent hours take flight, And ever with soft throats that pulse and thrill, From the pale-weeded shallows trill and trill, Tremulous sweet voices, flute-like, answering One to another glorying in the spring. All day across the ever-cloven soil, Strong horses labour, steaming in the sun, Down the long furrows with slow straining toil, Turning the brown clean layers; and one by one The crows gloom over them till daylight done Finds them asleep somewhere in duskèd lines Beyond the wheatlands in the northern pines. The old year's cloaking of brown leaves that bind The forest floor-ways, plated close and true-- The last love's labour of the autumn wind-- Is broken with curled flower buds white and blue In all the matted hollows, and speared through With thousand serpent-spotted blades up-sprung, Yet bloomless, of the slender adder-tongue. In the warm noon the south wind creeps and cools, Where the red-budded stems of maples throw Still tangled etchings on the amber pools, Quite silent now, forgetful of the slow Drip of the taps, the troughs, and trampled snow, The keen March mornings, and the silvering rime And mirthful labour of the sugar prime. Ah, I have wandered with unwearied feet, All the long sweetness of an April day, Lulled with cool murmurs and the drowsy beat Of partridge wings in secret thickets grey, The marriage hymns of all the birds at play, The faces of sweet flowers, and easeful dreams Beside slow reaches of frog-haunted streams; Wandered with happy feet, and quite forgot The shallow toil, the strife against the grain, Near souls, that hear us call, but answer not, The loneliness, perplexity and pain, And high thoughts cankered with an earthly stain And then the long draught emptied to the lees, I turn me homeward in slow pacing ease, Cleaving the cedar shadows and the thin Mist of grey gnats that cloud the river shore, Sweet even choruses, that dance and spin Soft tangles in the sunset; and once more The city smites me with its dissonant roar. To its hot heart I pass, untroubled yet, Fed with calm hope, without desire or fret. So to the year's first altar step I bring Gifts of meek song, and make my spirit free With the blind working of unanxious spring, Careless with her, whether the days that flee Pale drouth or golden-fruited plenty see, So that we toil, brothers, without distress, In calm-eyed peace and godlike blamelessness.
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