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Sign Language Studies
American Annals of the Deaf
AN IDYL OF THE EARLY SPRING
Oh! Clear and calm and open as
The forehead of a sleeping child,
And blue and cool and far away,
The April heaven o’er me smiled!
The violets from their low, green homes
Peeped up, and patterned by its hue;
“We will be like the sky,” they said,
“Forever pure, forever blue!”
Dropped through the branches of the beech,―
Unleaved and sear from wintry stress,―
The fervid kisses of the sun
Recalled the earth to blessedness.
And, startled from her long, white trance,
Abashed and scantly clad she lay;
Meanwhile the robin’s glancing breast
Gave life and gladness to the day.
And where the creeping wintergreen
Its fruit in coral broidery weaves,
I found the shy arbutus hid
Beneath the crisp and russet leaves.
The fair patrician of the woods!
Their daintiest treasure,― pink and white!
As balmy as the myrtle flower.
That sweetens the Italian night.
The vagrant brightness of the days
Had coaxed a freshness to the moss;
And many a brown and naked stretch
By maple blooms was blown across.
Like swarms of tiny winged things,
Clinging to branches bare and high,
Their tender scarlet clusters shone
Against the blueness of the sky.
There were mysterious gleams of white
Among the hollows, lying low,
Drooped over by dusk evergreens,―
But I could laugh at April snow.
I knew its fostering mantle hid
The darlings of the coming May,
When constant Nature should fulfil
Her premonitions of to-day.
And sudden, silver sweet, I heard
A bluebird singing in the hedge;
Near by a venturous wood-flower sunned
Its whiteness on a mossy ledge.
Therefore I could no longer doubt,―
So much was plain to eye and ear,―
And thrilled with sudden joy, I cried,
“The Spring, the pleasant Spring, is here!”
“but such a brightness never shone
On hill and dale and stream before,―
Or else my eyes were strangely dull,
And could not see so well of yore!”
That rogue, the bluebird, as I spoke,
Proclaimed my secret far and near;
Out of his merry heart he sang:
“Be glad! For Love and Spring are here!”