ODE to SPRING.
1 HAIL, genial goddess, blooming Spring!
2 Thy blest return, O let me sing,
3 And aid my languid lays:
4 Let me not sink in sloth supine,
5 While all creation at thy shrine
6 Its annual tribute pays.
7 Escap'd from Winter's freezing power
8 Each blossom greets thee, and each flower;
9 And, foremost of the train,
10 By Nature, (artless handmaid!) drest,
11 The snow-drop comes in lilly'd vest,
12 Prophetic of thy reign.
13 The lark now strains his warbling throat,
14 While every loud and sprightly note
15 Calls Echo from her cell.
16 Be warn'd, ye fair, that listen round,
17 A beauteous maid became a sound,
18 A maid who lov'd too well.
19 The bright-hair'd sun with warmth benign
20 Bids tree, and shrub, and swelling vine
21 Their infant-buds display:
22 Again the streams refresh the plains,
23 Which Winter bound in icy chains,
24 And sparkling bless his ray.[Page 312]
25 Life-giving Zephyrs breathe around,
26 And instant glows th' enamel'd ground
27 With Nature's vary'd hues:
28 Not so returns our youth decay'd,
29 Alas! nor air, nor sun, nor shade
30 The spring of life renews.
31 The sun's too quick-revolving beam
32 Will soon dissolve the human dream,
33 And bring th' appointed hour:
34 Too late we catch his parting ray,
35 And mourn the idly-wasted day
36 No longer in our power.
37 Then happiest he, whose lengthen'd sight
38 Pursues, by virtue's constant light,
39 A hope beyond the skies;
40 Where frowning Winter ne'er shall come,
41 But rosy Spring for ever bloom,
42 And suns eternal rise.