Imatges de pÓgina
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So forth isseu'd the seasons of the Yeare.'-SPENSER.

I.

Out from tower and from steeple rang

tbe sudden New Year bells, Like the chorusing of genii in aërial citadels; And, as they chimed and echoed overthwart

the gulfs of gloom, Lo! a brilliance burst upon me, and a Masque

went through the room.

First the young New Year came forward, like

a little dancing child ; And his hair was as a glory, and his eyes were

bright and wild; And he shook an odorous torch, and he laughed,

but did not speak, And his smile went softly rippling through the

roses of his cheek.

Round he look'd across his shoulder :--and the

Spirit of the Spring Enterà softly, moved before me, paused and

linger'd on the wing;

And she smiled and wept together with a

dalliance quaint and sweet, And her teardrops changed to flowers under

neath her gliding feet.

Then a landscape open'd outwards; broad

brown woodlands stretch'd away In the luminous blue distance of a windy clear

March day; And at once the branches kindled with a light

of hovering green, And grew vital in the sunshine as the spirit

passed between.

Birds flash'd about the copses, striking sharp

notes through the air; Danced the lambs within the meadows; crept

the snake from out his lair; Soft as shadow sprang the violets, thousands

seeming but as one; Flamed the crocuses beside them, like the

droppings of the sun.

And the Goddess of the Spring, that Spirit

tender and benign, Squeezed a vapory cloud which vanish'd into

heaven's crystal wine; And she faded in the distance where the

thickening leaves were piled,

And the New Year had grown older, and no

longer was a child.

II. Summer, shaking languid roses from his dew

be-dabbled hair, Summer, in a robe of green, and with his arms

and shoulders bare, Next came forward; and the richness of his

pageants filled the eye, Breadths of English meadows basking under

neath the happy sky. Long grass swaying in the playing of the

almost wearied breeze; Flowers bow'd beneath a crowd of the yellow

armor'd bees; Sumptuous forests fill’d with twilight, like a

dreamy old romance, Rivers falling, rivers calling, in their indolent

advance;

Crimson heath-bells making regal all the

solitary places, Dominant light that pierces down into the deep

blue water spaces; Sun uprisings, and sun-settings, and intensities

of noon; Purple darkness of the midnight, and the glory

of the moon.

Rapid rosy-tinted lightnings, where the rocky

clouds are riven, Like the lifting of a veil before the inner courts

of heaven; Silver stars in azure evenings slowly climbing

up the steep, Cornfields ripening to the harvest, and the

wide seas smooth with sleep.

a

Circled with these living splendors, Summer

pass’d from out my sight; Like a dream that fillid with beauty all the

caverns of the night! And the vision and the presence into empty

nothing ran, And the New Year was still older, and seem'd

now a youthful man.

III.

brown;

Autumn ! Forth from glowing orchards stepp'd

he gaily in a gown Of warm russet freaked with gold, and with a vision

sunny On his head a rural chaplet, wreathed with

heavily drooping grapes, And broad shadow casting vine leaves like the

Bacchanalian shapes.

Fruits and berries roll'd, before him from the

year's exhausted horn,

a

Jets of wine went spinning upwards, and he

held a sheaf of corn : And he laugh’d for very joy, and he danced

from too much pleasure, And he sang old songs of harvest, and he

quaff’d a mighty measure.

But above this wild delight an over-mastering

graveness rose, And the fields and trees seemed thoughtful in

their absolute repose : And I saw the woods consuming in a many

colored death, Streaks of yellow flame, down deepening

through the green that lingereth.

Sanguine flashes, like a sunset, and austerely

shadowing brown: And I heard, within the silence, the nuts

sharply rattling down; And I saw the long dark edges all alight with

scarlet fire, Where the berries, pulpy ripe, had spread

their bird-feasts on the briar.

I beheld the southern vineyards, and the hop

grounds of our land, Sending gusts of fragrance outwards, nearly

to the salt sea strand;

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