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Dance Of The Seasons

I—Spring

Allegro
Wake ! wake !
Out of the snow and the mist,
In rain-wet wind-blown gauze
Of amber and amethyst,
Cometh Spring like a girl.
Trembling and timorous
She peers through the thin white thaws,
Afraid of the winds that whirl
Down paths all perilous
Where her so tender feet are softly going,
Where the rich earth is awaiting her lavish sowing
Of green and purple and white
In the gardens of day and night.

Hither she comes—
Oh lightly she wavers and lingers!
The chill gray storm benumbs
Her lifted rose-petal fingers,
And looses her hair from its fillet of pearl.
Her soft, dew-fringed eyes—
The virginal eyes of a girl—
Gaze at the foam-veiled skies,
Search for the sun who is hiding
His amorous glowing face,
For the spirit of life now gliding
Unseen through every place.

Blown! blown—
Hither and yon,
Dashed by the winds that groan,
Lashed by the frost-elves wan,
Whipped by the envious ghosts of old years long gone,
That chatter and sigh
Of the ruin nigh,
Of death and darkness and sorrow that come anon.
Yet bold and brave
She dares—the young Spring—to dance on that ancient grave,
To dance with delicate feet
On the world's despair and defeat,
On the Winter's ashen pall
That covers all.

Look! she lifts the cover—
A corner of that frost-film pall she lifts.
Now Earth, great-hearted lover,
Smiles upward through the dew-bespangled rifts.
And shining sunbeams, pages of the day,
Roll up the mantle, bear it far away.
Then the Earth laughs with pleasure,
And tosses from her treasure
Store of blue crocuses and snow-drops white,
Glad trilliums that make the woodland bright,
Rich arbutus and shadowy violets:
Till, caught in webs of bloom,
Light-footed Spring her stormy woe forgets,
Forgets the cold, the gloom,
Blesses with errant grace
Each dim forgotten place,
Of drooping leaves, muffles the maples bare
In lilac veils, covers with tenderness
The harsh brown world; and then, when all is won,
Trails languorous dreams, dreams exquisite and rare,
And shrinking from the bold, too-fervid sun,
Shyly gives over
Her royal lover,
Like one afraid of love, who will not stay
Love's perfect day;
Lightly gives over—
Inconstant rover—
Her glad fresh-garlanded world, and like the dew
Sleeps in the blue.
She tosses down
Her flowery crown
Into the lap of Summer—
Glad newcomer!—
Smiling adorns her with treasure of growing things,
And softly sings,
Even while she fades in light—
A wraith, a mist
Of amethyst;
A spirit, a dream that goes,
But whither—who knows?

II—Summer

Andante
Hus h! hush! Wake not the drowsy Summer—she would dream,
Heavy with growing things.
Dance lightly where her beauty lies agleam
Under languidly folded wings.
Over the delicate grasses
A breath, a spirit passes,
A song, and the odor of bloom—
Give way! make room!
The Summer has met her lover
By day, by night;
He has brought from the stars—bright rover—
Heaven's fire, heaven's light!
He has filled her with life that sleepeth,
That waits for birth,
As a jewel its bright fire keepeth
In the rock-bound earth.

Softly, slowly
Dance and sway,
While Summer dreameth
The moons away.
Full weary she seemeth
Of love's deep bliss,
But holy, holy
Love's memories.

The idle day is rich with budding things
Whereon the bold sun glares.
Dance lightly, lest you tread on folded wings,
Of flight still unawares.
Ah, delicate your footfall be, while ever
The seed grows in the corn,
The bird in the egg, the deed in the endeavor,
The day in the morn.
Deep in the pool the spawning fishes play;
High in the air the bees buzz out their way.
Everywhere

The children of Summer come crowding in lustrous array—
The myriad children of Summer, beloved of the sun,
Through the long hot noons they are glad of the world they have won.
Bright and fair
They throng in the meadows and shake out the dew from their hair;
They sing in the tree-tops, they dip in the slow-flowing stream;
They nod from the hills, in the valleys their swift feet gleam;
They kneel in the moonlight, the bright stars hear their prayer.
Everywhere
The high sun blesses them,
The moon confesses them,
Old Time with patient smile
Harks to their hope awhile.
They are born, they awake, they arise—now they dance in their bloom;
For their revels o
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

3:41 min read
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Harriet Monroe

Harriet Monroe was an American editor, scholar, literary critic, poet and patron of the arts. more…

All Harriet Monroe poems | Harriet Monroe Books

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    "Dance Of The Seasons" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 17 Sep. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/16886/dance-of-the-seasons>.

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