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April.

Nathaniel Parker Willis 1806 (Portland) – 1867



A violet by a mossy stone,
Half hidden from the eye,
Fair as a star, when only one,
Is shining in the sky. Wordsworth


I have found violets. April hath come on,
And the cool winds feel softer, and the rain
Falls in the beaded drops of summer time.
You may hear birds at morning, and at eve
The tame dove lingers till the twilight falls,
Cooing upon the eaves, and drawing in
His beautiful bright neck, and from the hills,
A murmur like the hoarseness of the sea
Tells the release of waters, and the earth
Sends up a pleasant smell, and the dry leaves
Are lifted by the grass - and so I know
That Nature, with her delicate ear, hath heard
The dropping of the velvet foot of Spring.
Smell of my violets! I found them where
The liquid South stole o'er them, on a bank
That lean'd to running water. There's to me
A daintiness about these early flowers
That touches me like poetry. They blow
With such a simple loveliness among
The common herbs of pasture, and breathe out
Their lives so unobtrusively, like hearts
Whose beatings are too gentle for the world.
I love to go in the capricious days
Of April and hunt violets; when the rain
Is in the blue cups trembling, and they nod
So gracefully to the kisses of the wind.
It may be deem'd unmanly, but the wise
Read nature like the manuscript of heaven
And call the flowers its poetry. Go out!
Ye spirits of habitual unrest,
And read it when the "fever of the world"
Hath made your hearts impatient, and, if life
Hath yet one spring unpoison'd, it will be
Like a beguiling music to its flow,
And you will no more wonder that I love
To hunt for violets in the April time.
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

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Nathaniel Parker Willis

Nathaniel Parker Willis, also known as N. P. Willis, was an American author, poet and editor who worked with several notable American writers including Edgar Allan Poe and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He became the highest-paid magazine writer of his day. For a time, he was the employer of former slave and future writer Harriet Jacobs. His brother was the composer Richard Storrs Willis and his sister wrote under the name Fanny Fern. Born in Portland, Maine, Willis came from a family of publishers. His grandfather Nathaniel Willis owned newspapers in Massachusetts and Virginia, and his father Nathaniel Willis was the founder of Youth's Companion, the first newspaper specifically for children. Willis developed an interest in literature while attending Yale College and began publishing poetry. After graduation, he worked as an overseas correspondent for the New York Mirror. He eventually moved to New York and began to build his literary reputation. Working with multiple publications, he was earning about $100 per article and between $5,000 and $10,000 per year. In 1846, he started his own publication, the Home Journal, which was eventually renamed Town & Country. Shortly after, Willis moved to a home on the Hudson River where he lived a semi-retired life until his death in 1867. more…

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    "April." Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 29 Nov. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/56257/april.>.

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