Verse > John Greenleaf Whittier > The Poetical Works in Four Volumes
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892).  The Poetical Works in Four Volumes.  1892.
At Sundown
The Wind of March
UP from the sea, the wild north wind is blowing
    Under the sky’s gray arch;
Smiling, I watch the shaken elm-boughs, knowing
    It is the wind of March.
Between the passing and the coming season,        5
    This stormy interlude
Gives to our winter-wearied hearts a reason
    For trustful gratitude.
Welcome to waiting ears its harsh forewarning
    Of light and warmth to come,        10
The longed-for joy of Nature’s Easter morning,
    The earth arisen in bloom!
In the loud tumult winter’s strength is breaking;
    I listen to the sound,
As to a voice of resurrection, waking        15
    To life the dead, cold ground.
Between these gusts, to the soft lapse I hearken
    Of rivulets on their way;
I see these tossed and naked tree-tops darken
    With the fresh leaves of May.        20
This roar of storm, this sky so gray and lowering
    Invite the airs of Spring,
A warmer sunshine over fields of flowering,
    The bluebird’s song and wing.
Closely behind, the Gulf’s warm breezes follow        25
    This northern hurricane,
And, borne thereon, the bobolink and swallow
    Shall visit us again.
And, in green wood-paths, in the kine-fed pasture
    And by the whispering rills,        30
Shall flowers repeat the lesson of the Master,
    Taught on his Syrian hills.
Blow, then, wild wind! thy roar shall end in singing,
    Thy chill in blossoming;
Come, like Bethesda’s troubling angel, bringing        35
    The healing of the Spring.

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