Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
Spirit of Spring
By George Washington Doane (1790–1859)
SPIRIT, that from the breathing south,
  Art wafted hither on dewy wing,
    By the soften’d light of that sunny eye,
    And that voice of wild-wood melody,
  And those golden tresses wantoning,        5
And the perfumed breath of that balmy mouth.
      We know thee, Spirit of Spring—
Spirit of beauty, these thy charms, Spirit of Spring!
Spirit of Spring! thou com’st to wake
  The slumbering energies of earth;        10
    The zephyr’s breath, to thee we owe,
    Thine is the streamlet’s silver flow,
  And thine, the gentle flowerets’ birth,
And their silence, hark! the wild birds break,
      For thy welcome, Spirit of Spring!—        15
Spirit of life, thy triumphs these, Spirit of Spring!
Spirit of Spring! when the cheek is pale,
  There is health in thy balmy air,
    And peace in that brow of beaming bright,
    And joy in that eye of sunny light,        20
  And golden hope in that flowing hair:
Oh! that such influence e’er should fail,
      For a moment, Spirit of Spring—
Spirit of health, peace, joy and hope, Spirit of Spring!
Yet fail it must—for it comes of earth,        25
And it may not shame its place of birth,
Where the best can bloom but a single day,
And the fairest is first to fade away.
But oh! there’s a changeless world above,
A world of peace, and joy, and love,        30
  Where, gather’d from the tomb,
The holy hopes that earth has cross’d,
And the pious friends that we loved and lost
  Immortally shall bloom.
Who will not watch, and strive, and pray,        35
That his longing soul may soar away,
  On faith’s untiring wing,
To join the throng of the saints in light,
In that world, for ever fair and bright,
  Of endless, cloudless SPRING!        40

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