Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
The Coming of the Spring
By Agnes Maule Machar (1837–1927)
WITH subtle presence the air is filling,
  Our pulses thrilling;
What strange mysterious sense of gladness
  Transfused with sadness;
Trembling in opal and purple hues        5
  That wake and melt in azure high,
Brooding in sunbeams that suffuse
  With the light of hope, the fields that lie
  Quiet and grey ’neath the sunset sky!
Thor’s thunder-hammer hath waked the earth        10
  To a glad new birth—
The birth of the fresh, young, joyous spring,
  New blossoming—
Bidding the south wind softly blow,
  Loosing the tongues of the murmuring streams,        15
Sending the sap with a swifter flow
  Through the bare brown trees, and waking dreams
  Of summer shadows and golden gleams!
Down in the budding woods unseen,
  Amid mosses green,        20
The fair hepatica wakes to meet
  The hastening feet
Of the children that soon, with laughter sweet,
  Shall shout with glee to find it there,
And bear it homeward—the herald meet        25
  Of the countless bells and blossoms fair
  That shall ring sweet chimes on the balmy air.
And tiny ferns their fronds unbind
  By streams that wind—
Singing a song in soft undertones—        30
  O’er the smooth brown stones;
And pure white lilies and purple phlox
  And violets yellow and white and grey,
And columbines gleaming from lichened rocks,
  And dogwood blossoms and snowy may,        35
  Shall wreathe with beauty each woodland way.
Soon, in the shadow of dewy leaves
  About our eaves,
The chorister-birds shall their matins ring,
  Sweet carolling;        40
While, through the bowery orchard trees,
  All sprinkled with drifts of scented snow,
Comes the fragrant breath of the morning breeze,
  And over the long lush grass below
  Soft wavering shadows glide to and fro.        45
But when shall the better Spring arise
  Beneath purer skies—
The Spring that can never pass away
  Nor know decay—
Sending new joy through the stricken heart,        50
  Waking new life from the silent tomb,
Joining the souls that have moved apart,
Bidding earth’s winter for ever depart,
  With incompleteness, pain, and gloom,
  Till—ransomed at last from its inwrought doom—        55
  It shall blossom forth in immortal bloom?

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