LATE SPRING EVENING.
I SAW the Virgin-mother clad in green,
Walking the sprinkled meadows at sundown;
While yet the moon's cold flame was hung between
The day and night, above the dusky town:
I saw her brighter than the Western gold,
Whereto she faced in splendour to behold.
Her dress was greener than the tenderest leaf
That trembled in the sunset glare aglow:
Herself more delicate than is the brief,
Pink apple-blossom, that May showers lay low,
And more delicious than the earliest streak
The blushing rose shows of her crimson cheek.
As if to match the sight that so did please,
A music entered, making passion fain:
Three nightingales sat singing in the trees.
And praised the Goddess for the fallen rain;
Which yet their unseen motions did arouse.
Or parting Zephyrs shook out from the boughs^
And o'er the treetops, scattered in mid air,
The exhausted clouds, laden with crimson light
Floated, or seemed to sleep; and, highest there,
One planet broke the lingering ranks of night ;
Daring day's company, so he might spy
The Virgin-queen once with his watchful eye.
And when I saw her, then I worshipped her.
And said, — O bounteous Spring, O beauteous Spring,
Mother of all my years, thou who dost stir
My heart to adore thee and my tongue to sing.
Flower of my fruit, of my heart's blood the fire.
Of all my satisfaction the desire !
How art thou every year more beautiful.
Younger for all the winters thou hast cast:
And I, for all my love grows, grow more dull,
Decaying with each season overpast!
In vain to teach him love must man employ thee,
The more he learns the less he can enjoy thee.