Frank Dempster Sherman


A Greeting For Spring

by Frank Dempster Sherman

Let Us go forth and meet her
As she comes through the eastern gates;
Let us away to greet her
Whom the lover-like land awaits
In a rapturous mood to bless,
All impatient for her caress;
Let us mount up the purple slopes
That are murmurous with their hopes;
And the winds speeding on before
In their haste to be first shall sing
Of the earth's wide floor,
That is dotted o'er
With the emerald steps of Spring.

Moses upon the mountains
Strikes his rod on the marble snow,
Freeing the crystal fountains;
And the streams through the plains below
Are her couriers swift, who run
In the glow of the golden sun
Through the fields on their twinkling feet,
With the gladdening promise sweet, --
She is coming with laughing eyes
From the Orient's sun-wrapped land,
From the land that lies
Under tranquil skies
Like an opal in Allah's hand.

Up at the dawn's first waking
From her dreams in the night's long gloom!
Up when the east is breaking
Like a rose into scarlet bloom!
When the buds in the branches shine,
And the blood of the slender vine
From the tip of each tiny stem
Oozes out and becomes a gem,
Till the world like a queen is drest
For a carnival glad and gay,
And awaits her guest
In the curtained west
At the odorous doors of day.

Hark! on the breeze a rally
And a rustle of wings is heard!
Over the misty valley
Soars a heavenly singing bird
Like a sapphire that burns with song;
And it drops to the earth erelong,
Where it kindles a mighty choir
Into flames of a lyric fire;
And the jewel that falls to earth
In the silvery sod is set,
And it marks the birth
Out of winter's dearth
Of a delicate violet.

Let us go forth and linger
At the gates with the sunrise bars;
Watch for her rosy finger
As she slips off its ring of stars,
And her radiant face which gleams
With the joy of the year's sweet dreams,
And her eyes like the morning dews,
And her cheeks with the wild-flower hues;
Let us watch till the east grows bright
With her glorious robe that falls
Like a wave of light
On the shore of night,
And the bird to the valley calls.

Oh, for the fragrant presage
Of the goddess divinely fair!
Oh, for the flute-like message,
Making melody float mid-air!
For the flash of the blue-bird's wings!
For the gush of the woodland springs!
For the buds in the vine-clad bowers,
And the breath of the gentle flowers!
We shall know them at morning, when
All the shadows of night are furled;
We shall know them then, --
It is Spring again,
And her smile is upon the world!


Lyrics For A Lute
Copyright 1890
Boston and New York, Houghton, Mifflin, and Company