John Hay

John Hay

October 8, 1838 - July 1, 1905


To Flora

by John Hay

When April woke the drowsy flowers,
And vagrant odors thronged the breeze,
And bluebirds wrangled in the bowers,
And daisies flashed along the leas,
And faint arbutus strove among
Dead winter's leaf-strewn wreck to rise,
And nature's sweetly jubilant song
Went murmuring up the sunny skies,
Into this cheerful world you came,
And gained by right your vernal name.

I think the springs have changed of late,
For Arctics are my daily wear,
The skies are turned to cold gray slate,
And zephyrs are but draughts of air;
But you make up whate'er we lack,
When we, too rarely, come together,
More potent than the almanac,
You bring the ideal April weather;
When you are with us we defy
The blustering air, the lowering sky;
In spite of Winter's icy darts,
We've spring and sunshine in our hearts.

In fine, upon this April day,
This deep conundrum I will bring:
Tell me the two good reasons, pray,
I have, to say you are like spring?

[You give it up?] Because we love you --
And see so very little of you.


Copyright 1897
Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Boston