The blind bare world cries for the living Spring,
And we to Thee, O Lord of Life, that feel
Thy passing presence, though the mists conceal
Thy face and all its radiance! thou canst bring
Renewing, as the almond blossoms break
From naked boughs, when April pleads in rain;
Touch us, and life shall flow, and once again
Out of the long death torpor we shall wake.
Blind are we to Thine all-reviving power
Mirrored in every springtide when the field
Is starred with the old beauty, and revealed
In weary suns that sink at evening hour
To rise more lustrous; every creeping thing
That feels its leaf a world and seems to die
Cries on our unbelief, as gloriously
It bursts its shrivelled cerements, taking wing
For the free sunlight and the boundless air.
Only the soul of man disdains to cast
The tatters of its former self, the last
To shed its faded wreaths, when all is fair.
For all things great and small their portion claim
In the great miracle that robes the world,
From the frail tendril daintily uncurled
To the wide moor with furze-bloom all aflame.
The broad-limbed oak as from enchanted sleep
Puts forth its giant strength; round lonely peaks
Wheel the brown eagles, fierce with joy, their shrieks
Muffled in scudding clouds; and from the deep,
And from the wold, a glad wind ever blows
Jubilant, till the valley hamlets feel
Its wholesome breath by night begin to steal
About their thatchèd eaves, and the wan snows,
That glimmer in the forest hollows break
To let the violets through.
So dawns the Spring
In Thy fair garden, Lord, and wave and wing
And leaf-bud all are stirring: shall we take
No shame for this that with cold hearts and lips
We stand i' the midst? It were not more unmeet
That Winter shuddering back should set his feet
In meads of daffodil. Our fears eclipse
The sunlight that should warn us, and our love
Glides sheathed in ice like those grey mountain-streams
That never laugh, nor leap, nor feel the gleams
Of summer's fervent noon dispensed above.
Breathe Thou into our nostrils once again
The breath of Life, and set our listless hands
To the appointed task; Thy first commands
Rehearse, and make the paths of Duty plain.
So let glad songs within the thickets ring
Of gloomy Doubt, and let the sterile soil
Of cynic pride reward the painful toil
Of the Great Husbandman, until the Spring
Glass not her face in woodland streams alone,
But in the hearts of nations, every man
Striving, according to one blessed plan,
To make God's footstool worthier of His Throne.