Through the misty woodlands bare,
By the meadows brown and dead,
In the damp and chilly air,
Stand the maples tipped with red;
They are flaring signals bright,
Wav'ring 'gainst the dull, cold sky,
Heralding with ruddy light,
That the cheerful Spring is nigh.
In their kindling, flaming boughs,
Wooing Robins love and sing,
Swearing all their pretty vows,
" By the Beacon of the Spring!"
Crimson on the Robin's breast,
Crimson on the growing tree
Life and Love alike are drest,
Love and Life have come to me.
Crimson on my Love's soft cheeks
Does her sweet, shy thought confess,
When from out her heart she speaks,
To my heart the longed-for " Yes ! "
from The Old Garden, and other verses, 1886
[Poem is in the public domain in Canada and the United States]