Sunday, February 22, 2015

Last Week of February, 1890 / Robert Bridges

Last Week of February, 1890 

Hark to the merry birds, hark how they sing
     Although 'tis not yet spring
          And keen the air;
Hale Winter, half resigning ere he go,
     Doth to his heiress show
          His kingdom fair.

In patient russet is his forest spread,
     All bright with bramble red,
          With beechen moss
And holly sheen: the oak silver and stark
     Sunneth his aged bark
          And wrinkled boss.

But neath the ruin of the withered brake
     Primroses now awake
          From nursing shades:
The crumpled carpet of the dry leaves brown
     Avails not to keep down
          The hyacinth blades.

The hazel hath put forth his tassels ruffed;
     The willow's flossy tuft
          Hath slipped him free:
The rose amid her ransacked orange hips
     Braggeth the tender tips
          Of bowers to be.

A black rook stirs the branches here and there,
     Foraging to repair
          His broken home:
And hark, on the ash-boughs! Never thrush did sing
     Louder in praise of spring,
          When spring is come.

Robert Bridges
from Shorter Poems, 1890

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]

Robert Bridges biography

1 comment:

  1. In the text, L5 is written as: "Doth to his heiress shew". Although that better fits the archaic voice in the poem, I altered it for the sake of the rhyme.