April again! the magic month that opes
The gates of life and beauty for the world:
When leaf-buds burst and birds begin to build
The fragile tenements and tune their throats
For the full choral at the Feast of June.
Come out into the wakening world and see
The dead arise!
Faith is triumphant, and the skeptic Doubt
Slinks Pole-ward with his sterile crew, and lo!
From out the golden portals of the South
Spring comes with frolic laughter for our fears.
"Life! life! abundant life!" the Earth cries out:
See where the robin lifts his startled head
Amid his struggle with the grounded worm,
The nimble squirrel darts along the fence,
The vagrant crows are loitering on the wing,
The cows go lowing down the lane, the horse
Answers his fellow with a lusty shout!
Who could be old on such a youthful day?
Away with morbid musings on the past,
Sigh not for vanished opportunities;
Here once again life opens to you — go!
Set hand and heart to some good task, for Toil
Stands like an angel in these fallow ways,
Offering for healthful labor fields of gold.
James Lewis Milligan (1876-1961)
from The Beckoning Skyline, and other poems, 1920
[Poem is in the public domain in Canada and the United States]
James Lewis Milligan biography