Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Month of April / Coplestone Warre Bampfylde

The Month of April

Come, April, month of various kinds,
With Summer's sun, and Winter's winds,
Whose varied clime, and lengthen'd day,
Blend flow'ry March with blooming May;
Capricious month! who oft can show
A violet in a bed of snow,
Mourning its wasted ill-plac'd charms,
Like beauteous youth in age's arms.

Come,— but preserve thy softer grace,
And wear thy younger spring-time face;
Such as, in mild Arcadian bowers,
The shepherds view thee crown'd with flowers;
When many a youthful swain is seen
Weaving gay chaplets on the green,
To deck the nymph, whose laughing eye,
In dalliance mocks his tender sigh;
Though pleas'd to see his constant flame,
Come Spring, come Winter, still the same.

But hide, oh! hide thy brow severe,
Stern remnant of past seasons drear!
The bleak east wind, the rattling hail,
That sweeping down th' affrighted dale,
Blight the young king-cups in their bed,
And bruise the early cowslip's head;
Whilst the young swallow's eager haste
Is check'd by many a wintry blast,
Who mourns the treach'rous smiles of Spring,
And, drooping, hangs her lifeless wing.

Alas, poor bird! thy source of woe
The giant sons of reason know;
Their brightest prospects as thy rise
Are clouded o'er like April skies:
And Hope, whose sweetly-tempting ray
First led them, on their vent'rous way,
Leaves them, dejected and forlorn,
To lose the rose, and grasp the thorn.
Fate's adverse storms that gather round,
Deforming all their fairest ground,
Prove the sad maxim but too true,
That they, alas! as well as you,
Trusting too far an April sun,
Droop, disappointed and undone.

Coplestone Warre Bampfylde (1720-1791)
from Poetical Amusements at a Villa near Bath, 1775

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

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