Return of Spring
God shield ye, heralds of the spring!
Ye faithful swallows, fleet of wing,
Houps, cuckoos, nightingales,
Turtles, and every wilder bird,
That make your hundred chirpings heard
Through the green woods and dales.
God shield ye, Easter daisies all,
Fair roses, buds, and blossoms small,
And he whom erst the gore
Of Ajax and Narciss did print,
Ye wild thyme, anise, balm, and mint,
I welcome ye once more!
God shield ye, bright embroidered train
Of butterflies, that on the plain
Of each sweet herblet sip;
And ye, new swarms of bees, that go
Where the pink flowers and yellow grow
To kiss them with your lip!
A hundred thousand times I call
A hearty welcome on ye all!
This season how I love —
This merry din on every shore —
For winds and storms, whose sullen roar
Forbade my steps to rove.
Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585)
translated by Henry Francis Cary (1772-1844)
[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]