“ THE spring returneth ever.”
So sang the bluebird as he fluttered by,
So hummed the soft rain falling from the sky ;
Up from the budding earth broke forth a cry,
“ Welcome, O Spring !"
But, moving to and fro with steady pace,
She said, “ It comes not back into my face.
Where is the tender bloom and youthful grace
That it should bring ?
The spring returneth never.”
“The spring returneth ever.”
So sang the brooks as down the mountain-side
They ran to join the rivers brimming wide ;
Full of new life the mighty ocean cried,
“ Welcome, O Spring ! ”
“But no; it is not true, O waves ! ” she said.
“ Where are the hopes of youth, so long since fled,
Where are the loved ones gone unto the dead,
That it should bring ?
The spring returneth never.”
Thus she lamented ever ;
And in her garden sloping towards the sea,
So full of birds’ and blossoms’ revelry,
She never turned from her own misery
To watch the spring ;
She never even saw an opening flower,
She never even felt the balmy shower,
But all alone she wandered hour by hour,
And held the sting
Close to her heart forever.


“The spring returneth ever.”
So breathed arbutus peeping from the snow,
So thought the crocus in the garden row;
Convinced at last, the lilacs whispered low,
“It is the spring.”
“Yes, yes, it is the spring, O buds of bloom !
It is the spring,” she cried, “away with gloom !
Come forth, come forth, bride-rose, to meet the groom
Whom it will bring.
The spring returneth ever.”
“ The spring returneth ever.”
“I know it, know it well, O land and sea!
All my dead life wakes up to ecstasy ;
It is a full delight merely to be,
To breathe, in spring ;
Though old my face, my heart again is young,
Though old the roots, bright flowers again have sprung,
And courage open wide the gates has flung
To meet the King
Who still returneth ever.
“ Yes, hope returneth ever.
It is the coward’s part to loiter sad
Among the April trees in leaf-buds clad ;
Even my dead are living and are glad
In some far spring !
Immortal am I, — mind, is there a choice ?
Immortal am I, — heart, O heart, rejoice!
Immortal am I, — soul, lift up thy voice
With faith, and sing,
The spring returneth ever.”
Constance F. Woolson.