Seeking the May-Flower

THE sweetest sound our whole year round —
’T is the first robin of the spring!
The song of the full orchard choir
Is not so fine a thing.
Glad sights are common: Nature draws
Her random pictures through the year,
But oft her music bids us long
Remember those most dear.
To me, when in the sudden spring
I hear the earliest robin’s lay,
With the first trill there comes again
One picture of the May.
The veil is parted wide, and lo,
A moment, though my eyelids close,
Once more I see that wooded hill
Where the arbutus grows.
I see the village dryad kneel,
Trailing her slender fingers through
The knotted tendrils, as she lifts
Their pink, pale flowers to view.
Once more I dare to stoop beside
The dove-eyed beauty of my choice,
And long to touch her careless hair,
And think how dear her voice.
My eager, wandering hands assist
With fragrant blooms her lap to fill,
And half by chance they meet her own,
Half by our young hearts’ will.
Till, at the last, those blossoms won, —
Like her, so pure, so sweet, so shy, —
Upon the gray and licliened rocks
Close at her feet I lie.
Fresh blows the breeze through hemlock-trees,
The fields are edged with green below;
And naught but youth and hope and love
We know or care to know!
Hark! from the moss-clung apple bough,
Beyond the tumbled wall, there broke
That gurgling music of the May, —
’T was the first robin spoke!
I heard it, ay, and heard it not, —
For little then ray glad heart wist
What toil and time should come to pass,
And what delight be missed;
Nor thought thereafter, year by year
Hearing that fresh yet olden song,
To yearn for unreturning joys
That with its joy belong.
Edmund C. Stedman.