Spring Miracles

WHEN the icy heart of nature yearns
Faintly in its wintry stupor deep,
And the prescient Earth, half conscious, turns
Sunward, smiling in her frozen sleep, —
How do dull-brown tubers, which have lain
In their darksome prison heaped away,
Know that Spring entreats the world again,
And begin their struggle toward the day?
No spring light has touched them where they lay,
No spring warmth has reached them in their tomb,
Yet they sprout and yearn and reach alway
Toward the distant goal of life and bloom.
Planted in the self-same garden bed,
Nourished by the self-same rain and light,
Whence do roses draw their glowing red?
Whence the lily cups their shining white?
Whence does the refulgent marigold
Gain the gilding for her yellow globes?
Where do pansies find, amid the mold,
Purple hues to prank their velvet robes?
How do sweet-peas plume their wings with pink,
Lavender, and crimson rich and strong?
Nature gives them one and all to drink
Limpid crystal, colorless as air.
Little gardener, with your golden locks
Bright with sunshine or uncurled with dew,
Musing there among your pinks and phlox,
Finding always something strange or new, —
Trust me, child, the wisest, strongest brain,
Cobwebbed with much learning though it be,
Querying thus, must query all in vain,
Pausing foiled at last, like you or me.
Sages ponder on the mysteries
Hidden close in petal, root, and stem;
Nature yields more questions than replies, —
Babes may ask, but who can answer them?
Elizabeth Akers Allen.