April Rain in the Wood

WHEN it comes, a passing guest,
Young leaves, like young birds in the nest,
Open wide their mouths to gain
As much as they can of April rain;
And weanling squirrels that learn to creep
In branches where they soon will leap,
Pause to taste the drop that cleaves
To the delicate faces of opening leaves;
Pale buds that shrink in hot sunshine
Unfold to drink this April wine.
As softly as it came, it goes, —
So softly that a leaf scarce knows
Who has blessed it, whom to thank
For the cool, fresh cup it drank.
Francis Sterne Palmer.