on spring

Image: Yong Hee Kim via The Cultural Landscape Foundation
Image: Yong Hee Kim via The Cultural Landscape Foundation

Hail welcome Spring, with all thy train,
Return and cheer our earth again;
And bid thy warmer gales to blow,
And thy refreshing show’rs to flow.
A short time since, a few weeks past,
Our streets were pav’d with icy glass,
And howling winds were hurl’d around,
With storm and rain we heard the sound;
All nature mourn’d her torpid state,
Enfetter’d by the hand of fate;
A dreary waste o’er cast with gloom,
Beset with tempest, rain and storm;
No ray of pleasure beam’d along,
No bleating flocks nor warbler’s song,
To soothe the rigour of the skies,
Or cause the peasant’s hope to rise.
But now rejoice, the scene is chang’d,
The warmer rays do shine again;
And lambs do bleat, while birds they sing,
All echo praise to welcome Spring
The neighing horse and lowing herd,
With eager steps bound to the mead;
Where Nature’s luxuries unfold,
Their stores of fatness for the world.
While sportive play their joys enhance,
They taste the rich luxuriance;
Forget the scanty winter store,
For plenty spreads the valley o’er.

This ode, signed simply “A., Newark, March 1801,” appeared in the Newark newspaper The Centinel of Freedom on the 31st of that month.

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