Khoren Nar Bey de Lusignan

The First Green Leaves

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Scarce are the clouds' black shadows
Pierced by a gleam of light,
Scarce have our fields grown dark again,
Freed from the snow-drifts white,
When you, with smiles all twinkling,
Bud forth o'er hill and vale.
O first-born leaves of spring-time,
Hail to your beauty, hail!

Not yet to our cold meadows
Had come Spring's guest, the swallow,
Not yet the nightingale's sweet voice
Had echoed from the hollow,
When you, like joy's bright angels,
Came swift to hill and dale.
Fresh-budded leaves of spring-time,
Hail to your beauty, hail!

Your tender verdant colour,
Thin stems and graceful guise,
How sweetly do they quench the thirst
Of eager, longing eyes!
Afflicted souls at sight of you
Take comfort and grow gay.
New-budded leaves of spring-time,
All hail to you to-day!

Come, in the dark breast of our dales
To shine, the hills between!
Come, o'er our bare and shivering trees
To cast a veil of green!
Come, to give sad-faced nature
An aspect blithe and new!
O earliest leaves of spring-time,
All hail, all hail to you!

Come to call up, for new-born Spring,
A dawn of roses fair!
Come, and invite the breezes light
To play with your soft hair!
Say to the fragrant blossoms,
"Oh, haste! men long for you!"
Hail, earliest leaves of spring-time,
Young leaves so fresh and new!

Come, come O leaves, and with sweet wings
Of hope from yonder sky
Cover the sad earth of the graves
Wherein our dear ones lie!
Weave o'er the bones so dear to us
A garland wet with dew,
Ye wings of hope's bright angels,
Young leaves so fresh and new!

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