Alice Cary


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The wild and windy March once more
Has shut his gates of sleet,
And given us back the April-time,
So fickle and so sweet.

Now blighting with our fears, our hopes --
Now kindling hopes with fears --
Now softly weeping through her smiles --
Now smiling through her tears.

Ah, month that comes with rainbows crowned,
And golden shadows dressed --
Constant to her inconstancy,
And faithful to unrest.

The swallows 'round the homestead eaves --
The bluebirds in the bowers
Twitter their sweet songs for thy sake,
Gay mother of the flowers.

The brooks that moaned but yesterday
Through bunches of dead grass,
Climb up their banks with dimpled hands,
And watch to see thee pass.

The willow, for thy grace's sake,
Has dressed with tender spray,
And all the rivers send their mists
To meet thee on the way.

The morning sets her rosy clouds
Like hedges in the sky,
And o'er and o'er their dear old tunes
The winds of evening try.

Before another week has gone,
Each bush, and shrub, and tree,
Will be as full of buds and leaves
As ever it can be.

I welcome thee with all my heart,
Glad herald of the spring,
And yet I cannot choose but think
Of all thou dost not bring.

The violet opes her eyes beneath
The dew-fall and the rain --
But, oh, the tender drooping lids
That open not again!

Thou set'st the red familiar rose
Beside the household door,
But oh, the friends, the sweet, sweet friends
Thou bringest back no more!

But shall I mourn that thou no more
A short-lived joy can bring,
Since death has lifted up the gates
Of their eternal spring?

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Alice Cary