Monday, March 24, 2014

Our Lovesick Land

Blossom in Berkshire, March 16th, 2014

Spring came early in England this year. All through March, daffodils in their hundreds waved on every roadside and median, and blossom drifted off the trees onto my car windshield. But here on the eastern seaboard of the United States we continue to yearn for the smallest signs of winter being over. The magnolia trees, usually the first to burst into bloom, are still stark and bare, and the parking lots are still lined with ridges of dirty snow with more forecast to fall in the days to come. As April approaches, our longing eyes turn to Spring’s bright pavilions in the hope that they will be here before much longer.   

To Spring by William Blake (from Poetical Sketches, 1783)
O thou with dewy locks, who lookest down
Through the clear windows of the morning, turn
Thine angel eyes upon our western isle,
Which in full choir hails thy approach, O Spring!

The hills tell one another, and the listening
Valleys hear; all our longing eyes are turn’d
Up to thy bright pavilions: issue forth
And let thy holy feet visit our clime!

Come o’er the eastern hills, and let our winds
Kiss thy perfumèd garments; let us taste
Thy morn and evening breath; scatter thy pearls
Upon our lovesick land that mourns for thee.

O deck her forth with thy fair fingers; pour
Thy soft kisses on her bosom; and put
Thy golden crown upon her languish’d head,
Whose modest tresses are bound up for thee.