Poetry of Kansas

The First Breath of Spring.

The drifts lie deep, the ice bound stream
    Wrestles in vain with its wedded chain:
The lake still sleeps, still dreams its dream,
    Under its bright, cold counterpane.
The woods are mute, save the mournful tune
    Sung by the wind in last year's leaves.
Still that cracked and dolorous tune
    Sobs and shudders and frets and grieves.
Winter is king:___yet, soft and sweet,
    Comes a whisper, a fair, faint tone
Of distant music in muffled beat,
    Only a breath yet it shakes his throne!
Only a breath! and so faint and low,
    That I lean to listen, and bare my head___
Lean to listen___till over the snow
    Comes the sound of a velvet tread.
Who breathes So low? who comes apace.
    Treading softly, with feet unseen,
With muffled form, and with covered face?
    It is Spring that comes.___Long live the Queen!
Welcome! all hail to the reign so near!
    Thine hour is not yet come, we know;
We shall wait through days that are gray and drear,
    Through howling tempest and driving snow.
But we well can wait: the fields, the lake,
    Silent lie, like a realm of death;
Yet thou art near and the dead shall wake,
    We have heard thy voice, we have felt thy breath!
Haste! oh haste! In this hour of calm
    We have heard thee, but oh to feel thy kiss!
Oh for the touch of thy lips of balm!
    And oh! to be drunk with thy draughts.

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)
Page 105-106

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February 7, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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