The Approach of Spring (IV)

I've met the Winter's biting breath
In Nature's wild retreat,
When Silence listens as in death,
And thought its wildness sweet;
And I have loved the Winter's calm
When frost has left the plain,
When suns that morning waken'd warm
Left eve to freeze again.

I've heard in Autumn's early reign
Her first, her gentlest song;
I've mark'd her change o'er wood and plain,
And wish'd her reign were long;
Till winds, like armies, gather'd round,
And stripp'd her colour'd woods,
And storms urged on, with thunder-sound,
Their desolating floods.

And Summer's endless stretch of green,
Spread over plain and tree,
Sweet solace to my eyes has been,
As it to all must be;
Long I have stood his burning heat,
And breathed the sultry day,
And walk'd and toil'd with weary feet,
Nor wish'd his pride away.

But oft I've watch'd the greening buds
Brush'd by the linnet's wing,
When, like a child, the gladden'd woods
First lisp the voice of Spring;
When flowers, like dreams, peep every day,
Reminding what they bring,
I've watch'd them, and am warn'd to pay
A preference to Spring.

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