An Ode After Easter

CAST wide the folding doorways of the East,

For now is light increased !

And the wind-besomed chambers of the air.

See they be garnished fair;

And look the ways exhale some precious odours,

And set ye all about wild-breathing spice,

Most fit for Paradise.

Now is no time for sober gravity,

Season enough has Nature to be wise;

But now discinct, with raiment glittering free,

Shake she the ringing rafters of the skies

With testai footing and bold joyance sweet,

And let the earth be drunken and carouse !

For lo, into her house

Spring is come home with her world-wandering feet,

And all things are made young with young désires ;

And all for her is light increased

In yellow stars and yellow daflFodils,

And East to West, and West to East,

Fling answering welcome-fires,

By dawn and day-fall, on the jocund hills.

And y e, winged minstrels of her fair meinie,

Being newly coated in glad livery,

Upon her steps attend,

And round her treading dance and without end

Red your shrill lutany.

What populär breath her Coming does out-teü

The garrulous leaves among!

What little noises stir and pass

From blade to blade along the voluble grass!

O Nature, never-done

Ungaped-at Pentecostal miracle,

We hear thee, each man in his proper tongue!

Break, elemental children, break ye loose

From the strict frosty rule

Of grey-beard Wintere School

Vault, O young winds, vault in your trick-some courses

Upon the snowy steeds that reinless use

In ccerule pampas of the heaven to run;

Foaled of the white sea-horses,

Washed in the lambent waters of the sun.

Let even the slug-abed snail upon the thorn

Put forth a conscious hörn!

Mine elemental co-mates, joy each one;

And ah, my foster-brethren, seem not sad-

No, seem not sad,

That my stränge heart and I should be so little glad.

Suffer me at your leafy feast

To sit apart, a somewhat alien guest,

And watch your mirth,

Unsharing in the liberal laugh of earth;

Yet with a sympathy,

Begot of wholly sad and half-sweet memory-

The little sweetness making grief complete;

Faint wind of wings from hours that distant beat,

When I, I too,

Was once, O wild companions, as are you,

Ran with such wilful feet.

Hark to the Jubtlate of the bird

For them that f ound the dying wa y to lif e !

And they have heard,

And quicken to the great precursive word;

Green spray showers lightly down the cascade of the


The graves are riven,

And the Sun comes with power amid the clouds of

heaven !

Before his way

Went forth the trumpet of the March;

Before his way, before his way

Dances the pennon of the May !

O earth, unchilded, widowed Earth, so long

Lifting in patient pine and ivy-tree

Mournful belief and steadfast prophecy,

Behold how all things are made true !

Behold your bridegroom cometh in to you,

Exceeding glad and strong.

Raise up your eyes, O raise your eyes abroad

No more shall you sit sole and vidual,

Searching, in servile pali,

Upon the hieratic night the star-sealed sense of all:

Rejoice, O barren, and look forth abroad !

Your children gathered back to your embrace

See with a mother's face.

Look up, O mortals, and the portent lieed;

In every deed,

Washed with new fire to their irradiant birth,

Reintegrated are the heavens and earth !

From sky to sod,

The world's unfolded blossom smells of God.

My little-worlded self! the shadows pass

In this thy sister-world, as in a glass,

Of all processions that revolve in thee:

Not only of cyclic Man

Thou here discernât the plan,

Not only of cyclic Man, but of the cyclic Me.

Not solely of Mortality's great years

The reflex just appears,

But thine own bosom's year, still circling round

In ample and in ampler gyre

Toward the far completion, wherewith crowned,

Love unconsumed shall chant in his own furnace-fire.

How man y trampled and deciduous joys

Enrich thy soul for joys deciduous still,

Before the distance shall fulfil

Cyclic unrest with solemn equipoise !

Happiness is the shadow of things past,

Which fools still take for that which is to be !

And not all foolishly:

For all the past, read true, is prophecy,

And all the firsts are hauntings of some Last,

And all the springs are flash-lights of one Spring.

Then leaf, and flower, and fall-less fruit

Shall hang together on the unyellowing bough;

And silence shall be Music mute

For her 8urchargèd heart. Hush thou !

Thèse things are far too sure that thou should'st dream

Thereof, lest they appear as things that seem.

Nature, enough ! within thy glass

Too many and too stern the shadows pass.

In this ddighted season, flaming

For thy resurrection-feast,

Ah, more I think the long ensepulture cold,

Than stony winter rolled

From the unsealed mouth of the holy East;

The snowdrop's saintly stoles less heed

Than the snow-cloistered penance of the seed.

'Tis the weak flesh reclaiming

Against the ordinance

Which yet for just the accepting spirit scans.

Earth waits, and patient heaven,

Self-bonded God doth wait

Thrice-promulgated bans

Of his fair nuptial-date.

And power is man's,

With that great word of " wait,"

To still the sea of tears,

And shake the iron heart of Fate.

In that one word is strong

An else, alas, much-mortal song;

With sight to pass the frontier of all sphères

And voice which does my sight such wrong.

Not without fortitude I wait

The dark majestical ensuit

Of destiny, nor peevish rate

Calm-knowledged Fate.

I do hear

From the revolving year

A voice which cries :

"All dies;

Lo, how all dies ! O seer,

And all things too arise :

All dies, and all is born;

But each résurgent morn, behold, more near the

Perfect Morn."

Firm is the man, and set beyond the cast

Of Fortune's game, and the iniquitous hour,

Whose falcon soul sits fast,

And not intends her high sagacious tour

Or ere the quarry sighted; who looks past

To slow much sweet from little instant sour,

And in the first does always see the last.