Lyrics of Earth

by Archibald Lampman


 

 

THE RETURN OF THE YEAR


 

Again the warm bare earth, the noon
    That hangs upon her healing scars,
The midnight round, the great red moon,
    The mother with her brood of stars,

The mist-rack and the wakening rain                                          5
    Blown soft in many a forest way,
The yellowing elm-trees, and again
    The blood-root in its sheath of gray.

The vesper-sparrow’s song, the stress
    Of yearning notes that gush and stream,                              10
The lyric joy, the tenderness,
    And once again the dream! the dream!

A touch of far-off joy and power,
    A something it is life to learn,
Comes back to earth, and one short hour                               15
    The glamours of the gods return.

This life’s old mood and cult of care
    Falls smitten by an older truth,
And the gray world wins back to her
    The rapture of her vanished youth.                                       20

Dead thoughts revive, and he that heeds
    Shall hear, as by a spirit led,
A song among the golden reeds:
    "The gods are vanished but not dead!"

For one short hour, unseen yet near,                                       25
    They haunt us, a forgotten mood,
A glory upon mead and mere,
    A magic in the leafless wood.

At morning we shall catch the glow
    Of Dian’s quiver on the hill,                                                  30
And somewhere in the glades I know
    That Pan is at his piping still.