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By frozen rills
Among the hills
Was smiling April lost,
Where winter stern
His icy urn
Had left all wreathed with frost.


Her tears and smiles
And countless wiles
Filled his cold heart with joy,
And there he left
The glitt'ring gift
Her footsteps to decoy.


No sooner spied
The maid blue-eyed
This wondrous vase of sheen,
Than hail was strung
And snow-wreaths hung
All o'er her robes of green.


Right quick she threw
Her violets blue
And golden crocus down,
And gemmed them o'er
With frost before
She wove another crown.


And when the sun
Around them spun
A web of amber light,
She sang with glee
And laughed to see
Her diadem so bright.


But soon, alas!
It came to pass
That Sol his light withdrew,
When cold beneath
That frosted wreath
Fair April's forehead grew.


And through her heart
An icy dart
Seemed piercing when she crossed
On her warm breast
That green robe drest
In white festoons of frost.


The wind blew bleak,
And on her cheek
The tears soon turned to sleet,
Which, falling, crushed
The buds that blushed
In beauty at her feet.


Her voice was mute,
Her breezy lute
Lay broken on the hill,
And in her ear
Blew loud and clear
Old Winter's clarion shrill.


While there, spell-bound,
She stood, the sound
Of icy armor rang
O'er field and flood,
And shook the wood
With cold and dismal clang.


She wept with fear,
For lo! drew near,
The hoary-headed king,
And doffed his crown
And knelt him down
To woo the child of Spring.


With fingers sharp
He swept his harp
Among the tall pines hung,
Nor all in vain
His wild strange strain
To list'ning April sung,


For frail and fair
And trembling there
She hearked his tale of love,
Though cold as death
His freezing breath
A snow-shroud round her wove.


Her heart grew proud
As low he bowed
To woo her budding charms,
And far away
She fled that day,
Clasped in his icy arms.


With fickle heart
She did depart,
Nor mourned her mother's grief,
Though naught was left
To Spring bereft
But withered bloom and leaf.


Yet Spring did yearn
For her return,
And hoping was beguiled,
Till from the north
A voice came forth
With tidings of her child.


To halls of rime
In northern clime
Had winter borne his prize,
And crowned her queen
'Neath domes of sheen
Lit up by polar skies.


Her mournful smile
Made for awhile
Those dismal shores seem bright,
And 'neath its glow
Were fields of snow
Left blushing with delight.


To bid her hail
The icebergs pale
Their frozen jav'lins dashed
Upon the strand,
While loud and grand
Their icy cymbals clashed.


But drooped and died
Old Winter's bride
Within his frozen palace,
And for her soul
The north winds toll:
And waves the borealis,


A funeral torch,
Which cannot scorch
The pale, sad flowers that start,
Like ghosts of bloom,
Through her snow-wrapped tomb,
From April's broken heart.