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Soft south airs, sweet airs so bland and tender,
Quickening the cold earth where'er you pass,
Waking, by your greeting, spring-buds slender,
Kissing every strip of meadow grass;


Well, O well, your light touch I remember,
In the early, far-off vernal days,
When a child, transported, I would wander
Over all the valley's pleasant ways,


With a tireless foot, a heart unsated,
Eager eyes and shouts of wildest glee;--
All those joyous rambles unabated,
Thou art bringing back this day to me.


Odorous May-flowers on the ground supine,
Close where pines and hemlocks darkling dwell,
Meadow cowslips brimming with sunshine,
Spotted adder's-tongue with drooping bell;


Violets, and honey-suckles brown,
Streaked anemonies so fair, so frail,
Shy hepatica with stems of down,
Azure banks of the houstonia pale;


Tufts of coolwort with its fring├Ęd lid,
Near the sun-tipped moss's flowery ridge,
Pink, and red, and white wake-robin, hid
In the haunted shadow of the bridge;


Restless as the bee from bank to brae,
Rambling with the south wind, dreamy, glad,
Living over many a vernal day
Till the very joy grew strangely sad;


Thus all day my wayward thoughts have wandered,
Bringing back fresh spoils from wood and mead;
Simple treasures, which have never pandered
To the world's gross taste or selfish need.


Faces which have mouldered, mouldered slowly
'Neath the hillside turf these many years,
Come back with you, O spring flowers so lowly,
Filling my fond eyes with tender tears--


Tender tears, not wholly sad; untroubled
By one harsh remembrance or regret;
Virtues, graces, death perchance has doubled;
Yet, like your frail blooms, their worth is set


In a field of Paschal beauty, teeming
With such hopes as make this mortal time
Part of that grand choral song, redeeming
Dust, and ashes, to a life sublime.