As once I paused on poet wing
In the green heart of a grove,
I met the spirit of the spring
With her great eyes lit of love.
She took me gently by the hand,
And whispered in my anxious ear
Secrets none may understand,
Till she made their meaning clear:
Why the primrose looks so pale;
Why the rose is set with thorns;
Why the magic nightingale
Through the darkness mourns and mourns.
She ceased: a leafy murmur sighed
Softly through the listening trees.
Anon she uttered, eager-eyed,
These her joyful mysteries:
How the angels, as they pass
With their vesture pure and white
O'er the shadowy garden grass,
Touch the lilies into light:
Or with hidden hands of love
Guide the throstles wavering wings,
But show theirfaces bright above,
Only where the skylark sings.