Mine and Thine (1904)/Vita Nuova

For other versions of this work, see Vita Nuova (Coates).
Listen to this text, read by Heather James (1.18 MB, help | file info or download)


What miracle is here—
What vision of forgotten things and dear?
The grass—how green it lies in coverts deep!
The pussy-willows—sentinels of the wood—
How slim, how fair, each 'neath its downy snood,
They stand, new-waked from sleep!

And the enchantment cold
That seemed as death? Could it no longer hold
Against the glow that warmed the breast of Earth?
Hearken! what myriad little lives once more
Come knocking, knocking at the Mother's door,
Importunate for birth!

The trees, that look so bare,
Are conscious that the tender leaves are there—
Folded, yet faintly stirring in the bud;
And upward from each buried rootlet runs
The golden ichor, gift of vernal suns,
On swelling to the flood.

And, oh! thrice loved of yore—
Whence comes that note? It was not here before!
The white-throat! By what blest magician's art—
Flung out of silence, comes that clear appeal,
To make the jaded and insensate feel
New yearnings of the heart?

A something in the song
Shall hardly to a later strain belong—
A tremulous and naïve ecstasy
That moves the soul; which, eager then to live,
Petitions Life: "Ah, stay awhile, and give
A little heed to me!

"I, also, feel the Spring!
I, also, long to spread my wings and sing,
Unvexed by cares that canker and consume:
To hope, to dream,—ere winter come, to capture
The fleeting thrill, the fragrance and the rapture
Of beauty in its bloom!"