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Poems That Every Child Should Know/The Voice of Spring

For other versions of this work, see The Voice of Spring.

The Voice of Spring.

"The Voice of Spring," by Felicia Hemans (1749-1835), becomes attractive as years go on. The line in this poem that captivated my youthful fancy was:

"The larch has hung all his tassels forth."

The delight with which trees hang out their new little tassels every year is one of the charms of "the pine family." John Burroughs sent us down a tiny hemlock, that grew in our window-box at school for five years, and every spring it was a new joy on account of the fine, tender tassels. Mrs. Hemans had a vivid imagination backed up by an abundant information.

I come, I come! ye have called me long;
I come o'er the mountains, with light and song.
Ye may trace my step o'er the waking earth
By the winds which tell of the violet's birth,
By the primrose stars in the shadowy grass,
By the green leaves opening as I pass.


I have breathed on the South, and the chestnut flowers
By thousands have burst from the forest bowers,
And the ancient graves and the fallen fanes
Are veiled with wreaths on Italian plains;
But it is not for me, in my hour of bloom,
To speak of the ruin or the tomb!


I have looked o'er the hills of the stormy North,
And the larch has hung all his tassels forth;
The fisher is out on the sunny sea,
And the reindeer bounds o'er the pastures free,
And the pine has a fringe of softer green,
And the moss looks bright, where my step has been.


I have sent through the wood-paths a glowing sigh,
And called out each voice of the deep blue sky,
From the night-bird's lay through the starry time,
In the groves of the soft Hesperian clime,
To the swan's wild note by the Iceland lakes,
Wren the dark fir-branch into verdure breaks.


From the streams and founts I have loosed the chain;
They are sweeping on to the silvery main,
They are flashing down from the mountain brows,
They are flinging spray o'er the forest boughs,
They are bursting fresh from their sparry caves,
And the earth resounds with the joy of waves.

Felicia Hemans.