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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Mackenzie Bell b. 1856

Spring’s Immortality

THE BUDS awake at touch of Spring

From Winter’s joyless dream;

From many a stone the ouzels sing

By yonder mossy stream.

The cuckoo’s voice, from copse and vale,

Lingers, as if to meet

The music of the nightingale

Across the rising wheat—

The bird whom ancient Solitude

Hath kept forever young,

Unaltered since in studious mood

Calm Milton mused and sung.

Ah, strange it is, dear heart, to know

Spring’s gladsome mystery

Was sweet to lovers long ago—

Most sweet to such as we—

That fresh new leaves and meadow flowers

Bloomed when the south wind came;

While hands of Spring caressed the bowers,

The throstle sang the same.

Unchanged, unchanged the throstle’s song,

Unchanged Spring’s answering breath,

Unchanged, though cruel Time was strong,

And stilled our love in death.