Home  »  library  »  poem  »  The First Smile of Spring

C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

The First Smile of Spring

By Théophile Gautier (1811–1872)

WHILE to their perverse work

Men run panting,

March that laughs, in spite of showers,

Quietly gets Spring ready.

For the little daisies,

Slyly, when all sleep,

He irons little collars

And chisels gold studs.

Through the orchard and the vineyard,

He goes, cunning hair-dresser,

With a swan-puff,

And powders snow-white the almond-tree.

Nature rests in her bed;

He goes down to the garden

And laces the rosebuds

In their green velvet corsets.

While composing solfeggios

That he sings in a low tone to the blackbirds,

He strews the meadows with snowdrops

And the woods with violets.

By the side of the cress in the brook

Where drinks the stag, with listening ear,

With his concealed hand he scatters

The silver bells of the lilies of the valley.


Then, when his work is done

And his reign about to end,

On the threshold of April, turning his head,

He says, Spring, you may come!