By Dorothy Stott Shaw
Spring comes always to the wildest spender,
Year in, year out, at the breaking of the snows;
Spring comes always, blustery and tender,—
But spring comes sharpest when January blows.
Spring is poignant when ice has been about us:
Suddenly a warmer night, an odor or a breath,
A faery-clear whisper from the world that lies without us,
A promise and a memory in the midst of death!
One wakes at midnight, in winter at midnight,
When the cold damps the spruce smells and the incense of the pine:
Suddenly—a fragrance that sweeps beneath the starlight—
Musk-sweet valerian a mile from timberline!
Valerian! valerian! valerian a-growing!
Dawn brings the blue-jays and the magpies to the brush;
Dawn brings a cloud-bank and a north wind blowing
Still one’s heart is harking to the holy hermit-thrush!
Holy, holy, holy,—at dawn in January;
And long miles of winter to where the thrushes sing!
Spring comes sharpest when Boreas is merry;
Spring is poignant when life is slumbering.