Spring

WINTER’S DEATH

Here lies the Winter hated,
Goliath-like prostrated,
Whom David’s stone laid low.
Recovered from earth’s chillness,
Spring uses the first stillness
To put left-over illness
Beneath the thin-grown snow.

His efforts at retrieving
Lost ground were past believing;
How hard the giant died!
He drew on hidden power,
Stored from his manhood’s dower,
Fighting till the last hour;
It was a glorious fight!

In somber indoor musing
Methought I might be using
His stay to close mine own;
Take leave of life’s embraces,
All its delights and graces,
To seek the nameless places,
Where North nor South is known.

Misfortune had been taking
My precious things and making
Them break like brittle glass.
I felt upon me creeping
Forebodings of death’s reaping,
Of that blind dreamless sleeping,
That no possession has.

O Spring, thou wondrous daring,
To cause without preparing
Me strangest things befall!
Like one who, just returning
From burial rites or burning,
Finds friends busy adorning
For him the banquet hall.

Where ever was recorded
Such sudden change afforded
By turn in fortune’s wheels?
Long ice-clogged streams set flowing,
Warm fragrant Southwinds blowing,
Through willows green mists showing,
The old, old, strange appeal!

Stream in light-world revealers,
Life-wakers and life-healers,
When flesh from soul would slip!
The feast but just commences;
This needs more than five senses,
The host so much dispenses
For eye and ear and lip.

And be it the last station
Of joy, on whose elation
Follows the endless rest,
Though Autumn weep discouraged,
Seeing withered all that flourished,
Yet shall new years be nourished
From the eternal breast.

Geerhardus Vos, Charis: English Verses, (Princeton, NJ: Geerhardus Vos, 1931), 18–20.

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