What does winter or autumn or spring or summer know of memory. They know nothing of memory. They know that seasons pass and return. They know that they are seasons. That they are time. And they know how to affirm themselves. And they know how to impose themselves. And they know how to maintain themselves, What does autumn know of summer. What sorrows do seasons have. None hate. None love. They just pass.
Giannina Braschi, "Pastoral or the Inquisition of Memories" from Empire of Dreams (1994).
The year's at the spring,
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hill-side's dew-pearl'd;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in His heaven—
All's right with the world!
Nothing is so beautiful as Spring—
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush's eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightning to hear him sing.
You sons of Zion, be joyful and rejoice in Jehovah your God; for he will give you the autumn rain in the right amount, and he will send upon you a downpour, the autumn rain and the spring rain, as before. The threshing floors will be full of pure grain, and the presses will overflow with new wine and oil. And I will make compensation to you for the years that the swarming locust, the unwinged locust, the voracious locust, and the devouring locust have eaten, my great army that I sent among you.
...the sun had come back over the Forest, bringing with it the scent of May, and all the streams of the Forest were tinkling happily to find themselves their own pretty shape again, and the little pools lay dreaming of the life they had seen and the big things they had done, and in the warmth and quiet of the Forest the cuckoo was trying over his voice carefully and listening to see if he liked it, and wood-pigeons were complaining gently to themselves in their lazy comfortable way that it was the other fellow's fault, but it didn't matter very much...
O Spring, of hope and love and youth and gladness
Wind-wingèd emblem! brightest, best and fairest!
Whence comest thou, when, with dark Winter's sadness
The tears that fade in sunny smiles thou sharest?
Sister of joy! thou art the child who wearest
Thy mother's dying smile, tender and sweet;
Thy mother Autumn, for whose grave thou bearest
Fresh flowers, and beams like flowers, with gentle feet,
Disturbing not the leaves which are her winding sheet.
All the efforts of several hundred thousand people, crowded in a small space, to disfigure the land on which they lived; all the stone they covered it with to keep it barren; how so diligently every sprouting blade of grass was removed; all the smoke of coal and naphtha; all the cutting down of trees and driving off of cattle could not shut out the spring, even from the city. The sun was shedding its light; the grass, revivified, was blooming forth, where it was left uncut, not only on the greenswards of the boulevard, but between the flag-stones, and the birches, poplars and wild-berry trees were unfolding their viscous leaves; the limes were unfolding their buds; the daws, sparrows and pigeons were joyfully making their customary nests, and the flies were buzzing on the sun-warmed walls. Plants, birds, insects and children were equally joyful. Only men—grown-up men—continued cheating and tormenting themselves and each other. People saw nothing holy in this spring morning, in this beauty of God's world—a gift to all living creatures—inclining to peace, good-will and love, but worshiped their own inventions for imposing their will on each other.
If there comes a little thaw,
Still the air is chill and raw,
Here and there a patch of snow,
Dirtier than the ground below,
Dribbles down a marshy flood;
Ankle-deep you stick in mud
In the meadows while you sing,
"This is Spring."
Starred forget-me-nots smile sweetly,
Ring, blue-bells, ring!
Winning eye and heart completely,
Sing, robin, sing!
All among the reeds and rushes,
Where the brook its music hushes,
Bright the caloposon blushes.—
Laugh, O murmuring Spring!
Daughter of heaven and earth, coy Spring,
With sudden passion languishing,
Teaching barren moors to smile,
Painting pictures mile on mile,
Holds a cup of cowslip wreaths
Whence a smokeless incense breathes.
I come, I come! ye have called me long,
I come o'er the mountain with light and song:
Ye may trace my step o'er the wakening 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.
And softly came the fair young queen
O'er mountain, dale, and dell;
And where her golden light was seen
An emerald shadow fell.
The good-wife oped the window wide,
The good-man spanned his plough;
'Tis time to run, 'tis time to ride,
For Spring is with us now.
Awake! the morning shines, and the fresh field
Calls us; we lose the prime, to mark how spring
Our tended plants, how blows the citron grove,
What drops the myrrh, and what the balmy reed,
How nature paints her colours, how the bee
Sits on the bloom, extracting liquid sweet.
Hark! the hours are softly calling
Bidding Spring arise,
To listen to the rain-drops falling
From the cloudy skies,
To listen to Earth's weary voices,
Louder every day,
Bidding her no longer linger
On her charm'd way;
But hasten to her task of beauty
Scarcely yet begun.
For, lo! the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.
The Song of Solomon, II. 11, 12.
So forth issew'd the Seasons of the yeare:
First, lusty Spring, all dight in leaves of flowres
That freshly budded and new bloomes did beare,
In which a thousand birds had built their bowres
That sweetly sung to call forth paramours;
And in his hand a javelin he did beare,
And on his head (as fit for warlike stoures)
A guilt, engraven morion he did weare:
That, as some did him love, so others did him feare.
Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1589–1596), Book VII, Canto VII. Legend of Constancie, Stanza 28.
Now the hedged meads renew
Rustic odor, smiling hue,
And the clean air shines and twinkles as the world goes wheeling through;
And my heart springs up anew,
Bright and confident and true,
And my old love comes to meet me in the dawning and the dew.
O tender time that love thinks long to see,
Sweet foot of Spring that with her footfall sows
Late snow-like flowery leavings of the snows,
Be not too long irresolute to be;
O mother-month, where have they hidden thee?
The bee buzz'd up in the heat,
"I am faint for your honey, my sweet."
The flower said, "Take it, my dear,
For now is the Spring of the year.
So come, come!"
And the bee buzz'd down from the heat.
'Tis spring-tune on the eastern hills!
Like torrents gush the summer rills;
Through winter's moss and dry dead leaves
The bladed grass revives and lives,
Pushes the mouldering waste away,
And glimpses to the April day.
And all the woods are alive with the murmur and sound of spring,
And the rosebud breaks into pink on the climbing briar,
And the crocus bed is a quivering moon of fire
Girdled round with the belt of an amethyst ring.