Spring Song in the City

William Cosmo Monkhouse

Who remains in London, 
  In the streets with me, 
Now that Spring is blowing 
  Warm winds from the sea; 
Now that trees grow green and tall,
  Now the sun shines mellow, 
And with moist primroses all 
  English lanes are yellow? 
Little barefoot maiden, 
  Selling violets blue,
Hast thou ever pictur’d 
  Where the sweetlings grew? 
Oh, the warm wild woodland ways, 
  Deep in dewy grasses, 
Where the windblown shadow strays,
  Scented as it passes! 
Pedlar breathing deeply, 
  Toiling into town, 
With the dusty highway 
  You are dusky brown;
Hast thou seen by daisied leas, 
  And by rivers flowing, 
Lilac-ringlets which the breeze 
  Loosens lightly blowing? 
Out of yonder wagon 
  Pleasant hay-scents float, 
He who drives it carries 
  A daisy in his coat: 
Oh, the English meadows, fair 
  Far beyond all praises!  
Freckled orchids everywhere 
  Mid the snow of daisies! 
Now in busy silence 
  Broods the nightingale, 
Choosing his love’s dwelling  
  In a dimpled dale; 
Round the leafy bower they raise 
  Rose-trees wild are springing; 
Underneath, thro’ the green haze, 
  Bounds the brooklet singing. 
And his love is silent 
  As a bird can be, 
For the red buds only 
  Fill the red rose-tree; 
Just as buds and blossoms blow  
  He ’ll begin his tune, 
When all is green and roses glow 
  Underneath the moon. 
Nowhere in the valleys 
  Will the wind be still, 
Everything is waving, 
  Wagging at his will: 
Blows the milkmaid’s kirtle clean, 
  With her hand press’d on it; 
Lightly o’er the hedge so green  
  Blows the ploughboy’s bonnet. 
Oh, to be a roaming 
  In an English dell! 
Every nook is wealthy, 
  All the world looks well, 
Tinted soft the Heavens glow, 
  Over Earth and Ocean, 
Waters flow, breezes blow, 
  All is light and motion!