The first bud of spring like a grape on the tongue
hath burst, O my soul, and the skylark hath sung
as the brook in her babbling, her being within;
for the broker of winter has waned in her sin.
As the lily is dappled with dew as the pard,
so the newly-knit heavens are spangled and starred;
as the blossom is heaped on the dead laurel tree,
so the dead are unearthed from the sky and the sea;
as the ruby-tressed goddess is loosed from her shell,
from the mists o' the moor is the moon from her spell -
and heaven is attired as well
where are the rings exchanged of earth.
A second birth. A second birth!
O Hell, death hath not chains on earth -
where the mirth of the moth to her madness is maid,
and the bride and the groom are consumed 'neath the blade;
where the lily is fatted today and forgot,
for the daffodil blooms where the eye-sockets rot;
where the isle with silver and sirens is stung,
and the watch to the viol and witcher is won;
where the spirits occultic are chanting at even
for the last of the leaf and the lifeblood of Stephen;
No, no, my soul. O Hell!
It is the child that shall strike the bell -
sure as the hound, or the horse to its water,
surely more bound than a man to his daughter,
the blood-stricken moon of the heavens is dark
for the vintage is broke on the wings of the ark,
and the clock hath rewound in immortal resign
to relapse to the regal re-imaging time!
Her cradle, her natal-spun basket of stars
is fatally hung o'er the helmet of Mars;
her chambers are pitched as a queen overhead,
for a child is wakened to plunder the dead!
Her swift-wingéd charter to heaven on high
hath doomed all the world in her watching thereby
as the censer is swung with the burning of myrrh,
for the sanctuary sounds where the elements were.