The Dawn of Spring
By OLIVER RUTTER
There’s a swish, there’s a whirr –
A bright flashing of wings!
There’s a sweet woodland myrrh,
That caressingly clings,
and the oriole signals love’s tenderest call,
Delightfully increasing Spring’s charm over all.
Now down where rushes grow,
Thrilling blackbirds are heard;
And soft, while the winds blow,
An overture is allured,
Till our troubles vanish, when the song sparrow sings,
As we gather violets like the blue-bird’s wings.
In the morning or noon,
Where the bushes swing low,
Pretty pictures are strewn
On the brook’s mirrored flow,
If, dreamily, we wander in love’s tender plight,
Through the thorn-bushes blossoming, of pink and white.
Over here, over there,
The rivalry is keen,
Though the bidding seems fair,
There is beauty unseen.
Low ‘neath the brambles, near the sweet smelling sod,
Are beauties we may liken to the smile of God.
Far away, far away,
Through a dim, purpled haze,
Taunting clouds are at play,
With the sun’s warming rays,
Ah! what seems as pleasant as the years that are gone,
When the charms of Springtime we are gazing upon?
Life is dear, life is queer,
Life is stubbornly wrong;
Life is sere, life is drear,
When it might be a song!
Ah! who paints the flowers, and the beautiful skies?
Who causes the dead, in new glory to rise?
Morning Herald (Uniontown, Pennsylvania) Feb 28, 1936
Old Sol the Magician.
When April’s tears turn into snow
And nip spring in the bud,
Old Sol is anything but slow,
And soon its name is mud.
New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Apr 3, 1912
We sweetly sing
The new laid egg.
Your fond attention
We would beg
As in a lay
Of praise we greet
The finest thing
On earth to eat.
Behold the modest
That’s getting in
Its work again,
And making up
For what we lost
In days of laziness
The days when all
There was on hand
Was the suspicious
That, in responding
To our call,
Came scrambled if they came at all.
Now, wholesome, fresh
And at our taste,
We have them on
The table placed.
The number that
We eat unnamed,
So many, though
We are ashamed.
– Duncan M. Smith.
New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Apr 6, 1909
It’s curious kind o’ weather when you come to make it out;
One minute winds is blowin’ all the blossoms roundabout,
An’ sunshine’s jes’ a-streamin’ from the blue and bendin’ skies,
An’ dreamin’ — jes’ a-dreamin’, like the light in woman’s eyes!
But jes’ when all is lovely, an’ the wind with music floats;
When the birds is makin’ merry an’ a-strainin’ of their throats;
An’ the sunshine’s like a picnic in the blossmes, pink an’ white,
A cyclone strikes the country an’ jes’ swallers all in sight!
It’s curious kind o’ weather — jes’ the worst you ever felt;
You don’t half git through freezin’ ‘fore the orler comes to melt!
An’ you can’t quite say it’s winter, an’ you ain’t half sure it’s spring;
So’ keep on with the whistlin’ an’ thank God for everything!
The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) May 13, 1893
The time of year
Again is here
When wifey aims to make home neater,
And hubby knows,
When home he goes,
He’ll have to wield the carpet-beater.
With leaden feet
Along the street
He plods his way, sad-hearted, weary.
Well he doth know
That tale of woe
With wife’s n. g. — of such she’s leary.
Useless for him
A yarn to spin,
Pretending illness — can’t deceive her.
To him she’ll say,
In heartless way,
“Come off — it’s nothing but spring fever.”
New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Mar 13, 1908
No Doubt About It Now.
Sunshine on the river –
Bird songs in the air!
Green leaves all a-quiver –
(Spring is mighty near!)
Reckless roses springing –
Brown bees here and there;
Lazy plowboy singing –
(Spring is mighty near!)
Easy to detect her –
Stormy skies or clear;
Easter bill collector –
(Certain spring is near!)
The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) May 9, 1895
The Spring Affliction.
Oh, that blessed tired feeling
Which about the first of May
O’er the soul of man comes stealing
Like a burglar in a play,
Making him so fine and laze,
Kin almost to pure delight,
Calling up a vision hazy
Of a lake where fishes bite.
Winter with its weather bracing
Gave him energy and vim,
But spring has no trouble chasing
All those notions out of him.
When the birds begin to twitter,
Then in chaste and classic slang
He desires to be a quitter
And to let the work go hang.
He has tugged away like fury,
Buckled to it every day.
Now he things the judge and jury
Would prescribe a spell of play,
Would encourage him in slipping
From the busy haunts of men
And across the fields go tripping
Feeling almost young again.
Trading off the tired feeling
For the springy step of youth,
Finding nature’s gentle healing
More than advertised in truth,
Giving him an added vigor,
Keyed just right, not overdone,
Like the delicate hair trigger
On a forty dollar gun.
– Duncan M. Smith
New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) May 15, 1914
The merry waves dance up and down and play,
Sport is granted to the sea;
Birds are the quiristers of the empty air,
Sport is never wanting there;
The ground doth smile at the spring’s flowery birth.
Sport is granted to the earth;
The fire its cheering flame on high doth rear,
Sport is never wanting there.
If all the elements, the earth, the sea,
Air, and firs, so merry be,
Why is man’s mirth so seldom and so small,
Who is compounded of them all?
– Abraham Cowley
The Oshkosh Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Mar 27, 1936
One cloud a hue of lazylite
Flanked by spray of misty white
Gave way to sublimate of gray
A storm cloud hovered on the way.
Springtime, blythe and very gay,
Her banner throws athwart the sky
That she will not her claim deny
Cold winter must vacate and fly.
– M.W. Beebe, Black Wolf Point.
The Oshkosh Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Apr 1, 1938