BLEAK and bare, in the morning gray, 

Lie the uplands and hills today; 

Over their tops the clouds hang low, 

Black and heavy with rain and snow. 

Here and there, by the sheltering wall, 

Grow and brighten the grasses small; 

Here and there on the larch are seen 

Slender tassels of softest green. 

Over the brook the alders swing 

Tawny blossoms to greet the spring; 

Thickly gemming their branches low, 

Yellow catkins the willows show. 

Beautiful tokens! All in vain, 

Down from the black cloud starts the rain; 

Deep in the earth, beneath our feet, 

Warm as summer the pulses beat. 

You may count their throbbing in streams that leap, 

With rush and ripple from silent sleep, 

In the flash of wings through the maples bare, 

And the bluebird's note on the morning air.