THE Hylas

In the crimson sunsets of the spring, 

Children, have you heard the hylas pipe; 

Ere with robin's note the meadows ring, 

Ere the silver willow buds are ripe?

Long before the swallow dares appear, 

When the April weather frees the brooks,

Sweet and high a liquid note you hear, 

Sounding clear at eve from wooded nooks.

'Tis the hylas. "What are hylas, pray?" 

Do you ask me, little children sweet?

They are tree toads, brown and green and gray, 

Small and slender, dusky, light, and fleet.

All the winter long they hide and sleep 

In the dark earth's bosom, safe and fast;

When the sunshine finds them, up they leap, 

Glad to feel that spring had come at last.

Glad and grateful, up the trees they climb, 

Pour their cheerful music on the air,

Crying, "Here's an end of snow and rime! 

Beauty is beginning everywhere!"

Listen, children, for so sweet a cry, 

Listen till you hear the hylas sing,

Ere the first star glitters in the sky, 

In the crimson sunsets of the spring.

St. Nicholas.