False February

by John Payne

John Payne

NOT seldom, whilst the Winter yet is king,
Whilst yet the meads are mute and boughs are bare,
A stirring in the February air
There comes, as with a faint foreshadowing,
A passing prophecy of far-off Spring
And distant days, when all the world shall wear
The lovely liveries of Summer fair,
That sets our wintry thought upon the wing.
Well though we know the thing's a Winter's trick,
To hold the soul with expectation sick,
And he will soon resume his iron reign,
Yet our fond hearts alone with hope in vain
Swell not; for hark, the swallows in the eaves
Rejoice as though the world were lush with leaves.

Last updated February 10, 2018