The Sweet South-Wind

by Oscar Fay Adams

Oscar Fay Adams

Over the fields and the waters there suddenly swept in mid-April
Something that seemed like a breath that was blown from far coasts of the sunlands.
Languorous was it and sweet as are lilies or odorous spices,
Laden with delicate hints of a summer not far in the distance.
Over the meadows and fields that, embrowned by the cold of the winter,
Lay as if dead to the spring and with never a hope of a harvest,
Silently passed the south-wind, and there suddenly sprang into being
Millions of grass blades that tossed like an emerald sea in the sunshine,
Daffodils fair as were those that gained Pluto a consort in Hades,
Buttercups golden and gleaming like gems on the hands of a maiden,
Daisies that grew near the ground and yet ever and always gazed upward,
Violets azure and yellow and white and of wonderful fragrance.

Over the trees in the orchard and forest it breathed in its progress,
Bringing the sap from the roots to the near and the farthermost branches,
Swelling the buds till the willow was hid in a verdurous mist-cloud,
Touching the boughs of the maple that reddened with joy at the meeting,
Leaving wherever it lingered assurance and promise of summer.
Over the streams the beneficent breeze from the south-land swept gently,
Filled all the waters with quick-darting life that rejoiced in the springtime,
Sent all the rivers, now freed from the grasp of the winter, exultant,
Moving in shimmering, glittering, sinuous curves that led seaward.
So on its way passed the wonderful wakening wind from the sunlands,
Driving before it the frost and the cold of the winter, reluctant,
While in their stead came the warmth and the re-aroused life of the springtide,
For in the wake of the life-giving breeze flew the jubilant swallows,
Twittered the robins and wrens, while the azure-hued wing of the bluebird
Cut through the air like the scintillant blade that is famed of Toledo.

Thus in mid-April the heart of another springtide was awakened;
Faster the blood ran along through the veins in the glorious weather,
Generous impulses quickened and waxed in the glow of the season.
Winter was banished, and with him the cold and the afternoon twilight,
And, as the wail of his storms in the north passed at last into silence,
May could be seen in the distance approaching, her lap full of blossoms.

Last updated July 24, 2019