Archive for September 17th, 2017

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Spring by John Gardiner Calkins Brainard

TO MISS — —.

Other poets may muse on thy beauties, and sing
Of thy birds, and thy flowers, and thy perfumes, sweet Spring!
They may wander enraptured by hills and by mountains,
Or pensively pore by thy fresh gushing fountains;
Or sleep in the moonlight by favorite streams,
Inspired by the whispering sylphs in their dreams,
And awake from their slumbers to hail the bright sun,
When shining in dew the fresh morning comes on.

But I’ve wet shoes and stockings, a cold in my throat,
The head-ache, and tooth-ache, and quinsy to boot;
No dew from the cups of the flow’rets I sip, —
‘T is nothing but boneset that moistens my lip;
Not a cress from the spring or the brook can be had:
At morn, noon, and night, I get nothing but shad;
My whispering sylph is a broad-shouldered lass,
And my bright sun — a warming-pan made out o brass!

Then be thou my genius; for what can I do,
When I cannot see nature, but copy from you?
If Spring be the season of beauty and youth,
Of hope and of loveliness, kindness, and truth;
Of all that’s inspiring, and all that is bright,
And all that is what we call just about right—
Why need I expose my sick muse to the weather,
When by going to you she would find all together?

From: Brainard, John, Poems of John Brainard, 1996, University of Michigan Humanities Text Initiative: Ann Arbor, Michigan, pp. 26-27.

Date: 1825

By: John Gardiner Calkins Brainard (1796-1828)