• By Daniel Leach

Ghost Spring


Albert Bierstadt - River Landscape (1867)

The light falls softly on the sparkling lawn,

And then awakens every tree and flower,

All earth renews, as it has since the dawn

Of life upon its bosom, but this hour

A shadow like an eclipse haunts the day

And colors all the things the heart holds dear,

As if their essence has since passed away

And the mere ghosts of them now linger here;

For what is that beauty the eyes may see,

If the heart cannot feel it, pure and free.


The birds are chirping as they did last year,

And squirrels scamper quickly to and fro,

They know not of our human ills, nor fear

The future of their kind, nor even know

What meaning their actions may someday play

In that great universal symphony,

But only live an ever present day,

That like a dream to us will always be.

And I know not which of us is the best,

Or which the knowledge of the truth has blessed.


Upon the earth’s ever-evolving face,

We were the fairest creature to behold,

Whose mind could all the earth and sky embrace,

And bound for uncreated worlds untold.

But now prostrate before a tyranny

Of self-made doom that haunts the soul like death,

That no one dare to speak of what may be

Or what dark thing may come with their next breath.

And beauty which the eyes see bright and strong,

Now echoes in the heart like an old song.


And how dare I to even feel again

That elemental joy that is the Spring?

How tell the poor and suffering throngs of men

Who may not hear again its sweet birds sing?

What song of hope can a mere mortal give

Greater than that cycle of death and birth

The unseen force that rules all things that live,

Or ever lived, upon the changling earth?

Yet something in the human soul must be,

That can the soul-filled world around yet see.


That thing, however small, must like a seed,

Lie sleeping in the world soul’s underground,

Where death and birth some unheard music heed,-

And suddenly appear—perhaps a sound

Which human lips can learn may somehow call

The souls of these dead things to reunite,

That lifts from human hearts the deathly pall,

And fills the Spring again with its true light.

Perhaps that seed, though it be buried deep,

May stir and wake us from our dream-filled sleep.


May, 2020


Daniel is a poet living in Houston, Texas. He has spent much of his life fighting for the ideals of classical culture and poetry. His volume of poetry, compiling over 20 years of composition, is entitled "Voices on the Wind."