- By Daniel Leach
Ode: Spring Mourning
The first soft days of springtime greet my eyes
Like a young girl’s face, smiling fresh and clean,
The sunlight falls, like hope, from cloudless skies
Upon a budding world, all tender green;
But sweet, sad odors drift upon the breeze,
That seem to carry my soul far away,
Of oozing sap and scarce remembered flowers,
The soft, fresh moss upon the aged trees,
And thawing humus of the past’s decay—
The buried hopes of near forgotten hours.
How strange and distant is that memory
Of one with whom a day like this I shared,
When Nature’s spirits all conspired with me
To germinate and bloom the love I dared;
How I thanked God, and wondered at the chance,
Or holy fate, that put us there, alone
Beneath a tree, trapped by a sudden rain—
The tender words, the brief, yet soulful glance,
And all was possible! Yet she is gone
And but the echoes of that day remain.
I saw, in later springs, dark shadows creep
Like ghosts, to haunt my once bright, carefree day;
The death of loved ones, in whose graves now sleep
The childlike joy that in the spring should play.
These flowers are forever sad, yet dear,
For they are like the ones that we loved so—
It is as if from death itself they bloom,
With fragrance like a body, breathing near,
Whispering secrets only the dead know,
Of untold beauties that survive the tomb.
But oh, it is when I look in your eyes,
Those deep pools that speak of much suffering,
And sense a kindred soul within them lies,
Like mine, forever banished from the spring,
That I am most from innocence estranged;
For we autumnal souls forever bear
The knowledge of our own mortality.
Yet though to darker hues our day has changed,
The beauty of this moment, you now wear
Like lingering, golden leaves upon the tree.
So let us spend the day in flowery fields,
And teach the spring a richer, wiser joy—
That from each moment a true pleasure yields,
When fleeting time and precious hearts alloy;
Then sing to me of all that you hold dear
In earth and sun, or budding trees, or sound
Of unseen birds singing in the bright sky—
Perhaps to share a melancholy tear
Upon some long-lost treasure found,
Or laugh, as if the day would never die.
Daniel is a poet living in Houston, Texas. He has spent much of his life fighting for the ideals of classical culture and and poetry. His volume of poetry, compiling over 20 years of composition, is entitled Voices on the Wind.