April

Original Text: 

Andrew Lang, Ballads and Lyrics of Old France (London: Longmans, Green, 1913): 21-25. Internet Archive.

1April, pride of woodland ways,
2    Of glad days,
3April, bringing hope of prime,
4To the young flowers that beneath
5    Their bud sheath
6Are guarded in their tender time;
7April, pride of fields that be
8    Green and free,
9That in fashion glad and gay,
10Stud with flowers red and blue,
11    Every hue,
12Their jewelled spring array;
13April, pride of murmuring
14    Winds of spring,
15That beneath the winnowed air,
16Trap with subtle nets and sweet
17    Flora's feet,
18Flora's feet, the fleet and fair;
19April, by thy hand caressed,
20    From her breast
21Nature scatters everywhere
22Handfuls of all sweet perfumes,
23    Buds and blooms,
24Making faint the earth and air.
25April, joy of the green hours,
26    Clothes with flowers
27Over all her locks of gold
28My sweet Lady; and her breast
29    With the blest
30Buds of summer manifold.
31April, with thy gracious wiles,
32    Like the smiles,
33Smiles of Venus; and thy breath
34Like her breath, the Gods' delight,
35    (From their height
36They take the happy air beneath;)
37"It is thou that, of thy grace,
38    From their place
39In the far-off isles dost bring
40Swallows over earth and sea.
41    Glad to be
42Messengers of thee, and Spring.
43Daffodil and eglantine,
44    And woodbine,
45Lily, violet, and rose
46Plentiful in April fair,
47    To the air,
48Their pretty petals do unclose.
49Nightingales ye now may hear,
50    Piercing clear,
51Singing in the deepest shade;
52Many and many a babbled note
53    Chime and float,
54Woodland music through the glade.
55April all to welcome thee,
56    Spring sets free
57Ancient flames, and with low breath
58Wakes the ashes grey and old
59    That the cold
60Chilled within our hearts to death.
61Thou beholdest in the warm
62    Hours, the swarm
63Of the thievish bees, that flies
64Evermore from bloom to bloom
65    For perfume,
66Hid away in tiny thighs.
67Her cool shadows May can boast,
68    Fruits almost
69Ripe, and gifts of fertile dew,
70Manna-sweet and honey-sweet,
71    That complete
72Her flower garland fresh and new.
73Nay, but I will give my praise,
74    To these days,
75Named with the glad name of Her
76That from out the foam o' the sea
77    Came to be
78Sudden light on earth and air.
Lang, Andrew: April is a translation of Belleau, Rémy : Avril
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
Digital editor: Ian Lancashire
Data entry: Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: 
2012
Rhyme: 
Form: