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Ballads and Lyrics of Socialism 1883-1908 . Nesbit, E. (Edith), 1858–1924.
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page: 34

Spring Song

  • THE spring is here, and the long nights grow
  • Less bitterly cold than awhile ago;
  • Our rags serve their purpose now, and keep
  • Warmth enough in us to let us sleep.
  • The rain that trickles down our walls
  • No longer seems to freeze as it falls;
  • There was dust, not mud, on our feet to‐day
  • There’s some green in a flower‐pot over the way;
  • The sky‐strip over the court’s changed hue,
  • From dull yellow‐grey to clear grey‐blue;
  • Through our broken windows no more the storm
  • Laughs and shrieks as we try to keep warm,
  • But through dusty panes the long sunbeams peer,
  • For the spring is here.
  • Small joy the greenness and grace of spring
  • To grey hard lives like our own can bring.
  • A drowning man cares little to think
  • Of the lights on the waves where he soon must sink.
  • The greenest garments the spring can wear
  • Are black already with our despair:
  • Earth will be one with us soon—shall we care
  • If snow or sunshine be over us there,
  • Or if wintry the world be we found so drear,
  • Or if spring be here?
page: 35
  • In the western half of our Christian town
  • The Winter only pretends to frown,
  • And when his undreaded rage is done,
  • The ‘London season’ they say is begun.
  • With wine, feast, revelling, laugh and song,
  • The hours rose‐garlanded dance along,
  • The whirl of wickedness wilder grows
  • In this western camp of our master‐foes;
  • They fight with each other—the victors take
  • The largest share of the wealth we make;
  • They spend on their horses, their women, their wives,
  • The money wrung from our blasted lives:
  • It is theirs to enjoy—it is ours to pay.
  • Do they never dream of a reckoning day,
  • When the lives they have wrecked shall be counted up,
  • And measured the blood that has brightened their cup,
  • When we who have worked shall take payment due,
  • And they for their work shall have payment too?
  • Do they dream of that coming hour? Not they!
  • Their feet flit fast down the smooth steep way,
  • They see not the waiting snakes that hide
  • In the hothouse flowers at their life‐path’s side,
  • They know no justice, no pity, no fear—
  • But the spring is here!
  • Yes—here! In the hope we had almost lost,
  • That has sprung to bud after long years’ frost;
  • In this fire in our veins that cries, ‘Give youth,
  • Love, manhood, life, for the Right and the Truth’;
  • In our steady purpose, for Freedom’s sake,
  • Through custom, privilege, ‘fate,’ to break;
  • In the brains of the thinkers, the arms of the men
  • Who will strike, and strike, and still strike again,
  • Till they cut our way to the land of flowers,
  • And the summer of freedom at last is ours—
  • In these is the spring. The winter was sore—
  • It is over and done, and will come no more.
  • page: 36
  • The fruit will grow with the changing year,
  • Though only the blossoms now appear;
  • For the sake of the fruit the blossoms are dear,
  • And the spring is here—the spring is here.
1888.
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