Spring's messenger we hail


Ἦρος ἄγγελος ἰμερόφωνος ἀήδων·

SPRING'S messenger we hail, 
The sweet-voiced nightingale; 
She sings where ivy weaves 
Blue berries with dark leaves. 

Beside each forest-root 
The lilies freshly shoot, 
Narcissi crown the grass, 
Bees hum, and toil, and pass. 

The glades are soft with dew, 
The chestnuts bud anew, 
And fishers set their sails 
To undelusive gales. 

The shepherd's pipe is heard, 
The villages are stirred 
To shout the wine-god's praise, 
And jest in rural ways.

Then breaks the piercing note 
From Philomel's wild throat, 
Passion's supremest pain 
That may not hope again. 

Zeus sends the gracious Spring,
And must her herald sing 
In kindly-bowered retreat 
Only of love's defeat ? 

Ah, woe is me ! I learn, 
When light and flowers return, 
Love's anguish, cark and care ; 
Its infinite despair 

Comes back, and makes me mad, 
Telling how all is glad : 
Then swell the throb, the wail, 
The want, O nightingale !