The Easter Decorations

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O take away your dried and painted garlands!
 The snow-cloth's fallen from each quicken'd brow,
The stone's rolled off the sepulchre of winter,
 And risen leaves and flowers are wanted now.

Send out the little ones, that they may gather
 With their pure hands the firstlings of the birth,-
Green-golden tufts and delicate half-blown blossoms,
 Sweet with the fragrance of the Easter earth;

Great primrose bunches, with soft, damp moss clinging
 To their brown fibres, nursed in hazel roots;
And violets from the shady banks and copses,
 And wood-anemones, and white hawthorn shoots;

And tender curling fronds of fern, and grasses
 And crumpled leaves from brink of babbling rills,
With cottage-garden treasures-pale narcissi
 And lilac plumes and yellow daffodils.

Open the doors, and let the Easter sunshine
 Flow warmly in and out, in amber waves,
And let the perfume floating round our altar
 Meet the new perfume from the outer graves.

And let the Easter "Alleluia!" mingle
 With the sweet silver rain-notes of the lark;
Let us all sing together!-Lent is over,
 Captivity and winter, death and dark.

© Ada Cambridge