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Oh the cheerful Budding-time!
 When thorn-hedges turn to green,
When new leaves of elm and lime
 Cleave and shed their winter screen;
Tender lambs are born and 'baa,'
 North wind finds no snow to bring,
Vigorous Nature laughs 'Ha, ha,'
 In the miracle of spring.

Oh the gorgeous Blossom-days!
 When broad flag-flowers drink and blow,
In and out in summer-blaze
 Dragon-flies flash to and fro;
Ashen branches hang out keys,
 Oaks put forth the rosy shoot,
Wandering herds wax sleek at ease,
 Lovely blossoms end in fruit.

Oh the shouting Harvest-weeks!
 Mother earth grown fat with sheaves
Thrifty gleaner finds who seeks;
 Russet-golden pomp of leaves
Crowns the woods, to fall at length;
 Bracing winds are felt to stir,
Ocean gathers up her strength,
 Beasts renew their dwindled fur.

Oh the starving Winter-lapse!
 Ice-bound, hunger-pinched and dim;
Dormant roots recall their saps,
 Empty nests show black and grim,
Short-lived sunshine gives no heat,
 Undue buds are nipped by frost,
Snow sets forth a winding-sheet,
 And all hope of life seems lost.

© Christina Georgina Rossetti