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New York Songlines

Virtual Walking Tours of Manhattan Streets. A unique and rewarding hyperwalk through Manhattan.


SONNET XXXIV.

BARREN SPRING.

ONCE more the changed year’s turning wheel returns:
  And as a girl sails balanced in the wind,
  And now before and now again behind
Stoops as it swoops, with cheek that laughs and burns,—
So Spring comes merry towards me here, but earns
  No answering smile from me, whose life is twin’d
  With the dead boughs that winter still must bind,
And whom to-day the Spring no more concerns. 

Behold, this crocus is a withering flame;
  This snowdrop, snow; this apple-blossom’s part
  To breed the fruit that breeds the serpent’s art.
Nay, for these Spring-flowers, turn thy face from them,
Nor stay till on the year’s last lily-stem
  The white cup shrivels round the golden heart.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti [1828–1882]