A Pastoral

The weather (in the past

   Emphatically bitter),

Seems to have changed at last.

   The birds begin to twitter.

The rivers, decked with sedge,

   In lavish streams are flowing.

On every side the veg-

   Etables, too, are growing.

The young man's fancy turns

   In almost all directions;

Promiscuously burns

   The lamp of his affections.

Approaches now the close

   Of Rugby and of “Socker”;

The football jersey goes

   Back to its native locker.

To make rough meadows flat

   The cricketer is toiling;

He scans his favourite bat,

   In case the thing wants oiling.

The Bard begins to tear

   His hyacinthine tresses,

Or polishes with care

   Last years returned M.S.S.

The farmer once again –

   I learn from one who knows it –

Takes quantities of grain,

   And walks about and sows it.

Dear friends who hear my song,

   Of brain decay acquit me.

That explanation's wrong -

   I'll make it clear. Permit me.

The reason why I sing,

   The point at which I'm driving,

Is simply this: that Spring

   Is rapidly arriving.

First published in Punch, April 8, 1903.