When from old Winter's back is rent
her garment grey of discontent,
branches their gentle greens unfold,
daisies their laps half-fill with gold
and rabbits tumble in the corn.
Birds tune the sky, and lambs are born.
Seeds bursting from their winter sleep
run their appointed hour to keep.
They strive and thrust, they twist and run
to lift their hearts towards the sun.
Beneath the deep, soft quilt of snow
they waited, row on sleeping row.
And when the fingers of the thaw
tapped gently at each hidden door
they stirred, the seeds no man can number,
yet turned again to dark and slumber
til the first trumpets of the sun,
tilted to heaven, afresh begun,
their song of spring. Their seeds awoke
shook off their hard and heavy yoke
of clay and stones. Then, furrow -free,
they leapt to fulfil their destiny.
Lord of all life, of joy and pain,
of seed and harvest, wind and rain,
we praise you with each heedless breath
for annual victory over death.
And You whose hand can hold the tides,
whose everlasting power abides,
as nature to Your passion yields,
and life from death strides through the fields,
so rule and change the hearts of men
That Spring may walk the world again.
Peter Howard, from Country Company.