April in Town

Lizette Woodworth Reese was a late 19th century poet and teacher from Baltimore who wrote extensively about the seasons. It would seem from her sonnet, April in Town, that daffodils and rain were as common then in the eastern USA, as they are here and now – although there were daffodils in the village in January this year.

Straight from the east the wind blows sharp with rain,

That just now drove its wild ranks down the street,

And westward rushed into the sunset sweet.

Spouts brawl, boughs drip and cease and drip again,

Bricks gleam; keen saffron glows each window-pane,

And every pool beneath the passing feet.

Innumerable odors fine and fleet

Are blown this way from blossoming lawn and lane.

Wet roofs show black against a tender sky;

The almond bushes in the lean-fenced square,

Beaten to the walks, show all their draggled white.

A troop of labourers comes slowly by;

One bears a daffodil, and seems to bear

A new-lit candle through the fading light.


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