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A LOVE-SONG OF THE BRIDE OF CHRIST, IN EARLY SUMMERTIDE.

Der trübe Winter ist vorbei

The gloomy winter now is o'er,

The storks are back again,

The song of birds is heard once more,

And nests are built amain.

The leaves so fair

Steal forth to air,

The flowers give promise good;

The brooks awake,

And like a snake

Wind glittering through the wood.

The streams are smiling in the light,

And all the tiny rills,

The little daughters silver-white

Of mighty rocks and hills,

In rapid throng

Now shoot along

Like arrows on their way;

Nor lack they voice

That can rejoice

As with the stones they play.

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Diana, huntress pure and proud,

And wave and wood-nymphs all,

Now laugh and sport, a merry crowd,

Where greenwood shadows fall;

The sun shines down

To gild her crown

And fills with darts her quiver;

Her swiftest steed

Runs loose with speed

By smoothest road and river.

The summer winds, those youths so fair

On whispering wings who glide,

Sport with the nymphs in ambient air

As on light clouds they ride.

Each tree and bough

Its utmost now

Of wealth has all displayed,

That bird and beast

When heat-oppressed

May hide in cooling shade.

The birds' sweet minstrelsy anew

Its "tirra-lirra" sings,

And many a branch makes music too

As on the breeze it swings;

Each slender spray

Doth bend and sway

In time to that sweet tune,

And many a lute

And warbling flute

Is heard beneath the moon.

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Where'er one gazes, far and near,

The world is gay and bright,

All hearts are filled with gladsome cheer,

With hope and quick delight;

'Tis I alone

Still grieve and moan,

No end my sorrow finds,

Since Thee to me,

And me to Thee,

Thy troth, O Jesu, binds.

O Jesu, it is only I

In constant grief must be,

'Tis I alone must mourn and sigh,

For I am not with Thee!

Ah constant grief

Without relief

If we must dwell apart!

O bitter lot

To see Thee not,

How sore it wounds my heart!

Nought in the world can give me joy

But only Jesu's love,

All sport and pleasure but annoy

Till He the veil remove:

With many a cry

I call Him nigh

For many a weary hour,

Yet never hear

His step draw near;

Ah well these tears may shower!

For what avails the lovely spring,

The sunshine and the light,

The silver brooklet's joyous ring,

The trees so fair bedight,

The balmy wind

With breath so kind,

The soft meandering stream,

The birds' clear song,

The May-day long,

The meadow's emerald gleam?

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What all the joy, the sport, the play,

The happy earth can show?

Without Him grief is mine alway,

And pain and pining woe.

So sore this smart

It breaks my heart,

If Him I may not find;

For Him I weep,

And reft of sleep

Breathe sighs on every wind.

Farewell, O spring-time, rosy dawns,

Fields, forests decked anew,

Foliage and flowers and grassy lawns

All wet with sweetest dew,

Streams flowing by,

Clear azure sky,

Darts of the golden sun!

Full well I know

That grief and woe

O'er me have triumph won.

O Jesu, Jesu, faithful Lord,

Why grieve this heart so sore?

Wilt Thou not now Thy help afford?

Look on me, I implore,

For penitence

And pain would hence

In one swift moment flee,

If but these eyes

With sweet surprise

Might rest, dear Lord, on Thee!

246
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