In Time's Swing

By Lucy Larcom

Father Time, your footsteps go
Lightly as the falling snow.
In your swing I’m sitting, see!
Push me softly; one, two; three,
Twelve times only. Like a sheet,
Spread the snow beneath my feet.
Singing merrily, let me swing
Out of winter into spring.

Swing me out, and swing me in!
Trees are bare, but birds begin
Twittering to the peeping leaves,
On the bough beneath the eaves.
Wait,—one lilac bud I saw.
Icy hillsides feel the thaw.
April chased off March to-day;
Now I catch a glimpse of May.

Oh, the smell of sprouting grass!
In a blur the violets pass.
Whispering from the wildwood come
Mayflower’s breath and insect’s hum.
Roses carpeting the ground;
Thrushes, orioles, warbling sound:—
Swing me low, and swing me high,
To the warm clouds of July.

Slower now, for at my side
White pond lilies open wide.
Underneath the pine’s tall spire
Cardinal blossoms burn like fire.
They are gone; the golden-rod
Flashes from the dark green sod.
Crickets in the grass I hear;
Asters light the fading year.

Slower still! October weaves
Rainbows of the forest leaves.
Gentians fringed, like eyes of blue,
Glimmer out of sleety dew.
Meadow green I sadly miss:
Winds through withered sedges hiss.
Oh, ‘t is snowing, swing me fast,
While December shivers past!

Frosty-bearded Father Time,
Stop your footfall on the rime!
Hard you push, your hand is rough;
You have swung me long enough.
“Nay, no stopping,” say you? Well,
Some of your best stories tell,
While you swing me—gently, do!—
From the Old Year to the New.

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