.

The first soft days of Springtime greet my eyes
__Like a young girl’s face smiling fresh and clean,
The sunlight falls, like hope, from cloudless skies
__Upon a budding world, all tender green;
But sweet, sad odors drift upon the breeze,
__That seem to carry my soul far away,
____Of oozing sap and scarce remembered flowers,
The soft, fresh moss upon the aged trees,
__And thawing humus of the past’s decay—
____The buried hopes of near forgotten hours.

How strange and distant is that memory
__Of one with whom a day like this I shared,
When Nature’s spirits all conspired with me
__To germinate and bloom the love I dared;
How I thanked God, and wondered at the chance,
__Or holy fate, that put us there, alone
____Beneath a tree, trapped by a sudden rain—
The tender words, the brief, yet soulful glance,
__And all was possible! Yet she is gone
____And but the echoes of that day remain.

I saw, in later Springs, dark shadows creep
__Like ghosts, to haunt my once bright, carefree day;
The death of loved ones, in whose graves now sleep
__The childlike joy that in the Spring should play.
These flowers are forever sad, yet dear,
__For they are like the ones that we loved so—
____It is as if from death itself they bloom,
With fragrance like a body, breathing near,
__Whispering secrets only the dead know,
____Of untold beauties that survive the tomb.

But oh, it is when I look in your eyes,
__Those deep pools that speak of much suffering,
And sense a kindred soul within them lies,
__Like mine, forever banished from the Spring,
That I am most from innocence estranged;
__For we autumnal souls forever bear
____The knowledge of our own mortality.
Yet though to darker hues our day has changed,
__The beauty of this moment, you now wear
____Like lingering, golden leaves upon the tree.

So let us spend the day in flowery fields,
__And teach the Spring a richer, wiser joy—
That from each moment a true pleasure yields,
__When fleeting time and precious hearts alloy;
Then sing to me of all that you hold dear
__In earth and sun, or budding trees, or sound
____Of unseen birds singing in the bright sky—
Perhaps to share a melancholy tear
__Upon some long-lost treasure found,
____Or laugh, as if the day would never die.

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Daniel R. Leach is a poet living in Houston, Texas. He has spent much of his life fighting for the ideals of classical culture and poetry. His volume of poetry, compiling over 20 years of composition, is entitled “Voices on the Wind.”


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5 Responses

  1. BRIAN YAPKO

    Daniel, this is a beautiful, sad, wistful ode. There are so many lovely images which ache. I especially love “we autumnal souls forever bear/The knowledge of our own mortality.” Thank you for sharing this heartfelt poem which reminds me so vividly that life is a gift never to be taken for granted.

    Reply
  2. Cheryl Corey

    I love the last two stanzas. My favorite lines in stanza four are “Like mine, forever banished from the Spring, That I am most from innocence estranged;” and the last stanza in its entirety. The accompanying photo of the Cole painting is very appropriate; but then, the photos on this website are always the best. P.S. Thank you for fighting the good fight for classical poetry!

    Reply
  3. David Bellemare Gosselin

    THIS is a real Ode!

    Find me another 21st century poet that can write an Ode of this quality. I have not seen any other.

    The way everything comes together with such a richness of irony in the last line is amazing. One literally feels the soul being moved.

    It’s so beautiful that it almost hurts.

    Great stuff Daniel.

    Reply

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