When Spring is Born
No more the snow is seen
That crowned cold Winter’s reign:
The grass unfolds its green,
New-wakened from the plain.
The birds sing merry lays
Upon the sprouting trees;
The brooklet sportive plays
Along the verdant leas.
The rural swain descries
New charms that lend their aid
To light his lover’s eyes,
And grace the simple maid.
God sends the gentle showers
To kiss the buds at morn;
And full blow fragrant flowers,
When Spring, fair Spring, is born.
William Blocksidge, Songs o’ the South, London: Watts, 1908, pp. 14-15
brooklet = a small brook (i.e. a small creek)
descries = to descry: to see something, especially something difficult to detect (e.g. they descried a small scar on his body)
lay = song, tune; ballad (may also refer to ballads or narrative poems, as sung by medieval minstrels or bards)
lea = field, grassland, meadow, pasture
maid = maiden, young woman, young female (may also refer to a female servant)
swain = a young male admirer, lover, or suitor; also may refer to a country lad, peasant, or shepherd
verdant = countryside covered with lush green grass or other plant life; may also refer to the colour green, or to someone who is “green” (i.e. lacking experience, judgment, or sophistication)