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Spring

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About ten hours ago, the vernal equinox arrived here in the northern hemisphere.

In honor of that, here's my traditional quote, my favorite bit of Swinburne:

For winter's rains and ruins are over,

And all the season of snows and sins;

The days dividing lover and lover,

The light that loses, the night that wins;

And time remember'd is grief forgotten,

And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,

And in green underwood and cover

Blossom by blossom the spring begins.

—Algernon Charles Swinburne, from “Atalanta in Calydon” (1865)

I think I'll also include some other spring-and-early-summer quotes from past years:

The silence of the trees and quiescence of the wind were nature's hope and disbelief that winter had passed, a time when the wild terrain holds its breath before rejoicing, for fear of calling back the bright blue northerns and the snow.

—Mark Helprin, from Winter's Tale, p. 262 of the 1984 Pocket edition

Here's an older piece of spring verse:

Though a country be sundered, hills and rivers endure;

And spring comes green again to trees and grasses

Where petals have been shed like tears

And lonely birds have sung their grief.

—Tu Fu, from “A Spring View” (c. 750), trans. Witter Bynner

And I'll close with a more recent snippet:

now, the flowers are fresh and plentiful

time to wash windows, strip off winter's forgetfulness,

come to terms and to some kind of truce

—Margaret James, from “March 18” (2007)

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