First Sight of Spring
by John Clare
The hazel-blooms, in threads of crimson hue,
Peep through the swelling buds, foretelling Spring,
Ere yet a white-thorn leaf appears in view,
Or March finds throstles pleasted enough to sing.
To the old touchwood tree woodpeckers cling
A moment, and their harsh-toned notes renew;
In happier mood, the stockdove claps his wing;
The squirrel sputters up the powdered oak,
With tail cocked o’er his head, and ears erect,
Startled to hear the woodman’s understroke;
And with the courage which his fears collect,
He hisses fierces half malice and half glee,
Leaping from branch to branch about the tree,
In winter’s foliage, moss and lichens, deckt.
You can find this poem in The Four Seasons Poems.