The afternoon is bright,
with spring in the air,
a mild March afternoon,
with the breath of April stirring,
I am alone in the quiet patio
looking for some old untried illusion –
some shadow on the whiteness of the wall
some memory asleep
on the stone rim of the fountain,
perhaps in the air
the light swish of some trailing gown.
The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You’re one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you’re two months back in the middle of March.
March bustles in on windy feet
And sweeps my doorstep and my street.
She washes and cleans with pounding rains,
Scrubbing the earth of winter stains.
She shakes the grime from carpet green
Till naught but fresh new blades are seen.
Then, house in order, all neat as a pin,
She ushers gentle springtime in.
The March wind roars
Like a lion in the sky,
And makes us shiver
As he passes by.
When winds are soft,
And the days are warm and clear,
Just like a gentle lamb,
Then spring is here.
While yet we wait for spring
While yet we wait for spring, and from the dry
And blackening east that so embitters March,
Well-housed must watch grey fields and meadows parch,
And driven dust and withering snowflake fly;
Already in glimpses of the tarnish’d sky
The sun is warm and beckons to the larch,
And where the covert hazels interarch
Their tassell’d twigs, fair beds of primrose lie.
Beneath the crisp and wintry carpet hid
A million buds but stay their blossoming;
And trustful birds have built their nests amid
The shuddering boughs, and only wait to sing
Till one soft shower from the south shall bid,
And hither tempt the pilgrim steps of spring.
Robert Seymour Bridges
(1844 – 1930) was a British poet.
What Every Wife Knows
Give me a man who drinks good, hot, dark, strong coffee for breakfast!
A man who smokes a good, dark, fat cigar after dinner!
You may marry your milk-faddist, or your anti-coffee crank, as you will!
But I know the magic of the coffee pot!
Let me make my Husband’s coffee — and I care not who makes eyes at him!
Give me two matches a day —
One to start the coffee with, at breakfast, and one for his cigar, after dinner!
And I defy all the houris in Christendom to light a new flame in his heart!
Oh, sweet supernal coffee-pot!
Gentle panacea of domestic troubles.
Faithful author of that sweet nepenthe which deadens all the ills that
married folks are heir to.
Cheery, glittering, soul-soothing, warmed hearted, inanimate friend!
What wife can fail to admit the peace and serenity she owes to you?
To you, who stand between her and all her early morning troubles —
Between her and the before-bfeakfast grouch —
Between her and the morning-after headache —
Between her and the cold-gray-dawn scrutiny?
o you, who supply the golden nectar that stimulates the jaded masculine soul.
Soothes the shaky masculine nerves, stirs the fagged masculine mind, inspires
the slow masculine sentiment.
And starts the sluggish blood a-flowing and the whole day right!
What is it, I ask you, when he comes down to breakfast dry of mouth, and touchy
That gives him pause, and silences that scintillating barb of sarcasm on the tip of his
tongue, With which he meant to impale you?
It is the sweet aroma of the coffee-pot—the thrilling thought of that first delicious sip!
What is it, on the morning after the club dance,
That hides your weary, little, washed-out face and straggling, uncurled coiffure from
his critical eyes?
It is the generous coffee-pot, standing like a guardian angel between you and him!
And in those many vital psychological moments, during the honeymoon, which decide
for or against the romance and happiness of all the rest of married life—
Those critical before-breakfast moments when temperament meets temperament, and
will meets “won’t” —
What is it that halts you on the brink of tragedy,
And distracts you from the temptation to answer back?
It is the absorbing anxiety of watching the coffee boil!
What is it that warms his veins and soothes your nerves,
And turns all the world suddenly from a dismal gray vale of disappointment to a bright
rosy garden of hope —
And starts another day gliding smoothly along like a new motor car?
What is it that will do more to transform a man from a fiend into an angel than baptism in
the River Jordan?
It is the first cup of coffee in the morning!