Say, earth, why hast thou got thee new attire,
And stick'st thy habit full of daisies red?
Seems that thou dost to some high thought aspire,
And some new-found-out bridegroom mean'st to wed:
Tell me, ye trees, so fresh apparellèd, -
So never let the spiteful canker waste you,
So never let the heavens with lightning blast you, -
Why go you now so trimly dressed, or whither haste you?
Answer me, Jordan, why thy crooked tide
So often wanders from his nearest way,
As though some other way thy stream would slide,
And fain salute the place where something lay.
And you, sweet birds that, shaded from the ray,
Sit carolling and piping grief away,
The while the lambs to hear you, dance and play,
Tell me, sweet birds, what is it you so fain would say?
And thou, fair spouse of earth, that every year
Gett'st such a numerous issue of thy bride,
How chance thou hottest shin'st, and draw'st more near?
Sure thou somewhere some worthy sigh hast spied,
That in one place for joy thou canst not bide:
And you, dead swallows, that so lively now
Through the flit air your wingèd passage row,
How could new life into your frozen ashes flow?
Ye primroses and purple violets,
Tell me, why blaze ye from your leavy bed,
And woo men's hands to rend you from your sets,
As though you would somewhere be carrièd,
With fresh perfumes, and velvets garnishèd?
But ah! I need not ask, 'tis surely so,
You all would to your Saviour's triumphs go,
There would ye all await, and humble homage do.
Easter Morn by Giles Fletcher, c.1588-1623
Fr Lee Kenyon