Walt Whitman

Warble for Lilac-Time

Warble me now, for joy of Lilac-time, (returning in reminiscence,)
Sort me, O tongue and lips, for Nature’s sake, souvenirs of earliest summer,
Gather the welcome signs, (as children, with pebbles, or stringing shells;) 
Put in April and May—the hylas croaking in the ponds—the elastic air,        
Bees, butterflies, the sparrow with its simple notes, 
Blue-bird, and darting swallow—nor forget the high-hole flashing his golden wings, 
The tranquil sunny haze, the clinging smoke, the vapor, 
Shimmer of waters, with fish in them—the cerulean above;  
All that is jocund and sparkling—the brooks running, 
The maple woods, the crisp February days, and the sugar-making; 
The robin, where he hops, bright-eyed, brown-breasted, 
With musical clear call at sunrise, and again at sunset, 
Or flitting among the trees of the apple-orchard, building the nest of his mate;  
The melted snow of March—the willow sending forth its yellow-green sprouts; 
—For spring-time is here! the summer is here! and what is this in it and from it? 
Thou, Soul, unloosen’d—the restlessness after I know not what; 
Come! let us lag here no longer—let us be up and away! 
O for another world! O if one could but fly like a bird!  
O to escape—to sail forth, as in a ship! 
To glide with thee, O Soul, o’er all, in all, as a ship o’er the waters! 
—Gathering these hints, these preludes—the blue sky, the grass, the morning drops of dew; 
The lilac-scent, the bushes with dark green, heart-shaped leaves, 
Wood violets, the little delicate pale blossoms called innocence, 
Samples and sorts not for themselves alone, but for their atmosphere, 
To grace the bush I love—to sing with the birds, 
A warble for joy of returning in reminiscence.

spoken = Heather Liston