Spring, the Sweet Spring

Whether you awakened this morning to blazing heat or a fresh fall of snow, today is officially the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Here to celebrate the day are a cherry blossom sketch from my sketchbook and a poem by Thomas Nashe.

At this turning of the year I like to remember Louis J. Halle (1911-1988), author of the magical and engaging Spring in Washington, a journal of early-spring biking and quiet observation that opens our eyes to the timeless natural world surrounding, and oblivious to, the evanescent heap of brick and concrete within which we burrow. (I hope you can manage to think of our bureaucratic city as magical and engaging. ‘Tis a transformative season.)

For a mini-bio of Halle, please see A Capital Spring. And a merry cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo to you!


Spring, the sweet spring, is the year’s pleasant king,
Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring,
Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing:
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!

The palm and may make country houses gay,
Lambs frisk and play, the shepherds pipe all day,
And we hear aye birds tune this merry lay:
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!

The fields breathe sweet, the daisies kiss our feet,
Young lovers meet, old wives a-sunning sit,
In every street these tunes our ears do greet:
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to witta-woo!

—Thomas Nashe

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