CELT document E890000-020

Hymn to Spring

Patrick Augustine Sheehan

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    Hymn to Spring

  1. O EARTH, awake from thy slumbers!
    She Cometh to thee o'er the hills.
    From the chambers of the south wind,
    From glad reaches of the sea.
    She hath breathed on brown mosses,
    And, lo! a star shines there;
    She had touched the gnarled branches —
    They are pearled and gemmed with buds.
    And where black boles strike deeply,
    A coronal of purple flowers,
    Shy, and sweet, and incense-breathing.
    Leaps to the laugh of the south wind.
    Shakes the warm dew from their cheeks.
    And sets birds and men dreaming
    Of days gone by, and of childhood.
    Shy, and sweet, and love-enchanted.
    O Earth, awake from thy slumbers!
    Spring Cometh to thee.
  2. Hearken, O Earth! to thy Psalmist,
    Spring singeth to thee!
    From the tawny throats of bird-minstrels,
    Muffled and shielded from cold,
    Lest one faintest chord should cipher,
    Or one sweetest melody falter
    In her psalms and wood-litanies;
    From the gurgle and murmur of streamlets,
    That spring into laughter and song
    Through the broken shackles of ice-floes.
    And the curved domes of the snows;
    From the clapping of hands in the woodlands,
    And the buds leaning o'er to each other
    To whisper the glad gratulations.
    Or echo the glad hallelujahs:
    In symphonies soft and majestic.
    In cadenced and resonant anthems,
    And wild and unmeasured voluntaries.
    Listen, O Earth! to thy Psalmist:
    Spring singeth to thee!
  3. Arise, O Earth, for thy Priestess,
    Spring, cometh to thee!
    She hath put on the mitre of gladness.
    And her vestments are weighted with flowers, —
    God's golden embroidery.
    Where her sandalled feet touch the meadows,
    A print of gold and of saffron
    Lies beneath the grasses embedded.
    Crocus, and lily, and violet,
    The shy, sweet children of darkness,
    Peep through the brown moist ridges;
    Careless, but living and breathing.
    The bells of the lilac tremble;
    And up from the steaming grasses,
    The hyacinth poureth his incense
    At the feet of his priestess and queen.
    And she, with her solemn worship
    Of prayer, and of praise, and the burning
    Of perfumed woods, and the spices
    That breathe on the tremulous air.
    Grows strong, as her King in the heavens
    Widens the arch of his circuit,
    And pours the life from his bosom,
    Till the shy, meek maiden of springtime,
    The gentle Sibyl and psalmist.
    Waxes ruddy and brown in the sunshine.
    And from priestess of birds and of streams.
    Grows to the stature of strength and of scorn,
    Dishevelled, and splashed with the blood of the
    wine-press, —
    The flame-haired Moenad,
    The wild-eyed Bacchante,
    Of summer and fruit and song.
  4. P. A. SHEEHAN

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Title statement

Title (uniform): Hymn to Spring

Author: Patrick Augustine Sheehan

Responsibility statement

Electronic edition compiled by: Benjamin Hazard

Funded by: School of History, University College, Cork and private donation

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1. First draft

Extent: 930 words

Publication statement

Publisher: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork

Address: College Road, Cork, Ireland — http://www.ucc.ie/celt

Date: 2014

Distributor: CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.

CELT document ID: E890000-020

Availability: Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.

Source description


  • [Details to follow].

Canon Sheehan on the Internet

  • http://www.canonsheehanremembered.com.


  1. Canon P.A. Sheehan, 'Hymn to Spring,' The Irish Monthly, 25/286 (April 1897) 217–218.
  2. Canon P.A. Sheehan, 'Hymn to Spring,' in Cithara Mea; Poems (Boston 1900) 157–159.


  1. Herman Joseph Heuser, Canon Sheehan of Doneraile: the story of an Irish parish priest as told chiefly by himself in books, personal memoirs, and letters (New York 1917).
  2. Arthur Coussens, P. A. Sheehan, zijn leven en zijn werken (Brugge/Bruges 1923).
  3. Michael P. Linehan, Canon Sheehan of Doneraile: Priest, Novelist, Man of Letters (Dublin 1952).
  4. James O'Brien (ed.), The Collected Letters of Canon Sheehan of Doneraile, 1883–1913 (Wells 2013).
  5. James O'Brien, Canon Sheehan of Doneraile 1852–1913: Outlines for a Literary Biography (Wells 2013). [Bibliographical references 205–11].

The edition used in the digital edition

‘Hymn to Spring’. In: The Irish Monthly: A Magazine of General Literature‍ 25.286. Ed. by Matthew Russell SJ, pp. 217–218.

You can add this reference to your bibliographic database by copying or downloading the following:

  editor 	 = {},
  title 	 = {Hymn to Spring},
  journal 	 = {The Irish Monthly: A Magazine of General Literature},
  editor 	 = {Matthew Russell SJ},
  address 	 = {Dublin},
  publisher 	 = {Irish Jesuit Province},
  date 	 = {April 1897},
  volume 	 = {25},
  number 	 = {286},
  pages 	 = {217–218}


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Project description: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

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Creation: By Patrick Augustine Sheehan (1852–1913)

Date: 1897

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  • The text is in English. (en)

Keywords: poetry; religious; christianity; 19c

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(Most recent first)

  1. 2014-03-21: File parsed; minor additions and modifications made to header. SGML and HTML files created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2014-02-07: Header created; structural mark-up added; file proofed. (ed. Benjamin Hazard)
  3. 2014-01-24: Text scanned. (file capture Benjamin Hazard)

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