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An April Jest

by Ruby Archer

On a rough March day with a sky half gray,
The wind with the sunshine plead:
"Come with me and creep where the blossoms sleep,
And waken them all," he said.

And the sun laughed, "Yea." So they sped away,
All the night-capped flowers to find;
And they touched the heads in the deep soft beds
With a delicate leaf-mould lined,

'Till the flow'rets dreamed that a rainbow gleamed,
And a murmuring zephyr sang;
And their night-caps soft in a trice they doffed,
And lo—from their beds up sprang.

As each wee sprout flung its fingers out
And soft pushed the earth away,
Wily wind and sun in their impish fun
Made the March world laugh like May.

When the flower heads fair felt the silk-soft air,
They nodded in artless glee;
And each conceived as it happily leaved,
It was strong as a plant need be.

Nor with wind and sun were the favors done.
They cradled and kissed the flowers,
While March crept past, in caprice at last,
With crotchets and petulant showers.

When March had departed, the wind icy-hearted
Blew fiercely the poor plants around;
'Till frightened they quivered, and fearfully shivered,
And laid their sweet heads on the ground.

The sunshine grew naughty, and feigned to be haughty
By hooding himself with a cloud:
The darkness came quickly, the clouds gathered thickly,
And every bright leaflet was cowed.

Then a white despair clutched the gasping air,
And the plants lay prone in their woe;
For the awful white meant the fatal blight
In the touch of the pitiless snow.

Then the sunshine peered from his hood and jeered,
"'Twas a jest! Silly plants! April fool!"
And the wind shrieked past in a cutting blast,
"April fool! April fool! April fool!"