Leonora Speyer, Lady Speyer (née von Stosch) (November 7, 1872 – February 10, 1956) was an American poet and violinist.
APRIL ON THE BATTLEFIELDS
April now walks the fields again,
Trailing her tearful leaves
And holding all her frightened buds against her heart:
Wrapt in her clouds and mists,
Groping her way among the graves of men.
The green of earth is differently green,
A dreadful knowledge trembles in the grass,
And little wide-eyed flowers die too soon:
There is a stillness here —
After a terror of all raving sounds —
And birds sit close for comfort upon the boughs
Of broken trees.
April, thou grief!
What of thy sun and glad, high wind,
Thy valiant hills and woods and eager brooks,
Thy thousand-petalled hopes?
The sky forbids thee sorrow, April!
And yet —
I see thee walking listlessly
Across those scars that once were joyous sod,
Those stepping-stones from life to life.
Death is an interruption between two heart-beats,
That I know —
Yet know not how I know —
But April mourns,
Trailing her tender green,
The passion of her green,
Across the passion of those fearful fields.
Yes, all the fields!
No barrier here,
No challenge in the night,
She passes with her perfect countersign,
She wanders in her mournful garden,
Dropping her buds like tears,
Spreading her lovely grief upon the graves of man.
I am afraid to go into the woods,
I fear the trees and their mad, green moods.
I fear the breezes that pull at my sleeves,
The creeping arbutus beneath the leaves,
And the brook that mocks me with wild, wet words:
I stumble and fall at the voice of birds.
Think of the terror of those swift showers,
Think of the meadows of fierce-eyed flowers:
And the little things with sudden wings
That buzz about me and dash and dart,
And the lilac waiting to break my heart!
Winter, hide me in your kind snow,
I am a coward, a coward, I know!