Henry Howard’s poem “Description of Spring” contrasts the despondent unhappiness of the speaker’s unrequited love with the beauty, vitality, and fresh life of the spring season. Below, you’ll find the full poem ‘Description of Spring’ by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey.


Description of Spring

The soote season, that bud and bloom forth brings,

With green hath clad the hill and eke the vale:

The nightingale with feathers new she sings;

The turtle to her make hath told her tale.

Summer is come, for every spray now springs:

The hart hath hung his old head on the pale;

The buck in brake his winter coat he flings;

The fishes flete with new repaired scale.

The adder all her slough away she slings;

The swift swallow pursueth the flies smale;

The busy bee her honey now she mings;

Winter is worn that was the flowers’ bale.

         And thus I see among these pleasant things

         Each care decays, and yet my sorrow springs.

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey


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