Kindly spring again is here

Kindly spring again is here. John Newton* (1725-1807). First published in Olney Hymns (1779), Book II, ‘On Occasional Subjects’, with the first line ‘Pleasing spring again is here!’. It forms part of a sequence of texts concerned with the seasons and natural phenomena such as summer storms and harvest. These are not nature poems as we understand them today, but treat their subjects as emblems and use them to make a moral or spiritual point. Thus Newton’s verse 2, normally omitted in 20th-century books, was as follows: What a change has taken place! Emblem of the spring of grace; How the soul, in winter, mourns Till the Lord, the Sun, returns; Till the Spirit’s gentle rain, Bids the...

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