Shop H.E. Bates Online
ID
b11
Title
The Spring Song
Genre
Story
Page Count
11
Word Count
2290
Publisher
Argosy
New Coterie
Publication Year
1927
Document Types
First-Person Narratives
Topics
Youth

A young man becomes mesmerized by an intriguing and "dreamy' girl in a green trap but learns later that she is interested in another man. He reflects that "the significance and magic of a woman's beauty must...lie in a single impression of a face beneath an umbrella in the gloom of a storm. It was like a revelation." Walking from the wood, he hears a cuckoo calling, and "I laughed in return."

The only story in Bates's first collection of stories written in the first person, and one of four dealing with innocent youth. In Vanished World (138) Bates would relate that as a young man waiting for his train "a smart pony-drawn gig drew up at the station and out of it got a tallish, dark, proud, aloof, young girl in a black coat...Such a vision was not ever to be seen in that town." Possibly, that experience inspired not only Lydia Aspen (in the much later work, Love for Lydia) but this tale as well. In The Spring Song and In View of the Fact That (1927), The New Coterie (Spring 1927), Day's End and Other Stories (1928), Thirty Tales (1934). Reprinted in Argosy in March 1935, and in May 1952 (with the title "Spring Song").