From muddy road to muddy lane
I plodded through the falling rain;
For miles and miles was nothing there
But mist, and mud, and hedges bare.
At length approaching I espied
Two gipsy women side by side;
They turned their faces broad and bold
And brown and freshened by the cold,
And stared at me in gipsy wise
With shrewd, unfriendly, savage eyes.
No word they said, no more dared I;— Frances Darwin Cornford
And so we passed each other by—
The only living things that met
In all those miles of mist and wet.
Every valley drinks,
Every dell and hollow:
Where the kind rain sinks and sinks,
Green of Spring will follow.
Yet a lapse of weeks
Buds will burst their edges,
Strip their wool-coats, glue-coats, streaks,
In the woods and hedges;
Weave a bower of love
For birds to meet each other,
Weave a canopy above
Nest and egg and mother.
But for fattening rain
We should have no flowers,
Never a bud or leaf again
But for soaking showers;
Never a mated bird
In the rocking tree-tops,
Never indeed a flock or herd
To graze upon the lea-crops.
Lambs so woolly white,
Sheep the sun-bright leas on,
They could have no grass to bite
But for rain in season.
We should find no moss
In the shadiest places,
Find no waving meadow-grass
Pied with broad-eyed daisies;
But miles of barren sand,— Christina G. Rossetti
With never a son or daughter,
Not a lily on the land,
Or lily on the water.
There came to my window one morning in Spring
A sweet little Robin; she came there to sing.
The tune that she sang, it was prettier far
Than any I heard on the flute or guitar.
Her wings she was spreading to soar far away,
Then resting a moment seemed sweetly to say:
“Oh happy, how happy the world seems to be!
Awake, Little Girl and be happy with me!”
But just as she finished her beautiful song,— Anonymous
A thoughtless young man with a gun came along.
He killed and he carried my sweet bird away,
She no more will sing at the dawn of the day.
In the heart of a seed,
Buried deep, so deep,
A dear little plant
Lay fast asleep!
“Wake!” said the sunshine,
“And creep to the light!”
“Wake!” said the voice
Of the raindrop bright.
The little plant heard— Kate L. Brown
And it rose to see
What the wonderful
Outside world might be.
(SONG OF SOLOMON, ii. 12.)
Now the winter cold is past,
And blithe March winds are blowing,
In sheltered nooks we find at last
Bright flowers of spring are growing.
Along the hedge-row’s mossy bank,
Where ivy green is creeping,
We see through weeds and nettles rank
The dark-blue vi-o-let peeping.
And in the sunny garden beds
Gay aconites are showing,
And snowdrops bend their graceful heads,
And crocuses are glowing.
God makes the buds and leaves unfold,–anonymous
All flowers are of His giving;
He guards them through the winter’s cold,
He cares for all things living.
Down in a green and shady bed
A modest violet grew;
Its stalk was bent, it hung its head,
As if to hide from view.
And yet it was a lovely flower,
Its colors bright and fair!
It might have graced a rosy bower,
Instead of hiding there.
Yet there it was content to bloom,
In modest tints arrayed;
And there diffused its sweet perfume,
Within the silent shade.
Then let me to the valley go,–Jane Taylor
This pretty flower to see,
That I may also learn to grow
In sweet humility.
I know the song that the bluebird is singing,
Out in the apple-tree where he is swinging;
Brave little fellow, the skies may look dreary;
Nothing cares he while his heart is so cheery.
Hark! how the music leaps out from his throat,
Hark! was there ever so merry a note?
Listen awhile and you’ll hear what he’s saying,
Up in the apple-tree swinging and swaying.
“Dear little blossoms down under the snow,
You must be weary of winter, I know;
Hark, while I sing you a message of cheer;
Summer is coming and spring-time is here!
“Little white snowdrop! I pray you arise;–Emily Huntington Miller
Bright yellow crocus! come, open your eyes;
Sweet little violets, hid from the cold,
Put on your mantles of purple and gold;
Daffodils! daffodils! say, do you hear?—
Summer is coming and spring-time is here!”