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’T was a face I did not know ; Thou hast now, go where I may, Fifty greetings in a day.
Ere a leaf is on a bush,
In the time before the thrush
Has a thought about her nest,
Thou wilt come with half a call,
Spreading out thy glossy breast
Like a careless Prodigal ;
Telling tales about the sun,
When we've little warmth, or none.
Poets, vain men in their mood !
Travel with the multitude :
Never heed them ; I
That they all are wanton wooers ;
But the thrifty cottager,
Who stirs little out of doors,
Joys to spy thee near at home;
Spring is coming, thou art come!
Comfort have thou of thy merit,
Kindly, unassuming Spirit !
Careless of thy neighborhood,
Thou dost show thy pleasant face
On the moor, and in the wood,
In the lane; there 's not a place,
Howsoever mean it be,
But 't is good enough for thee.
Ill befall the yellow flowers,
Children of the flaring hours !
Buttercups, that will be seen,
Whether we will see or no;
Others, too, of lofty mien;
They have done as worldlings do,
Taken praise that should be thine,
Little, humble Celandine.
Prophet of delight and mirth,
Ill-requited upon earth;
Herald of a mighty band,
Of a joyous train ensuing,
Serving at my heart's command,
Tasks that are no tasks renewing,
I will sing, as doth behoove,
Hymns in praise of what I love !
PLEASURES newly found are sweet
When they lie about our feet:
February last, my heart
First at sight of thee was glad ;
All unheard of as thou art,
Thou must needs, I think, have had,
Celandine! and long ago,
Praise of which I nothing know.
I have not a doubt but he,
Whosoe'er the man might be,
Who the first with pointed rays
(Workman worthy to be sainted)
Set the sign-board in a blaze,
When the rising sun he painted,
Took the fancy from a glance
At thy glittering countenance.
Soon as gentle breezes bring
News of Winter's vanishing,
And the children build their bowers,
Sticking 'kerchief-plots of mould
All about with full-blown flowers,
Thick as sheep in shepherd's fold!
With the proudest thou art there,
Mantling in the tiny square.
Often have I sighed to measure
By myself a lonely pleasure,
Sighed to think I read a book,
Only read, perhaps, by me;
Yet I long could overlook
Thy bright coronet and thee,
And thy arch and wily ways,
And thy store of other praise.
Blithe of heart, from week to week
Thou dost play at hide-and-seek ;
While the patient primrose sits
Like a beggar in the cold,
Thou, a flower of wiser wits,
Slip’st into thy sheltering hold;
Liveliest of the vernal train
all are out again.
Drawn by what peculiar spell,
By what charm of sight or smell,
Does the dim-eyed, curious Bee,
Laboring for her waxen cells,
Fondly settle upon thee,
Prized above all buds and bells
Opening daily at thy side,
By the season multiplied ?
Thou art not beyond the moon,
But a thing “ beneath our shoon”:
Let the bold Discoverer thrid
In his bark the polar sea ;
Rear who will a pyramid ;
Praise it is enough for me,
If there be but three or four
Who will love my little Flower.
SEVEN Daughters had Lord Archibald,
All children of one mother:
You could not say in one short day
What love they bore each other.
A garland, of seven lilies, wrought !
Seven Sisters that together dwell;
But he, bold Knight as ever fought,
Their Father, took of them no thought,
He loved the wars so well.
Sing, mournfully, 0, mournfully,
The solitude of Binnorie !
Fresh blows the wind, a western wind,
And from the shores of Erin,
Across the wave, a Rover brave
To Binnorie is steering :
Right onward to the Scottish strand
The gallant ship is borne ;
The warriors leap upon the land,
And hark! the Leader the band
Hath blown his bugle-horn.
Sing, mournfully, O, mournfully,
The solitude of Binnorie!