The Snowdrops.

Without the dry trees groan and shiver,1
The curtained sun in his cloud doth sleep,2
And through the chamber-casement ever3
Murmurs the roll of the distant deep.4
By the maiden’s side on the couch were lying,5
Blending their delicate green and white,6
Children of winter, half-closed and dying,7
Flowers that are born ere spring is in sight.8
Slowly she spake in a voice of sorrow9
Gentle flowers, live yet to-day,10
But when I shall have died to-morrow,11
Droop ye, and wither, and fall away.12
Yet a few hours, then droop and wither !13
Silently fade and fall with me ;14
Far from the sun we wilt rest together,15
Shut from the sound of the moaning sea.”16
Ah, poor maid ! nor father nor mother17
Soothe thy spirit passing away ;18
Only my hands, the hands of a brother,19
Gathered those snowdrops yesterday.20
Why wilt thou take the heart I cherished ?21
Rightly, O Death, art thou called unkind22
Victims twain by this stroke have perished,23
One in body—and one in mind.24