The Tale of a Snowdrop.

It sprang up so quickly1
Out in the cold air,2
It never looked sickly3
While it was left there,4
With the sky overhead,5
And the white crusted snow6
Gathered below7
Warming its bed !8
But now it is dead.9
The ladies came shaking and quaking with weakness10
To visit the country in its naked bleakness,11
And thought it quite sad12
To see such a plant in a climate so bad !13
So they took it away14
On a frosty bright day,15
To the splendour and heat,16
And the elegant gloom17
Of a fine city room,18
In a gas-lighted street.19
But, oh ! had-you pass’d by its beautiful stand,20
And held a fresh flower from the hedge in your hand,21
You would not have believed such a dingy dark thing22
Could ever have been the white snowdrop of spring.23
And it faded at last,24
And without a regret on the dust-heap was cast.25
Ah me, what a pity26
To think of transplanting it into a city !27
So the world wanteth you, my sweet flower of earth28
It admires your growth, and your innocent mirth,29
But it thinks you a little uncultured and wild,30
And into its keeping would have you beguiled :31
You would look so much better bedeck’d with its charms32
And be kept, by its forms, from such numberless harms,33
Such an exquisite polish, and such a new grace34
Would appear in your words, and be seen in your face35
It is really quite dreadful that one such as you36
Should be out of the ranks of the world’s select few !37
But it never can be38
You must grow,39
While below,40
In God’s pure air of nature if you would be free.41
The world, if it gain you,42
Will carefully train you,43
But you will decay :44
And those who transplanted the choice little flower,45
Will think you less beautiful every hour,46
Till your sweetness is gone, and they cast you away.47
So never, oh never48
Forsake the green hedgerow of freedom and truth,49
Where your heart has rejoiced in the sunshine of youth ;50
But bloom on there for ever,51
For ever and aye !52