The First Flowers.


Now pipers the thrush, dear messenger of spring1
To the coy white-robed snow-drop whispering ;2
To the blue violet sweet-breathing near,3
And primrose, “sweet pale” flower of Imogen,4
Warbles his carol clear !5


The crocus, in her crown of glory bright,6
Purple and gold, gleams blushing in the light,7
And bashful courts the glances of the sun :8
Nature smiled grand in simple majesty,9
Her reign begun.10


Welcome again, first minstrel of the year,11
Fair buds, our childhood’s playmates, doubly dear,12
And harbingers of soft sunshiny hours.13
Oh, after winter, ever welcome spring,14
First bird ! first flowers !15


But shall no parallel, no sweet life-scene,16
Look fair as this ?  No allegory mean17
These birds, these flowers of the infant year,18
That sound the silver chord of Nature’s harp,19
So sweet, so clear ?20


Yes, yes, to ye the tender heart-thought roams,21
Golden-haired darlings of our English homes,22
Our buds of promise, dearly, doubly ours,23
The chirping child-voice and the baby rose,24
Life’s birds ! life’s flowers !25