To the snowdrop (Charlotte Smith)
Like pendant flakes of vegetating snow,
The early herald of the infant year,
Ere yet the adventurous crocus dares to blow,
Beneath the orchard boughs thy buds appear.
While still the cold north-east ungenial lours,
And scarce the hazel in the leafless copse,
Or sallows shew their downy powder'd flowers,
The grass is spangled with thy silver drops.
Yet when those pallid blossoms shall give place
To countless tribes, of richer hue and scent,
Summer's gay blooms, and autumn's yellow race,
I shall thy pale inodorous bells lament.
So journeying onward in life's varying track,
Ev'n while warm youth its bright illusion lends,
Fond memory often with regret looks back
To childhood's pleasures, and to infant friends.
Lone Flower, hemmed in with snows and white as they
But hardier far, once more I see thee bend
Thy forehead, as if fearful to offend,
Like an unbidden guest. Though day by day,
Storms, sallying from the mountain-tops, waylay
The rising sun, and on the plains descend;
Yet art thou welcome, welcome as a friend
Whose zeal outruns his promise! Blue-eyed May
Shall soon behold this border thickly set
With bright jonquils, their odours lavishing
On the soft west-wind and his frolic peers;
Nor will I then thy modest grace forget,
Chaste Snowdrop, venturous harbinger of Spring,
And pensive monitor of fleeting years!
Snowdrop (Ted Hughes)
Now is the globe shrunk tight
Weasel and crow, as if moulded in brass,
Move through an outer darkness
Not in their right minds,
With the other deaths. She, too, pursues her ends,
Brutal as the stars of this month,
Her pale head heavy as metal.