POEM OF THE DAY

The Herald - - OBITUARIES - WITH LES­LEY DUN­CAN

The first snow­drops are al­ready flow­er­ing, as they did in Wordsworth’s time. Here is his son­net cel­e­brat­ing them. The poet had other favourite small flow­ers too, as the play­ful open­ing verses to the celandine prove.

TO A SNOW­DROP

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!

TO THE SMALL CELANDINE

Pan­sies, lilies, kingcups, daisies, Let them live upon their praises; Long as there’s a sun that sets, Prim­roses will have their glory; Long as there are vi­o­lets,

They will have a place in story; There’s a flower that shall be mine, ’Tis the lit­tle celandine.

Eyes of some men travel far

For the find­ing of a star;

Up and down the heav­ens they go, Men that keep a mighty rout!

I’m as great as they, I trow,

Since the day I found thee out, Lit­tle flower – I’ll make a stir,

Like a sage as­tronomer.

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