POEM OF THE DAY
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.