Of February I was wont to think
With shudders and a spirit-chilling sense
Of death and barrenness and crumbling mould
Red, freshly turned, at the grave’s mouth; that brink
Which in this pale month of the year has hence
Removed full many a loved one from the fold.
Snow was a shroud by day; by night did wink
The cold far stars like funeral dips; immense,
The hills were tombs for coffin’d bones to hold;
Joy, youth and beauty, all to dust did sink.
Till, one fair day, a helpless infant smiled
Into my eyes in her first wondering gaze,
Then this grim month blossomed in daffodil days:
Death fled and spring returned with one small child !
Weekly Times 12.2.60 (On the birth of his daughter)