The Primrose


A mossy carpet spread
Beneath the tall trees,
And through the wood a singing stream
Soft gurgles on the way
All through the livelong day
In ravish’d dream.

Upon a hanging bough
A bird makes ready now,
And doth his silky feathers preen;
Sudden his songs release
To soar up through the trees
To sky serene.

And where the streamlet flows
One sees the shy primrose,
Soft yellow star in sky of green;
And ‘neath the passer’s feet
Lives in its shelter sweet
Often unseen.

Amid a nest of leaves
Where grass-blade shadow weaves
Innumerable tiny nets,
The quick-gone passer-by,
If thou should’st catch his eye,
Quickly forgets!

Pale badge of purity,
Sweet face of modesty,
Nestling so coyly on the ground,
There in thy dwelling low
Upwards in beauty grow,
Shedding it round.

Herald of summer days,
Sheltered from sunny rays
Whose heat thy beauty would destroy;
When sad I see thee gone
From where thy radiance shone,
Flown is my joy!