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DEAR, Winsome little Primrose !
Sweet Pioneer of Spring !
To captivate and win.
On Cliffs and Banks of withered Grass,
Rocked by the passing wind ;
Thy dainty forms we find.
In dark-brown Woods and Country Lanes,
By Hedgerows rough and bare ;
Thou bloomest Everywhere.
Oft bright with gems of Morning dew,
Thou liftest up thine head, Amid a nest of crinkled leaves,
Like emeralds round thee spread.
Or bravest all the nipping Gale,
Whilst bending to its breeze, As doth a Snow-white lateen Sail,
Upon the Eastern Seas.
The sportive Lambkin kisses thee,
A creature, too, of Spring;
He gives thee welcoming.
Smiled on my brow serene,
And by the Sparkling Stream.
Thy golden crowns to view ;
As fair as ever grew !
Like Stars upon the Sea,
Spake forth exquisitely,
Of One who by His matchless skill
Could give Such Beauty birth;
Thus beautify the Earth.
Tell as the Seasons roll,
The Future of the Soul !
Composed at Brawby, April 7-8, 1886, after seeing the Primroses in the Woods near Kilburn and Stonegrave.
WE PLOUGHED THE FIELD TOGETHER.
You see yon Field of Golden Grain
Away amid the trees,
Are bending to the breeze?
Old Ben, young Jim, and I;
And whistled merrily.
Old Ben, he'd lived with Master
For over thirty year;
The Young Folks thought him queer;
A sort of Methody,
He bore most patiently;
When we were full of mirth :
When He was here on Earth.'
We Ploughed the Field Together !
'Tis now nigh thirty year! The Morning Sun was balmy,
The Sky was blue and clear ;
The lark he carolled gaily,
A feathery dot on high,
Rich notes of Melody.
With loud and whirring sound,
From out the Hedgerows round. The Morn smiled on our labours
As furrows long and true, Round after round of sweet dark Ground
The glittering Ploughshare drew. The hungry rooks they followed hard,
Or round about us flew, With wagtails, lapwings, starlings, larks,
And sometimes plovers, too. Then Noontide came with stronger heat,
And hunger sharp and keen;
And led them to a Screen,
Which grew upon the Hill;
You'll see their branches still. There on the shelter'd shadowy Grass
Our wearied forms we threw ;
Our comely, handsome Servant Lass
Did soon the greensward strew With eatables of many kinds,
Well prized by hungry Men ; 'For which, dear Lord, we give Thee thanks !
Said pious, thankful Ben.
And made a hearty Meal,
Did gently from us steal.
Upon the fresh young grass ;
The Afternoon to pass
That brought at Night reward,
Nor Slumber sweet debarred.
We Ploughed the Field Together!
From Noon till dewy Eve,
Fair as a Golden Sheaf;
Became that blushing Sun;
Our heavy Task was Done.