Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
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Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
 
Ballads of the North (1889)
II. The Crocus
By Harriet Eleanor Hamilton-King (1840–1920)
 
OUT of the frozen earth below,
Out of the melting of the snow,
  No flower, but a film, I push to light;
No stem, no bud,—yet I have burst
The bars of winter, I am the first,        5
  O Sun, to greet thee out of the night!
 
Bare are the branches, cold is the air,
Yet it is fire at the heart I bear,
  I come, a flame that is fed by none:
The summer hath blossoms for her delight,        10
Thick and dewy and waxen-white,
  Thou seest me golden, O golden Sun!
 
Deep in the warm sleep underground
Life is still, and the peace profound:
  Yet a beam that pierced, and a thrill that smote        15
Called me and drew me from far away;—
I rose, I came, to the open day
  I have won, unsheltered, alone, remote.
 
No bee strays out to greet me at morn,
I shall die ere the butterfly is born,        20
  I shall hear no note of the nightingale;
The swallow will come at the break of green,
He will never know that I have been
  Before him here when the world was pale.
 
They will follow, the rose with thorny stem,        25
The hyacinth stalk,—soft airs for them;
  They shall have strength, I have but love:
They shall not be tender as I,—
Yet I fought here first, to bloom, to die,
  To shine in his face who shines above.        30
 
O glory of Heaven, O Ruler of Morn,
O Dream that shaped me, and I was born
  In thy likeness, starry, and flower of flame;—
I lie on the earth and to thee look up,
Into thy image will grow my cup,        35
  Till a sunbeam dissolve it into the same.
 
 
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