Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. V. Nature
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume V. Nature.  1904.
 
V. Trees: Flowers: Plants
The Early Primrose
Henry Kirke White (1785–1806)
 
MILD offspring of a dark and sullen sire,
Whose modest form, so delicately fine,
        Was nursed in whirling storms
        And cradled in the winds;
 
Thee, when young Spring first questioned Winter’s sway,        5
And dared the sturdy blusterer to the fight,
        Thee on this bank he threw
        To mark his victory.
 
In this low vale the promise of the year,
Serene, thou openest to the nipping gale,        10
        Unnoticed and alone,
        Thy tender elegance.
 
So virtue blooms, brought forth amid the storms
Of chill adversity; in some lone walk
        Of life she rears her head,        15
        Obscure and unobserved;
 
While every bleaching breeze that on her blows
Chastens her spotless purity of breast,
        And hardens her to bear
        Serene the ills of life.        20
 
 
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