Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
The Crocus
 
Harriet Eleanor Hamilton King (b. 1840)
 
POETS OF THE RENAISSANCE
 
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
Call’d me and drew me from far away;—
I rose, I came, to the open day
  Have won, unshelter’d, 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 the 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 shap’d 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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