Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
The Crocus
Harriet Eleanor Hamilton King (b. 1840)
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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