Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

than it could ever have done from the great Mantuan.

It only remains to add that many of these sonnets have already appeared, chiefly in local papers and periodicals.

Manchester,

Christmas, 1887.

TO MY FRIENDS.

Friends, lovers all! In this sad company

Of mountainous thoughts, tumbled and huge and gaunt,

Where peak to peak gives answer taunt for taunt, And to hoarse torrents torrents hoarse reply,— What cheer, what solace for my soul have I Save in the thought of you? Sweeter than chant Of wandering bee, or scent of moorland plant, Its fragrance floats my wearied spirit by.

Mounts higher evermore the path austere,

Which leads to truth, or to some dreadful bourne

Of icy death o'er mist and cloud that shines: But still from crags and snows I turn and turn, And your beloved voices strain to hear

Above the wailing of the storm-rock'd pines.

13

THE FIRST SNOWDROP.

This soft air greets me like the breath of spring

On fickle February's opening day;

Upon whose forehead gleams and shadows play, Now sunshine-smit, now dark 'neath tempest's wing. And see the year's first bloom !—a fragile thing—

Piercing the cold dank earth: like white-robed fay,

Or pensive nun leaving the cloister gray,
She cheers our hearts by her meek blossoming.

Thine is the season's promise, pallid gem!

In thy pale circlet, set on winter's snows, We see spring's wreath and summer's diadem,

The fiery tulip and June's perfect rose: Therefore with joy we hail thy slender stem,

That braves each shower that beats and gust that blows.

« PreviousContinue »