[Page 147]


1 WELCOME, sweet time of buds and bloom, renewing
2 The earliest objects of delight, and wooing
3 The notice of the grateful heart! for then
4 Long-hidden, beauteous friends are seen again;
5 From the cleft soil, like babes from cradle peeping,
6 At the glad light, where soundly they've been sleeping;
7 Like chickens in their downy coats, just freeing
8 From the chipp'd shell, their new-found active being;
9 Like spotted butterfly, its wings up-rearing,
10 Half from the bursting chrysalis appearing.
11 Sweet season, so bedight, so gay, so kind,
12 Right welcome to the sight and to the mind!
[Page 148]
13 Now many a "thing that pretty is" delays
14 The wanderer's steps beneath the sun's soft rays.
15 Gay daffodils, bent o'er the watery gleam,
16 Doubling their flickered image in the stream;
17 The woody nook where bells of brighter blue
18 Have clothed the ground in heaven's etherial hue;
19 The lane's high sloping bank, where pale primrose
20 With hundreds of its gentle kindred blows;
21 And speckled daisies that on uplands bare
22 Their round eyes opening, scatter gladness there.
23 Man looks on nature with a grateful smile,
24 And thinks of Nature's bounteous Lord the while.
25 Now urchins range the brake in joyous bands,
26 With new-called nosegays in their dimpled hands.
27 The cottage maid her household task-work cheats
28 In mead or glen to pick the choicest sweets,
29 With skilful care preserved for Sunday morn,
30 Her bosom's simple kerchief to adorn.
31 And even the beldame, as with sober tread,
32 She takes her sunning in the grassy mead,
[Page 149]
33 Stoops down with eager look and finds, well pleased,
34 Such herbs, as in a chest or bible squeezed,
35 In former days were deemed, by folks of sense,
36 A fragrant wholesome virtue to dispense,
37 And oft on raftered roof, in bunches strung,
38 With other winter stores were duly hung.
39 But not alone in simple scenes like these,
40 Thy beauteous offspring our soothed senses please;
41 I' the city's busy streets, by rich men's doors,
42 On whose white steps the flower-girl sets her stores,
43 In wicker basket grouped to lure the sight,
44 They stop and tempt full many a wistful wight.
45 Flowers though they be by artful culture bred,
46 Upon the suburb-seedsman's crowded bed,
47 By fetid manure cherished, gorgeous, bright,
48 Like civic madams dressed for festive night,
49 Anemonies of crimson, purple, yellow,
50 And tulips streaked with colours rich and mellow,
51 Brown wallflowers and jonquils of golden glare,
52 In dapper posies tied like shop-man's ware,
[Page 150]
53 Yet still they whisper something to the heart,
54 Which feelings kind and gentle thoughts impart.
55 Gay sight! that oft a touch of pleasure gives
56 Even to the saddest, rudest soul that lives
57 Gay sight! the passing carman grins thereat,
58 And sticks a purchased posie in his hat,
59 And cracks his whip and treads the rugged streets
60 With waggish air and jokes with all he meets.
61 The sickly child from nursery window spies
62 The tempting show, and for a nosegay cries,
63 Which placed in china mug, by linnet's cage,
64 Will for a time his listless mind engage.
65 The dame precise, moves at the flower-girl's cry,
66 Laying her patch-work or her netting by,
67 And from the parlour window casts her eye,
68 Then sends across the way her tiny maid;
69 And presently on mantle-piece displayed,
70 Between fair ornaments of china ware,
71 Small busts and lackered parrots stationed there,
[Page 151]
72 Tulips, anemonies and wallflowers shine,
73 And strangely with their new compeers combine
74 Each visitor with wonder to excite,
75 Who looks and smiles, and lauds the motley sight.
76 That even to the prison's wretched thrall,
77 Those simple gems of nature will recall
78 What soothes the sadness of his dreary state,
79 Yon narrow window, through whose iron grate
80 A squalid countenance is dimly traced,
81 Gazing on flowers in broken pitcher placed
82 Upon the sooty sill and withering there,
83 Sad emblems of himself, most piteously declare.
84 Of what in gentle lady's curtained room,
85 On storied stands and gilded tripods bloom,
86 The richest, rarest flowers of every clime,
87 Whose learned names suit not my simple rhyme,
88 I speak not! lovely as they are, we find
89 They visit more the senses than the mind.
90 Their nurture comes not from the clouds of heaven,
91 But from a painted watering-pot is given;
[Page 152]
92 And, in return for daily care, with faint
93 And sickly sweetness hall and chamber taint.
94 I will not speak of those; we feel and see
95 They have no kindred, our own Spring! with thee.
96 Welcome, sweet season! though with rapid pace
97 Thy course is run, and we can scarcely grace
98 Thy joyous coming with a grateful cheer,
99 Ere loose-leaved flowers and leaflets shrunk and sere,
100 And flaccid bending stems, sad bodings! tell
101 We soon must bid our fleeting friend farewell.


  • TEI/XML [chunk] (XML - 222K / ZIP - 23K) / ECPA schema (RNC - 357K / ZIP - 73K)
  • Plain text [excluding paratexts] (TXT - 4.6K / ZIP - 2.5K)

Facsimile (Source Edition)

(Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [40.17].)



All Images (PDF - 6.8M)

About this text

Genres: address

Text view / Document view

Source edition

Baillie, Joanna, 1762-1851. Fugitive Verses. By Joanna Baillie, author of “Dramas on the Passions,“ etc. London: Edward Moxon, Dover Street. MDCCCXL., 1840, pp. 147-152.  (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [40.17].)

Editorial principles

Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

Other works by Joanna Baillie