O stern, but kindly-faced, we call thee rough—
We know thee not, sweet nurse of flowers, for, lo!
That voice is tender which is sweet enough
To sing awake the violets 'neath the snow.
Thou leavest the flower-fledgelings of the Spring,
For on thy loving listening, from the nest
Break birdling-blossoms low, sweet chirruping
And fluttering of wings beneath thy breast.
With eager, thirsty little lips aparch
For April rains, they flee thy sheltering;
Dost joy or grieve, O mother-bird of March,
To see thy nestling-violets all awing?