Half covered with last year's leaves,
She peeped from her russet bed;
The great bare branches of the trees
Were tossed and swayed overhead;
The hedge looked barre'n and prickly,
Without the sign of a leaf;
Over the flower there bowed a heart
Grown cold with the snows of grief.
The violet's fragile petals
Enfolded a heart of gold,
And a deeper wealth of perfume
Than the tiny cup could hold;
So the great wind roaring above
Sent a tiny zephyr down,
To drift aside the sheltering bloom,
And bereave her of her crown.
It stole the familiar scent,
To give to the burdened heart,
With only a cold north wind
In the world to take its part:
The flower died in the bleak March air,
And the heart went on its way;
The violet's life was blooming there,
And melting the snows away.