Alexander Anderson

1845-1909 / Scotland

The First Primrose

I stood within a wood, and heard the wind
Keep up its music in the solemn trees,
But this could soothe me not, for in my mind
My thoughts were ill at ease;
And all day long had kept a questioning,
Whose inward whispers fill'd my breast with pain;
Then thought I, solitude will surely bring
My quiet back again.
So forth into the wood I went, and there,
With the sweet things that grew up fresh and green,
I tried to frame my thoughts, but a despair
Came ever up between.
Then, full of bitterness, I turn'd to trace
My homeward path, when, lo! in golden hue
And smiling proudly from its secret place,
A primrose met my view:
One primrose, with its eye so round and clear,
That I leapt up as one for joy will sing,
And cried, 'Though all this day be gloom, yet here
Is one sweet trace of spring.'
Therefore, I err'd when, in my fear and doubt,
I wrapp'd myself in murmurs but to miss
Those placid breathing things, whose looks devout
Still whisper to me this:
Mortal, that will not look in trust beyond
The mist and darkness of this life, and see
How all points ever to the one great bond
Between thy God and thee.
Look up, and if the sky be dull and dark,
The blue is still above, whose sunny scope
Is all-eternal with the glorious spark
That lights the lamp of hope.
Then weary not, but gird thyself with strength,
From ever mute but potent preachers drawn,
Who, in their change and bloom, but point at length
One universal dawn.
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