"Welcome, pale Primrose! starting up between
Dead matted leaves of ash and oak, that strew
The every lawn, the wood and spinney through,
Mid creeping moss and ivy's darker green;
How much thy presence beautifies the ground ;
How sweet thy modest, unaffected pride
Glows on the sunny bank, and wood's warm side
And when thy fairy flowers in groups are found
The school-boy roams enchantedly along,
Plucking the fairest with a rude delight,
While the meek shepherd stops his simple song,
To gaze a moment on the pleasing sight;
O'erjoyed to see the flowers that truly bring
The welcome news of sweet returning spring"
by John Clare, 1793-1864.
The illustration is one of Cecily Mary Barker's exquisite 'Flower Fairies'.
A special thanks to Cathy over at 'Words and Herbs'. One of her recent posts pointed me in the direction of a book that I had not come across before 'Flora Poetica - The Chatto Book Of Botanical Verse'. I just had to have a copy of it so it has been very recently added to my bookshelves. This poem is included in the book.