February

By George Walter Thornbury

The time when skies are free from cloud,
Though still the robin whistles loud
In the bare garden croft,
The catkin, on the hazel tree,
Mistakes for summer flower the bee,
And round it hovers oft.

Winter’s last sigh, from frozen north,
Withers the flower that ventures forth;
And there is wanting still
The unseen warmth, the mellow note
Of the wild bird with dappled coat,
Though faster flows the rill.

When, from his winter home, the snake
Creeps stealthy through the withered brake,
And thoughtless of the past,
The young leaves open overhead,
Though still their fathers, sere and dead,
Are hurried by the blast.