The crocus, in the shrewd March morn,
Thrusts up its saffron spear;
And April dots the sombre thorn
With gems, and loveliest cheer.
Then sleep the seasons, full of might;
While slowly swells the pod,
And rounds the peach, and in the night
The mushroom bursts the sod.
The winter falls: the frozen rut
Is bound with silver bars;
The white drift heaps against the hut;
And night is pierced with stars.
This lovely little verse was composed by the English poet Coventry Patmore, a friend of The Germ’s founder William Holman Hunt. Patmore contributed this poem to the first issue of the Germ on the condition that his name be withheld from the publication. Not much of a vote of confidence, Mr. Patmore. Patmore would go on to be recognized as one of the finer Victorian poets, and famous for his four-part poem The Angel in the House — a eulogy for his first wife, and song of the Victorian femine ideal.