Once on a time a quarrel rose,
'Tis said, between impatient Spring
And that old Greybeard Winter, who
Yet longer to his throne would cling.
"My turn it is," quoth Mistress Spring,
"To reign, and clothe the earth anew.
How long must all my beauties lie
Concealed, for fear of such as you?"
Then to the sunbeams, coaxingly,
She turned and said, "To you alone
I look for help earth's chains to loose,
And drive this loiterer from the throne."
So, tempted by her smiling face,
The sunbeams answered to her call,
And tho' old Winter battled well,
His kingdom soon began to fall.
"But if you think," he coldly said,
"All trace of me to wipe away,
My memory still shall haunt and lie
Upon your meadows day by day."
And on that night a messenger
By Winter sent to Daisyland--
Upon each daisy blossom laid
A sheet of snow with lavish hand.
And Mistress Spring, when she beheld
The souvenir of Winter's reign,
Smiled, as she softly kissed her pets,
And foiled his purpose once again.
For in the heart of each white flower
She laid a bit of golden sun;
And bade it nestle closely there
Until sweet daisy-life were done.
And thus the fair field flowers grew:
Spring's golden sunshine, warm and bright,
At rest forever in its heart,
The while its leaves, like snow, are white.