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Darlings of the forest!
Blossoming alone
When Earth's grief is sorest
For her jewels gone--
Ere the last snow-drift melts, your tender buds have blown.


Tinged with color faintly,
Like the morning sky,
Or more pale and saintly,
Wrapped in leaves ye lie,
Even as children sleep in faith's simplicity.


There the wild wood-robin
Hymns your solitude,
And the rain comes sobbing
Through the budding wood,
While the low south wind sighs, but dare not be more rude.


Were your pure lips fashioned
Out of air and dew:
Starlight unimpassioned,
Dawn's most tender hue--
And scented by the woods that gathered sweets for you?


Fairest and most lonely,
From the world apart,
Made for beauty only,
Veiled from Nature's heart,
With such unconscious grace as makes the dream of Art!


Were not mortal sorrow
An immortal shade,
Then would I tomorrow
Such a flower be made,
And live in the dear woods where my lost childhood played.