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Title: The Violet Book
Author: Allen, Willis Boyd
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Violet Book" ***


    But who hath breathed the scent of violets,
    And not that moment been a lover glad?
                                  --ARLO BATES.

    _Go, modest little violets, and lie upon her breast;
    Your eyes will tell her something--perhaps she’ll guess the rest!_]


    Arranged by

        “Such a starved bank of moss,
          Till, that May morn,
        Blue ran the flash across:
          Violets were born.”


    Copyright, 1909, by

    Published September, 1909

    All rights reserved
    Printed in U. S. A.

    TO HER

    For whom this little company of her sisters was first gathered.


Many of the selections in this volume are waifs and strays, found in
obscure periodicals and newspapers, or in long-forgotten books on the
dusty shelves of libraries. Some of them have been gathered from
copyrighted works, and for the use of these the compiler owes and
renders his best thanks.

Special acknowledgments are due to the following publishers and
copyright holders:

The Houghton, Mifflin Company, for selections from the poems of John
Greenleaf Whittier, Edith M. Thomas, Celia Thaxter, Oliver Wendell
Holmes, Richard Watson Gilder, John Hay, Lucy Larcom, George E.
Woodbury, Alice and Phœbe Cary, Ralph Waldo Emerson, James Russell
Lowell, Bayard Taylor, Harriet Prescott Spofford, Mrs. A. D. T.
Whitney, and Edmund Clarence Stedman; Messrs. Little, Brown and
Company, for lines by Louise Chandler Moulton and Helen Hunt Jackson;
Messrs. G. P. Putnam’s Sons, for selections from the works of Dora
Read Goodale and Myrtle Reed; Messrs. Charles Scribner’s Sons, for
extracts from the writings of Henry Van Dyke, Mary Mapes Dodge, Oliver
Herford, and Frances Hodgson Burnett; and Messrs. Lothrop, Lee and
Shepard, for permission to quote from Clinton Scollard’s work.


Next to the rose, whose divine right to monarchy cannot be questioned,
the violet is the poet’s flower. No other is mentioned so frequently,
or with such affection.

It is impossible to say when this familiar flower first blossomed in
literature. The “Odyssey” would not be complete without it, nor would
the “Eclogues” of the Roman singer, Virgil. Ovid was fond of
horticulture, and the violet was not forgotten when the bard was
inditing his smooth-flowing hexameters. Pliny and Cicero, too, were
violet-lovers. In the Bible there is no mention of the flower; but in
Chrysostom’s “First Homily” occurs perhaps the first appearance of our
little friend in Christian literature.

Chaucer’s affection for “floures” is well known. Of the many
Shakspearean quotations in this field, probably the most familiar
comprises the exquisite lines:

                              “Violets dim,
    But sweeter than the lids of Juno’s eyes
    Or Cytherea’s breath.”

Passing to the more recent literary period, the individual taste of
the poet becomes noticeable. Strange to relate, Wordsworth could have
cared little for the shy blossom. Although he does say,

    “Long as there are violets
    They will have their place in story,”

he leaves it to others to tell the story,--referring to the violet
only three or four times in all his voluminous writings. His
counterpart in this respect, among American poets, is Longfellow, in
whose musical numbers, singularly enough, the violet has almost no
place at all. Nor was the flower a favorite with Tennyson, though each
of his rare references to it is a gem; as this,--

    “The meadow your walks have left so sweet
      That wherever a March wind sighs,
    He sets the jewel-prints of his feet
      In violets blue as your eyes.”

American writers have, on the whole, given the violet a more prominent
place than have their English brethren of the lyre. Bryant’s pages,
for instance, are fragrant with its perfume, and he has, in special,
immortalized the yellow variety in more than one finely turned stanza.

       *       *       *       *       *

If most of the world’s great bards have been reluctant to give Lady
Violet her due, not so the numerous rank and file of “minor poets.”
The verse of Alice Cary, Lucy Larcom, Grace Greenwood, Elizabeth
Akers, Adelaide Proctor and dozens of others is a garden of
wild-flowers, with the violet leading the dance. Some of the prettiest
conceits occur in the writings of authors so obscure that their names
are unfamiliar to most readers. For instance, one must look far for a
volume of poetry bearing the name of Ethel M. Kelley; yet these fine
lines are attributed to her:

    “In her hair the sunbeams nest,
      And in her eyes the violets blow,
    While in the summer of her breast
      The songbird thoughts flit to and fro.”

The compiler of this book has spent many pleasant hours in culling his
violets from the immense field of English and American poetry.
Another volume of equal size could readily be made up from extracts
containing references to the flower, to say nothing of German, French,
Spanish, Italian, and Scandinavian poetry, which has not been
considered in his quest.



    The silent, soft and humble heart
    In the violet’s hidden sweetness breathes.
                         --JAMES G. PERCIVAL.


    The air is white with snow-flakes clinging;
      Between the gusts that come and go
    Methinks I hear the woodlark singing.

    Or can it be the breeze is bringing
      The breath of violets?--Ah, no!
    The air is white with snow-flakes clinging.

    It is my lady’s voice that’s stringing
      Its beads of gold to song; and so
    Methinks I hear the woodlark singing.

    The violets I see upspringing
      Are in my lady’s eyes, I trow;
    The air is white with snow-flakes clinging.
                         -- JOHN PAYNE.

    A chaplet on her head she wore
      (Heigho, the chaplet!);
    Of sweet violets therein was store--
      She’s sweeter than the violet.
                         --EDMUND SPENSER.

    Tell me, this sweet morn,
      Tell me all you know,--
    Tell me, was I born?
      Tell me, did I grow?
    Fell I from the blue
      Like a drop of rain,
    Then, as violets do,
      Blossomed up again?
                         --ROBERT BUCHANAN.

    Misty grew the violets of her eyes.
                         --HELEN B. BOSTWICK.

    The violet loves the sunny bank,
      The cowslip loves the lea,
    The scarlet creeper loves the elm;
      But I love--thee.
                         --BAYARD TAYLOR.

    Your name pronounced brings to my heart
    A feeling like the violet’s breath.
                         --COVENTRY PATMORE.

    Out from the leaves of my “Lucille”
      Falls a faded violet.
    Sweet and faint as its fragrance steal
    Out from the leaves of my “Lucille”
    Tender memories, and I feel
      A sense of longing and regret.
    Out from the leaves of my “Lucille”
      Falls a faded violet.
                         --WALTER LEARNED.

    Be other brows by pleasure’s wreath
      Or glory’s coronal oppressed,
      To me the humblest flower seems best,
        Some sweet wild bloom with dews still wet.
        So, Love, but kiss a violet--
        O, Love, but kiss a violet--
      And fling it to my breast!
                         --GRACE GREENWOOD.

      Within my reach!
      I could have touched!
    I might have chanced that way!
    Soft sauntered through the village,
    Sauntered as soft away!
      So unsuspected violets
        Within the fields lie low,
      Too late for striving fingers
        That passed an hour ago.
                         --EMILY DICKINSON.

    The silent, soft and humble heart
    In the violet’s hidden sweetness breathes.
                         --JAMES G. PERCIVAL.

    Perchance the violets o’er my dust
    Will half betray their buried trust,
    And say, their blue eyes full of dew,
    “She loved you better than you knew.”
                         --ELIZABETH AKERS ALLEN.

    Nature does not recognize
    This strife that rends the earth and skies;
    No war-dreams vex the winter sleep of clover-heads and daisy-eyes:
    When blood her grassy altar wets,
    She sends the pitying violets
    To heal the outrage with their bloom and cover it with soft
                         --ELIZABETH AKERS ALLEN.

    Sure thou didst flourish once! and many springs,
      Many bright mornings, much dew, many showers
    Passed o’er thy head; many light hearts and wings,
      Which now are dead, lodged in thy living bowers.

    And still a new succession sings and flies;
      Fresh groves grow up, and their green branches shoot
    Towards the old and still enduring skies;
      While the low violet thrives at their root.
                         --HENRY VAUGHAN.

                                    Blue eyes
    Whose sleepy lid like snow on violets lies.
                         --THOMAS MOORE.

    Love comes and goes as the free wind blows,
      That asks not, as it passes,
    If it touches the head of the roses red
      Or the violets down in the grasses.
                         --HOSEA G. BLAKE.

    Little maid, a violet
      Is knocking at your door,
    Eagerly its message sweet
      Repeating o’er and o’er:
    “Some one sent me with his love,--
      Take me, I implore!”

    Where fall the tears of love the rose appears,
    And where the ground is bright with friendship’s tears,
    Forget-me-not, and violets, heavenly blue,
    Spring, glittering with the cheerful drops like dew.
                         --WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.

    We shall be, as we are,
      (Still breathes the secret strain)
    Within our Father’s loving care
      When violets come again.
                         --EMILY S. OAKEY.

    Where wind-flower and violet, amber and white,
    On south-sloping brooksides should smile in the light,
    O’er the cold winter beds of their late-waking roots
    The frosty flake eddies, the ice crystal shoots.
                         --JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER.

    When Roman fields are red with cyclamen,
      And in the palace gardens you may find,
      Under great leaves and sheltering briony-bind,
    Clusters of cream-white violets, O then
    The ruined city of immortal men
      Must smile, a little to her fate resigned.
                         --EDMUND W. GOSSE.

    Beside me, where I rest,
      Thy loving hands will set
    The flowers that please me best,
      Moss-rose and violet.
                         --WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.

    Once in a dream I saw the flowers
      That bud and bloom in Paradise;
      More fair they are than waking eyes
    Have seen in all this world of ours.
    And faint the perfume-bearing rose,
      And faint the lily on its stem,
    And faint the perfect violet,
      Compared with them.
                         --CHRISTINA ROSSETTI.

      I do not know
      The subtle secret of the snow,
    That hides away the violets
      Till April teaches them to blow.
      Enough for me
      Their tender loveliness to see,
    Assured that little things and large
      Fulfil God’s purpose equally.
                         --MARY BRADLEY.

        Violet, sweet violet!
    Thine eyes are full of tears;
        Are they wet,
        Even yet,
    With the thoughts of other years?
      Or with gladness are they full,
      For the night so beautiful,
    And longing for those far-off spheres?

        Violet, dear violet,
        Thy blue eyes are only wet
    With joy and love of Him who sent thee,
      And for the fulfilling sense
      Of that glad obedience
    Which made thee all that Nature meant thee.
                         --JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.


                Violets, shy violets,
    How many hearts with thee compare!


    Under a mantle of frost-work and snow,
      Close by the arc of the fairy-queen’s ring,
    Sleeping in delicate grottoes of ice,
      Clusters of violets dream of the spring.
                         --D. CHAUNCEY BREWER.

    That strain again! It had a dying fall:
    Oh! it came o’er my ear like the sweet south,
    That breathes upon a bank of violets
    Stealing and giving odor.
                         --WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE.

    Slow rose the silken-fringèd lids, and eyes
    Like violets wet with dew drank in the light.
                         --GRACE GREENWOOD.

    The careful little violet,
      She makes me think of you,
    Holding her leafy petticoats
      From out the morning dew.
                         --ALICE CARY.

    The violet breathes, by our door, as sweetly
      As in the air of her native East.
                         --WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.

    When the earliest violets ope
    On the sunniest southern slope,
    When the air is sweet and keen
    Ere the full-blown flower is seen,
    When that blithe, forerunning air
    Breathes more hope than thou canst bear,
    Thou, oh buried, broken heart,
    Into quivering life shalt start.
                         --EDITH M. THOMAS.

    The wind-flowers and the violets were still too sound asleep,
    Under the snow’s warm blanket, close folded, soft and deep.
                         --CELIA THAXTER.

    Beautiful maid, discreet,
    Where is the mate that is meet,
      Meet for thee--strive as he could--
    Yet will I kneel at thy feet,
      Fearing another one should,
                         --COSMO MONKHOUSE.

        Violets, shy violets,
    How many hearts with thee compare,
      Who hide themselves in thickest green,
      And thence unseen
    Ravish the enraptured air
    With sweetness, dewy, fresh and fair!

    I think the very violets
      Are looking the way you’ll come!
                         --ALICE CARY.

    Once, long ago, in summer’s glow,
      We threaded, you and I,
    A garden’s maze of pleasant ways,
      Whose beauty charmed the eye,--
    Where violets bent in sweet content
      And pinks stood proud and high.
                         --ELIZABETH AKERS ALLEN.

    Then, feeble man, be wise, tak tent
    How industry can fetch content.
    Behold the bees where’er they wing,
    Or through the bonny bowers o’ spring,
    Where violets or roses blaw,
    An’ siller dew-draps nightly fa’.
                         --ROBERT FERGUSON.

    In her hair the sunbeams nest,
      And in her eyes the violets blow,
    While in the summer of her breast
      The songbird thoughts flit to and fro.
                         --ETHEL M. KELLEY.

    Violets steeped in dreamy odors,
      Humble as the Mother mild,
    Blue as were her eyes when watching
      O’er her sleeping child.
                         --ADELAIDE PROCTOR.

    O Mother Nature, kind to every child
      Blessed with the gift of speech, the gift of grace,
    Teach thou the modest violet, shy and wild,
      To look with trustfulness into my face.
                         --ISAAC B. CHOATE.

    In Farsistan the violet spreads
    Its leaves to the rival sky.
                         --RALPH WALDO EMERSON.

    My love, whose lips are softer far
    Than drowsy poppy petals are,
    And sweeter than the violet.
                         --ANDREW LANG.

    From wintry days blue violets shrink
    From wintry lives blue eyes will turn.
                         --HARRISON ROBERTSON.

    Her eyes be like the violets
      Ablow in Sudbury lane;
    When she doth smile, her face is sweet
      As blossoms after rain.
                         --LIZETTE WOODWORTH REESE.

    Through jocund reel, or measured tread
      Of stately minuet,
    Like fairy vision shone the bloom
      Of rose and violet,
    As, hand in hand with Washington,
      The hero of the day,
    The smiling face and nymph-like grace
      Of Nancy led the way.
                         --ZITELLA COCKE.

    You violets that first appear,
      By your pure purple mantles known
    Like the proud virgins of the year,
      As if the spring were all your own,--
      What are you when the Rose is blown?
                         --SIR HENRY WOTTON.

    Rock-gnawing lichens that forerun the feet
    Of violets.
                         --JOHN T. TROWBRIDGE.

    True Brahmin, in the meadows wet,
    Expound the Vedas of the violet!
                         --RALPH WALDO EMERSON.

    Soon again shall music swell the breeze;
    Soon, issuing forth, shall glitter through the trees
    Vestures of nuptial white; and hymns be sung
    And violets scattered round; and old and young
    In every cottage porch with garlands green,
    Stand still to gaze, and gazing, bless the scene;
    While, her dark eyes declining, by his side,
    Moves in her virgin veil the gentle bride.
                         --SAMUEL ROGERS.

    Der Mai ist da mit seinen goldnen Lichtern
    Und seinen Lüften und gewürzten Düften,
    Und freundlich lockt er mit den weissen Blüthen,
    Und grusst aus tausend blauen Veilchenaugen.
                         --HEINRICH HEINE.

                      I only know
    That she was very true and good:
      The queenliest lily cannot match
    The shy, sweet violet of the wood.

    Her bloom the rose outvies,
      The lily dares no plea,
    The violet’s glory dies,
      No flower so sweet can be;
    When love is in her eyes
      What need of spring for me?
                         --ANNA MARIA FAY.

    Who is there can sing of a more divine thing
    Than the edge of the woods in the edge of the spring,
    Ere the violets peep, while hepaticas sleep,
    And still in the hollows the snow-drifts lie deep?
                         --MILDRED G. PHILLIPS.

    The erthe was ful softe and swete.
    Through moysture of the welle wete
    Sprong up the sote grene, grene gras,
    As fayre, as thycke, as myster was.
    But moche amended it the place
    That therthe was of such a grace
    That it of floures hath plente,
    That both in somer and wynter be.
    There sprange the vyolet al newe,
    And fresshe pervynke ryche of hewe,
    And floures yelowe, white and rede;
    Such plente grewe there never in mede.
    Ful gaye was al the grounde, and queynt,
    And poudred, as men had it peynt,
    With many a freshe and sondry floure
    That casten up ful good savoure.
                         --GEOFFREY CHAUCER.

    Low lilies press about thy feet
    With violets changing kisses sweet.
                         --JANE AUSTIN.

    Come up, come up, O soft spring airs,
      Come from your silver shining seas,
    Where all day long you toss the wave
      About the low and palm-plumed keys!

    For here the violet in the wood
      Thrills with the fulness you shall take,
    And wrapped away from life and love
      The wild rose dreams, and fain would wake.
                         --HARRIET PRESCOTT SPOFFORD.


    Hear the rain whisper,
      “Dear violet, come.”
                         --LUCY LARCOM.


    The brown buds thicken on the trees,
      Unbound, the free streams sing,
    As March leads forth, across the leas,
      The wild and windy spring.

    Where in the fields the melted snow
      Leaves hollows warm and wet,
    Ere many days will sweetly blow
      The first blue violet.
                         --ELIZABETH AKERS ALLEN.

    Along the wood-paths, warm and wet,
    Springs up the frail wood-violet.
                         --JAMES BENJAMIN KENYON.

                                          The wild
    Winds clash and clang, and broken boughs are piled
      At feet of writhing trees. The violets raise
      Their heads without affright, without amaze,
    And sleep through all the din, as sleeps a child.
                         --HELEN HUNT JACKSON.

    Violet is for faithfulness,
      Which in me shall abide.

    Such sweet prophetic gladness as we feel
    When first we find beneath the bare spring hills
    So lately circled by the whirling snows,
    The crocus peeping from the withered leaves;
    When first we see the lingering day of flowers
    Dawning in violets blue.
                         --GRACE GREENWOOD.

    The violet varies from the lily as far
    As oak from elm.
                         --ALFRED TENNYSON.

    Some wear the lily’s stainless white
      And some the rose of passion,
    And some the violet’s heavenly blue,
      But each in its own fashion.
                         --HENRY VAN DYKE.

        Beauty clear and fair
        Where the air
    Rather like a perfume dwells;
      Where the violet and the rose
      Their blue veins and blush disclose
    And come to honor nothing else.
                         --SAMUEL FLETCHER.

    No tree unfolds its timid bud,
    Chill pours the hillside’s chilling flood,
      The tuneless forest all is dumb--
      Whence then, fair violet, didst thou come?

    All flowers died when Eve left Paradise,
      And all the world was flowerless for a while,
        Until a little child was laid in earth;
    Then from its grave grew violets for its eyes,
      And from its lips rose-petals for its smile.
                         --MAURICE FRANCIS EGAN.

    Sweet and sad, like a white dove’s note,
     Strange voices wakened my soul to glee,
    And soft scents strayed from the violet’s throat.
                         --BERNARD WELLER.

    When the rain beats and March winds blow,
    We should be glad if we could know
      How, not so very far away,
      There shineth a serener day
    Where birds are blithe, and happy children pass
    To gather violets among the grass.
                         --EMILY S. OAKEY.

    Like a violet, like a lark,
    Like the dawn that kills the dark,
    Like a dew-drop, trembling, clinging,
    Is the poet’s first sweet singing.
                         --RICHARD WATSON GILDER.

    Earth folds dark blankets round the violet blue.
                         --AUSTIN DOBSON.

          Her mild eyes were innocent of ill
    As violets in sheltered nooks enshrined.

    O violets, who never fret, nor say, “I won’t!” “I will!”
    Who only live to do your best His wishes to fulfil,
    Teach us your sweet obedience.
                         --CELIA THAXTER.

    When beechen buds begin to swell,
      And woods the bluebird’s warble know,
    The yellow violet’s modest bell
      Peeps from the last year’s leaves below.
                         --WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.

    I hold thy violets against my face
      And deeply breathe the haunting purple scent
      That fills my weary heart with sweet content
    And lays upon my soul a chrismal grace;
    The air around me for a little space
      Is heavy with the fragrance they have lent,
      And every passing wind that heavenward went
    Has held thy blossoms in a close embrace.
                         --MYRTLE REED.

    ’Twas when the spring was coming, when the snow
    Had melted, and fresh winds began to blow,
      And girls were selling violets in the town.
                         --ROBERT BUCHANAN.

    My house is small and low;
      But with pictures such as these,--
    Of the sunset, and the row
      Of illuminated trees,
    And the heifer as she drinks
      From the field of meadowed ground,
    With the violets and the pinks
      For a border all around,--
    Let me never, foolish, pray
      For a vision wider spread,
    But, contented, only say,
      Give me, Lord, my daily bread.
                         --ALICE CARY.

    How can our fancies help but go
    Out from this realm of mist and rain,
    Out from this realm of sleet and snow,
    When the first southern violets blow?
                         --THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH.

    But one short week ago the trees were bare,
    And winds were keen, and violets pinched with frost;
      Today the spring is in the air.
                         --JOHN TODHUNTER.

    Are there violets in the sod,
    Crocuses beneath the clod?
    When will Boreas give us peace?
    Or has Winter signed a lease
    For another month of frost,
    Leaving Spring to pay the cost?
    For it seems he still is king,
    Though ’tis spring.
                         --CHRISTOPHER PEARSE CRANCH.

    See, the violets call from out the grasses,
      Look, the purple answers from the ground;
    Azure melts and to that warbler passes,
      Sudden, a sky-fleck on the fences found!
                         --CHARLES DE KAY.

    I know that thou art the word of my God, dear violet.
                         --SIDNEY LANIER.

    On sheltered banks, beneath the dripping eaves,
    Spring’s earliest nurselings spread their glowing leaves,
    Bright with the hues from wider pictures won,
    White, azure, golden,--drift, or sky, or sun;--
    The snowdrop, bearing on her patient breast
    The frozen trophy torn from winter’s crest;
    The violet, gazing on the arch of blue
    Till her own iris wears its deepened hue;
    The spendthrift crocus, bursting through the mould,
    Naked and shivering with his cup of gold.
                         --OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.

    The meadow your walks have left so sweet
      That wherever a March wind sighs,
    He sets the jewel-print of your feet
      In violets blue as your eyes.
                         --ALFRED TENNYSON.

    The warring hosts of Winter and of Spring
      Are hurtling o’er the plains.
    All night I heard their battle clarions ring
      And jar the window-panes.

    The saddened robins flit through leafless trees,
      And chirp with tuneless voice,
    And wait the conquering sun, the unbinding breeze;
      They cannot yet rejoice.

    Slowly the victor Spring her foe outflanks,
      And countermines his snows;
    Then, unawares, along the grassy banks,
      Her ambushed violets throws.
                         --CHRISTOPHER P. CRANCH.

    Knowledge this man prizes best
    Seems fantastic to the rest:
    Pondering shadows, colors, clouds,
    Grass-buds and caterpillar shrouds,
    Boughs on which the wild bees settle,
    Tints that spot the violet’s petal.
                         --RALPH WALDO EMERSON.

    But who hath breathed the scent of violets
    And not that moment been some lover glad?
                         --ARLO BATES.

                      What blooms here,
    Filling the honeyed atmosphere
    With faint, delicious fragrances,
    Freighted with blessed memories?
    The earliest March violet,
    Dear as the image of Regret,
    And beautiful as Hope.
                         --EMMA LAZARUS.

      Violets and bilberry bells,
      Maple-sap and daffodels,
    Grass with green flag half-mast high.
                         --RALPH WALDO EMERSON.

      Pit, pat, patter, clatter,
      Sudden sun, and clatter, patter!
    First the blue and then the shower;
    Bursting bud and smiling flower;
    Brooks set free with tinkling ring;
    Birds too full of song to sing;
    Crisp old leaves astir with pride,
    Where the timid violets hide:
    All things ready with a will--
    April’s coming up the hill!
                         --MARY MAPES DODGE.

    Violets suit when homebirds build and sing.
                        --CHRISTINA ROSSETTI.

    Radiant Sister of the Day,
    Awake, arise, and come away
    To the wild woods and the plains;
    To the pools where winter rains
    Image all their roof of leaves;
    Where the pine its garland weaves,
    Of sapless green and ivy dim,
    Round stems that never kiss the sun;
    Where the lawns and pastures be,
    And the sand-hills of the sea;
    Where the melting hoar-frost wets
    The daisy-star that never sets;
    And wind-flowers and violets,
    Which yet join not scent to hue,
    Crown the pale year, weak and new.
                         --PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.


    The lone violet, which for love’s own sake,
    Its life exhales in pure unconscious good.
                         --FRANCES L. MACE.


                      In my breast
    Spring wakens too; and my regret
    Becomes an April violet,
      And buds and blossoms like the rest.
                         --ALFRED TENNYSON.

    Deep violets you liken to
    The kindest eyes that look on you
      Without a thought disloyal.
                         --ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING.

    To thee the nymphs of the forest offer their store of lilies,
    And at thy feet fair Nais lays her violets pale.

    The wind sprang up in the tree-tops
      And shrieked with a voice of death,
    But the rough-voiced breeze, that shook the trees,
      Was touched with a violet’s breath.
                         --PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR.

    One morn a lad cried in the street,
    “Fresh violets!” and, as in answer sweet,
    A bluebird flung, bouquet-like, clear and strong,
    Athwart the misty window, his first song.
                         --WILLIAM STRUTHERS.

                              The April morn
      Climbs softly up the eastern sky,
    And glimmers through the milk-white thorn,
      Or dances where the violets lie.
                         --SAMUEL MINTURN PECK.

                              April violets glow
    In wayside nooks, close clustering into groups,
    Like shy elves hiding from the traveler’s eye.
                         --THOMAS BUCHANAN READ.

    Violets begin to blush;
    Speedwell opens too her eye
    And the kingcup wooes the sky.
                         --EDWARD CAPERN.

    It isn’t raining rain to me, but fields of clover bloom,
    Where any buccaneering bee can find a bed and room;
    A health unto the happy, and a fig for him who frets!
    It isn’t raining rain to me, it’s raining violets.

    She walked across the fields icebound,
      Like some shy, sunny hint of spring,
    And stooping suddenly she found
      A violet, a dainty thing,
    Which shunned the chilly light of day
    Until sweet Aprille came that way.
                         --HARRISON ROBERTSON.

    The violet trills, through the bluebird,
    Of the heaven that within her she feels.
                         --LUCY LARCOM.

    Like those same winds when, startled from their lair,
      They hunt up violets, and free swift brooks
      From icy caves, even as thy clear looks
    Bid my heart bloom, and sing, and break all care.
                         --JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.

    And now the other violets are crowding up to see
    What welcome in this blustering world may chance for them to be.
    They lift themselves on slender stems in every shaded place,
    Heads over heads, all turned one way, wonder in every face.
                         --LUCY LARCOM.

        It is April, crying sore and weeping
        O’er the chilly earth so brown and bare.
    “When I went away,” she murmurs, sobbing,
      “All my violet banks were starred with blue;
    Who, O who has been here, basely robbing
      Bloom and odor from the fragrant crew?”
    Thus she plaineth. Then ten million voices
      Tiny, murmurous, like drops of rain,
    Raised in song as when the wind rejoices,
      Ring the answer, “We are here again!”
                         --SARAH CHANNING WOOLSEY.

    Now fades the last long streak of snow,
          Now bourgeons every maze of quick
      About the flowering squares, and thick
    By ashen roots the violets grow.
                         --ALFRED TENNYSON.

                    Violets now, that strew
    The green lap of the new-come spring.
                         --WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE.

    Elder boughs were budding yet,
      Oaken boughs looked wintry still,
    But primrose and veined violet
    In the mossful turf were set,
    While mating birds made haste to sing
      And build with right good-will.
                         --CHRISTINA ROSSETTI.

    Which April ne’er forgets!
                         --EMILY S. OAKEY.

    Sweetly breathing, vernal air,
    That with kind warmth doth repair
    Winter’s ruins; from whose breast
    All the gums and spice o’ the East
    Borrow their perfumes; whose eye
    Gilds the morn, and clears the sky;
    Whose disheveled tresses shed
    Pearls upon the violet bed.
                         --THOMAS CAREW.

    A wealth of clover clothes the place
      Where, clad in buff-lined coats of blue,
      Our countrymen o’erthrew
    Their alien foe; and violets efface
        All signs of combat.
                         --D. CHAUNCEY BREWER.

    Down through the sunshine
    Wings flutter and fly;--
    Quick, little violet,
    Open your eye!
                         --LUCY LARCOM.

                          Where violets hide,
    Where star-flowers strew the rivulet’s side,
    And blue-birds, in the misty spring,
    Of cloudless skies and summer sing.
                         --WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.

    Here the first violets
      Perhaps will bud unseen,
    And a dove, maybe,
      Return to nestle here.
                         --CHRISTINA ROSSETTI.

    In winter, when the garden-plots were bare,
    And deep winds piloted the shriven snow,
    He saw its gleaming in the cottage fire,
    While, with a book of botany on his knee,
    He sat and hunger’d for a breath of spring.
    Here beds of roses sweetened all the page;
    Here lilies whiter than the falling snow
    Crept gleaming softly from the printed lines;
    Here dewy violets sparkled till the book
    Dazzled his eyes with rays of misty blue.
                         --ROBERT BUCHANAN.

    Die blauen Veilchen der Aengelein,
    Die rothen Rosen der Wängelein,
    Die weissen Lilien der Händchen klein,
    Die blühen und blühen noch immerfort,
    Und nur das Herzchen ist verdorrt.
                         --HEINRICH HEINE.

    Again has come the springtime
      With the crocus’ golden bloom,
    With the smell of the fresh-turned earth mould
      And the violet’s perfume.
                         --SAMUEL LONGFELLOW.

    Under the green hedges, after the snow,
    There do the dear little violets grow,
    Hiding their modest and beautiful heads
    Under the hawthorne in soft, mossy beds.
                         --JOHN MOULTRIE.

    A duller sense than mine should feel
      The stir in nature’s warming soul;
    It makes the shouting bluebirds reel,
      And bursts the violet’s twisted scroll.
                         --GEORGE HENRY BOKER.

    I see Thee in the distant blue,
    But in the violet’s dell of dew,
    Behold, I breathe and touch Thee, too.
                         --JOHN B. TABB.

    Spring sat dejected in a sheltered nook
      And sighed because of the long-lingering snow,
      And prayed that warm, life-giving winds might blow;
    When at her feet there grew, with trembling look,
    A violet that whispered: “I forsook
      My cell to comfort thee and still thy woe.”
      Then, filled with hope, Spring said: “I now shall go
    And greet each hill and vale and winding brook.”
    Where’er she went, earth blessed her with its flowers:
      Arbutus, columbines, anemones,
      And sunny marigolds that deck the wet
    Lowlands. But in the soothing moonlit hours,
      When dreaming ’neath the blossom-laden trees,
      She holds with loving hands the violet.
                         --JOHN LUTHER BRENIZER.

    Ein kleines blau Veilchen
    Stand eben erst ein Weilchen
    Unten im Thal am Bach;
    Da dacht’ es einmal nach
    Und sprach:
    “Dass ich hier unten blüh’
    Lohnt sich kaum der Müh’;
    Muss mich überall bücken
    Und drücken.
    Ei,” spricht’ es, “hier ist’s schön,
    Aber alles kann man doch nicht sehen;
    So ein Berg
    Ist doch nur ein Schwerz;
    Auf der Alp da droben,
    Das wär, eher zu loben:
    Da möcht’ ich wohl sein,
    Da gückt’ ich bis in Himmel hinein.”
                         --FRIEDRICH FÖRSTER.


    O violet, blue-eyed violet,
    Scented with sweetest breath!
                         --CAROLINE A. SOULE.


    Up from the sweet South comes the lingering May,
    Sets the first wind-flower trembling on its stem;
    Scatters her violets with lavish hands,
    White, blue and amber.
                         --CELIA THAXTER.

    The vales shall laugh in flowers, the woods
    Grow misty-green with leafing buds,
    And violets and wind-flowers sway
    Against the throbbing heart of May.
                         --JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER.

                  When springtime comes,
    Primrose and violet haunt the mossy bank.
                         --HENRY G. HEWLETT.

    Rosy and white on the wanton breeze
    The petals fall from the apple-trees,
    And under the hedge where the shade lies wet
    Are children, picking the violet.
                         --F. W. BOURDILLON.

    The same sweet sounds are in my ear
    My early childhood loved to hear.
    The violet there, in soft May dew,
    Comes up, as modest and as true.
                         --WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.

    Farewell to thee, France! but when Liberty rallies
      Once more in thy regions, remember me then--
    The violet still grows in the depths of thy valleys,
      Though withered, thy tears will unfold it again.
                         --LORD BYRON.

    Where the rose doth wear her blushes
        Like a garment, and the fair
      And modest violets sit together,
      Weaving, in mild May weather,
        Purples out of dew and air
        Fit for any queen to wear.
                         --ALICE CARY.

    Hear the rain whisper,
      “Dear violet, come!”
                         --LUCY LARCOM.

    On every sunny hillock spread,
    The pale primrose lifts her head;
    Rich with sweets, the western gale
    Sweeps along the cowslip’d dale;
    Every bank, with violets gay,
    Smiles to welcome in the May.
                         --ROBERT SOUTHEY.

    The air was soft and fresh and sweet;
      The slopes in spring’s new verdure lay,
    And wet with dew-drops at my feet
      Bloomed the young violets of May.
                         --JOHN HOWARD BRYANT.

    In each hedgerow spring must hasten
      Cowslips sweet to set;
    And under every leaf, in shadow
      Hide a violet.
                         --ADELAIDE PROCTOR.

    The buds of April had burst into bloom on the willow and maple,
    Fresh with dew was the sod, with dim blue violets sprinkled.
                         --D. CHAUNCEY BREWER.

    The dream of winter broken,
      Behold her, blue and dear,
    Shy Violet, sure token
      That April’s here!
                         --FRANK DEMPSTER SHERMAN.

    Not the first violet on a woodland lea
    Seemed a more visible gift of Spring than she.
                         --JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.

    No more shall meads be decked with flowers,
    Nor sweetness dwell in rosy bowers,
    Nor greenest buds on branches spring,
    Nor warbling birds delight to sing,
    Nor April violets paint the grove,
    If I forsake my Celia’s love.
                         --THOMAS CAREW.

        And O, and O,
        The daisies blow,
    And the primroses are wakened;
        And the violets white
        Sit in silver light,
    And the green buds are long in the spike end.
                         --OLD ENGLISH SONG.

    A violet that nestles cheek to the mellowed ground;
    The humming of a happy brook about its daily round;
    The woody breath of pines; the smell of loosening sods;
    Such simple links of being,--such common things of God’s.
                         --ELLA M. BAKER.

    Merry, ever-merry May!
    Made of sunbeams, shade and showers,
    Bursting buds and breathing flowers!
    Dripping locked and rosy-vested,
    Violet slippered, rainbow crested.
                         --WILLIAM D. GALLAGHER.

    There were banks of purple violet,
    And arbutus, first whisper of the May.
                         --FRANCES L. MACE.

    Through thee, meseems, the very rose is red,
    From thee the violet steals its breath in May.
                         --JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.

                        Beneath my feet
    The ground-pine curled its pretty wreath,
    Running over the club-moss burrs;
    I inhaled the violet’s breath;
    Around me stood the oaks and firs;
    Pine-cones and acorns lay on the ground;
    Over me soared the eternal sky,
    Full of light and of deity;
    Beauty through my senses stole,--
    I yielded myself to the perfect whole.
                         --RALPH WALDO EMERSON.

    Now the tender, sweet arbutus
      Trails her blossom-clustered vines,
    And the many-figured cinquefoil
      In the shady hollow twines;
    Here, behind this crumbled tree-trunk,
      With the cooling showers wet,
    Fresh and upright, blooms the sunny
      Golden-yellow violet.
                         --DORA READ GOODALE.

    Saintly violets, plucked in bosky dell.
                         --CLINTON SCOLLARD.

    Thy feasting tables shall be hills
    With daisies spread, and daffadils;
    Where thou shalt sit, and red-brest by,
    For meat, shall give thee melody.
    Ile give thee chaines and carkanets
    Of primroses and violets.
                         --ROBERT HERRICK.

    With saucy gesture
      Primroses flare,
    And roguish violets
      Hidden with care.
    And whatsoever
      There stirs and strives,
    The spring’s contented,
      It works and thrives.
                         --JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE.

    White violets, pure violets,
    That might be wreathed in coronets
    For baby brows of spotless mould,
    That no earth shadows overfold;
    White winsome things with dovelike wings
        That brood in grassy nest,
      As thick as stars no tempest mars
        With presence of unrest.
                         --EMILY S. OAKEY.

    Look forth, Beloved, through the tender air,
                        And let thine eyes
    The violets be.
                         --BAYARD TAYLOR.

    The violets whisper from the shade
    Which their own leaves have made:
        “Men scent our fragrance on the air,
      Yet take no heed
      Of humble lessons we would read.”
                         --CHRISTINA ROSSETTI.

                              The gentle drift
    Of odorous distillings in the air,
    Daffodils growing on the field’s green breast,
    Buds all a-blow, and the enchanted breath
    Of violets peeping in the damp hedgerow,
    Kindled to being.
                         --CHRISTINA CATHERINE LIDDELL.

    That young May violet to me is dear,
    And I visit the silent streamlet near,
      To look on the lovely flower.
                         --WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.

    The larch has donned its rosy plumes,
      And hastes its emerald beads to string:
        The warblers now are on the wing,
    Across the pathless ocean glooms.
    Through tender grass and violet blooms
      I move along and gaily sing.
                         --RICHARD WILTON.

    Violets stir and arbutus wakes,
      Claytonia’s rosy bells unfold;
    Dandelion through the meadow makes
      A royal road, with seals of gold.
                         --HELEN HUNT JACKSON.

    Dear little violet,
      Don’t be afraid!
    Lift your blue eyes
      From the rock’s mossy shade!

    All the birds call for you
      Out of the sky:
    May is here, waiting,
      And so, too, am I.

    Come, pretty violet,
      Winter’s away:
    Come, for without you
      May isn’t May.

    Now all is beautiful
      Under the sky.
    May’s here--and violets!
      Winter, good-bye!
                         --LUCY LARCOM.

    Fair-handed Spring unbosoms every grace,
    Throws out the snow-drop and the crocus first,
    The daisy, primrose, violet darkly blue.
                         --JAMES THOMSON.

    While May bedecks the naked trees
    With tassels and embroideries,
    And many blue-eyed violets beam
    Along the edges of the stream.
                         --HENRY VAN DYKE.

    The country ever has a lagging spring,
    Waiting for May to call its violets forth,
    And June its roses.
                         --WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.

    And in the meadows soft, on either hand,
    Blossomed white parsley and the violet.

    Welcome, maids of honor,
        You do bring
        In the Spring,
    And wait upon her.

    She has virgins many
        Fresh and fair,
        Yet you are
    More sweet than any.

    Ye are the maiden posies
        And so graced
        To be placed
    ’Fore damask roses.
                         --ROBERT HERRICK.

    Tute le barche parte via sta note,
    E quela del mio ben doman de note;
    Tute le barche cargarà de tole,
    E quela del mio ben de rose e viole.
                         --VENETIAN SONG.


    Better to smell the violet cool,
    Than sip the glowing wine.
                         --GEORGE MACDONALD.


    Wooed by the June day’s fervent breath,
      Violets opened their violet eyes.
                         --LOUISE CHANDLER MOULTON.

    The wind, that poet of the elements,
    Tonight comes whistling down our tropic lanes,
    And wakes the slumbrous hours with sweet refrains.
       ·      ·      ·      ·      ·      ·
    Before the pilgrim minstrel violets place
    The purple censers of their fervent youth.
                         --MARY ASHLEY TOWNSEND.

      Now in snowdrops pure and pale
    Breaks the sere grass; the violet rends her veil.
                         --HENRY G. HEWLETT.

    The violet’s charms I prize, indeed,
      So modest ’tis, and fair.
                         --JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE.

    Seek the bank where flowering elders crowd,
    Where scattered wild the lily of the vale
    Its balmy essence breathes; where cowslips hang
    The dewy head, where purple violets lurk
    With all the lowly children of the shade.
                         --JAMES THOMSON.

    So then the world’s repeating its old story?
      Once more, thank God, its fairest page we turn!
    The violets and mayflowers, like the glory
      Of gold and color in old missals, burn
        With fadeless shimmering;
    These are its headings and vignettes. The heart
    Beats quicker when the Book of Life apart
        Falls at the page of Spring!
                         --JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE.

    Currents of fragrance, from the orange-tree,
      And sward of violets, breathing to and fro,
    Mingle, and wandering out upon the sea,
      Refresh the idle boatman where they blow.
                         --WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.

    Close by the roots of moss-grown stumps,
      The sweetest and the first to blow,
    The blue-eyed violets, in clumps,
      Kiss one another as they grow.

    The purple heath and golden broom
      On moory mountains catch the gale,
    O’er lawns the lily sheds perfume,
      The violet in the vale.
                         --JAMES MONTGOMERY.

    She who sung so gently to the lute
    Her dream of home, steals timidly away,
    Shrinking as violets do in summer’s ray.
                         --THOMAS MOORE.

      Lead me where amid the tranquil vale
    The broken streamlet flows in silver light;
      And I will linger when the gale
      O’er the bank of violets sighs,
    Listening to hear its softened sounds arise.
                         --ROBERT SOUTHEY.

    In lower pools that see
    All their marges clothed all around
    With the innumerable lily;
    Whence the golden-girdled bee
    Flits through flowering rush to fret
    White or duskier violet.
                         --ALGERNON C. SWINBURNE.

      Blue violets, blithe violets,
        Who that is human e’er forgets
    Your brightness and your blithesomeness,
        Your innocent meek tenderness,
      That e’er hath stood in budding wood
        And seen you at his feet,
      Like rarest elves that deck themselves
        In fairyhood complete,
      Though blue as mist the sun has kissed
        In valleys wild and sweet?
                         --EMILY S. OAKEY.

    Violets, sweet tenants of the shade,
    In purple’s richest pride arrayed,
      Your errand here fulfil;
    Go bid the artist’s simple stain
    Your lustre imitate in vain,
      And match your Master’s skill.

    They are the nation of the bees,
    Born from the breath of flowers.
    Low in the violet’s breast of blue
    For treasured food they sink;
    They know the flowers that hold the dew
    For their small race to drink.
                         --ROBERT STEPHEN HAWKER.

    Sweet-brier, leaning on the crag
      That the lady-fern hides under;
    Harebells, violets white and blue:
      Who has sweeter flowers, I wonder?
                         --LUCY LARCOM.

    Violet, delicate, sweet,
      Down in the deep of the wood,
    Hid in thy still retreat,
    Far from the sound of the street,
      Man and his merciless mood.
                         --COSMO MONKHOUSE.

    I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows,
    Where ox-lips and the nodding violet grows.
                         --WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE.

                  Under foot the violet,
    Crocus and hyacinth, with rich inlay,
    Broidered the ground.
                         --JOHN MILTON.

    In my veins a music as of boughs
    When the cool aspen-fingers of the rain
    Feel for the eyelids of the earth in spring.
    In every vein quick life; within my soul
    The meekness of some sweet eternity
    Forgot; and in my eyes soft violet-thoughts
    That widen’d in the eye-ball to the light,
    And peep’d, and trembled chilly back to the soul
    Like leaves of violets closing.
                         --ROBERT BUCHANAN.

    A little child with wondering, wide blue eyes
      Shining with ecstasy, yet dimmed with tears,
      As though a sudden joy strove with her fears
    Only half conquered, while a sweet surprise
    Like the first radiant glow of dawning skies
      In the uplifted, wistful face appears;
      Her tiny foot advanced, as one who nears
    The gates of some long-wished-for Paradise,--
    With parted lips the timid maiden stands
      Clothed in her childish robe of spotless white;
    Close to her bosom, in her little hands,
      Clasping a knot of violets, all bright
    With morning dew, and shyly whispering
    In tones of bird and streamlet: “I am Spring!”
                         --WILLIS BOYD ALLEN.

    Now boys and laughing girls pluck violets
    And all the dainty wildflowers of the field.

    She is so noble, firm and true,
      I drink truth from her eyes,
    As violets gain the heavens’ own blue
      In gazing at the skies.
                         --JOHN HAY.

    The violet in her greenwood bower
      Where birchen boughs with hazels mingle,
    May boast itself the fairest flower
      In glen, or copse, or forest dingle.
                         --SIR WALTER SCOTT.

    The lone violet which for love’s own sake
      Its life exhales in pure unconscious good,
    Some sunless glen a glowing shrine to make,
      With urn of incense in the solitude.
                         --FRANCES L. MACE.

    The wild rose sends a honeyed breath
       To woo the bee from neighboring wold;
    The violet holds its dainty cup
       To catch the morning’s earliest gold.
                         --W. M. L. JAY.

    Her passions the shy violet
    From Hafiz never hides.
    Love-longings of the raptured bird
    The bird to him confides.
                         --RALPH WALDO EMERSON.

    They knew me not,--blue flower, blue eyes;
    She, careless, passed me when we met;
    The tender glance which I would prize
    Above all things, the violet
            Received, and I went on my way,
            Companioned with the cheerless day.
                         --HARRISON ROBERTSON.

    Like some immortal heathen thing,
       All fresh with bloom, with odor sweet,
           With brook and bird and breeze in tune,
           The beautiful bright earth of June
           Moves to the fullness of her noon,
    While serving sunbeams round her fling
       The purple violets as they fleet.
                         --HARRIET PRESCOTT SPOFFORD.

         Run, little rivulet, run!
         Sing of the flowers, every one,--
    Of the delicate harebell and violet blue;
    Of the red mountain rosebud, all dripping with dew.
                         --LUCY LARCOM.

    Safe from the storm and the heat,
    Breathing of beauty and good,
    Fragrantly, under thy hood,
                         --COSMO MONKHOUSE.

    O violets, blue-eyed violets!
       Scented with sweetest breath,
    You seem, as I stoop to pluck you,
       To whisper, “There is no death.”
                         --CAROLINE A. SOULE.


    A shadowy nook, where half afraid
    Of their own loveliness, some violets lie.
                         --OSCAR WILDE.


    Soft-throated South, breathing of summer’s ease,
    Sweet breath, whereof the violet’s life is made!
                         --GEORGE PARSONS LATHROP.

    I heard the laughter of a brook,
    A tiny brook, that babbled through
    The fields and told the tales it took
    Of bird and reed and water-thing;
    And stooping low I saw a gleam
    Of violets that nodded to
    Their gay reflection in the stream.
                         --MARY F. FAXON.

    More shy than the shy violet
      Hiding when the wind doth pass.
                         --ELLEN M. CORTISSOZ.

    The ferns bend low, the grasses lean,
    As doing homage to a queen,
    The fairest queens that ever smiled
    On cavalier, or king beguiled:
      Oh, sweet and tender violets!
                         --M. D. TOLMAN.

    I go to the river there below
    Where in bunches the violets grow,
    And sun and shadow meet.
                         --HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW.

    Peep the blue violets out of black loam.
                         --RALPH WALDO EMERSON.

    The violet varies from the lily as far
    As oak from elm.
                         --ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON.

    Lover of each gracious thing
    Which makes glad the summer-tide,
    From the daisies clustering
    And the violets, purple-eyed,
    To those shy and hidden blooms
    Which in forest coverts stay.

    I thread the rustling ranks, that hide
      Their misty violet treasure.
                         --BAYARD TAYLOR.

    But when the green world buds to blossoming,
      Keep violets for the spring, and love for youth,
    Love that should dwell with beauty, mirth and hope:
      Or if a later, sadder love be born,
    Let this not look for grace beyond its scope,
      But give itself.
                         --CHRISTINA ROSSETTI.

    And now, when summer south-winds blow
      And brier and harebell bloom again,
    I tread the pleasant paths we trod,
    I see the violet-sprinkled sod
      Whereon she leaned.
                         --JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER.

    Sisters, ere the moon is set,
    Twine the white, white violet,
    While the dews are on it yet,
    With the myriad-starrèd mignonette.
                         --FORCEYTHE WILSON.

    Voluptuous bloom and fragrance rare
      The summer to its rose may bring;
    Far sweeter to the wooing air
      The hidden violet of the spring.
                         --BAYARD TAYLOR.

    And near the snow-drop’s tender white and green,
      The violet in its screen.
                         --HENRY TIMROD.

    Pale marguerites, that swayed with dainty grace
    To every breeze, the violet’s sweet, shy face,
    And heart’sease, wonder-eyed.
                         --J. TORREY CAPEN.

    Oh, those gardens dear and far,
    Where the wild wind-fairies are!
    Though we see not, we can hearken
    To them when the spring skies darken,
    Singing clearly, singing purely,
    Songs of far-off Elfland surely,
    And they pluck the wild wind posies,
    Lilies, violets and roses.
                         --PHILIP BOURKE MARSTON.

    Miss Violet displays no hood,
    Nor garbs herself as violets should--
        She sports a witching hat;
    Nor is she found in dim retreat,
    But often on the crowded street
        Her boots go pit-a-pat.
                         --SAMUEL MINTURN PECK.

    And give my simple thought the skill to know
      What interchanging hints between us pass;
    What sense of joy it is that thrills me so
      Whene’er I see blue violets in the grass.
                         --ISAAC B. CHOATE.

    Here eglantine embalmed the air,
    Hawthorn and hazel mingled there;
    The primrose pale, and violet flower,
    Found in each cliff a narrow bower.
                         --SIR WALTER SCOTT.

    It trembled off the keys,--a parting kiss
    So sweet,--the angel slept upon his sword
    As through the gate of Paradise we swept,--
    Partakers of creation’s primal bliss!
      --The air was heavy with the breath
        Of violets and love till death--
    Forgetful of eternal banishment,
    Deep down the dusk of passion-haunted ways,
    Lost in the dreaming alchemies of tone,
    Drenched in the dew no other wings frequent,
      --Our thirsting hearts drank in the breath
        Of violets and love in death--
    There was no world, no flesh, no boundary line--
    Spirit to spirit--chord and dissonance,
    Beyond the jealousy of space or time
    His life in one low cry broke over mine!
      --The waking angel drew a shuddering breath
        Of violets and love and death.
                         --MARTHA GILBERT DICKINSON.

      Bay leaves between
      And primroses green
    Embellish the sweet violet.
                         --EDMUND SPENSER.

    Better to smell the violet cool
        Than sip the glowing wine;
    Better to hark a hidden brook
        Than watch a diamond shine.
                         --GEORGE MACDONALD.

    Upon the water’s velvet edge
      The purple blossoms breathe delight,
    Close nestled to the grassy sedge
      As sweet as dawn, as dark as night.
        O brook and branches, far away,
        My heart keeps time with you today!
          “The violets--the violets!”
                         --FRANCES L. MACE.

    Call the crowfoot and the crocus,
      Call the pale anemone,
    Call the violet and the daisy,
      Clothed with careful modesty.
                         --PHŒBE CARY.

      The mosses are wet
    Under chestnut and thorn
    With blossoms new-born
      Of dim violet.
                         --JOHN A. SYMONDS.

    Give me only a bud from the trees
    Or a blade of grass in morning dew,
    Or a cloudy violet clearing to blue,
    I could look on it forever.
                         --SYDNEY DOBELL.

                  How could I forget
    To beg of thee, dear violet!
      Some of thy modesty,
    That blossoms here as well, unseen,
    As if before the world thou’dst been,
      O give to strengthen me.
                         --JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.

    When daisies pied, and violets blue,
      And lady-smocks all silver white,
    And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue,
      Do paint the meadows with delight.
                         --WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE.

    An emerald robe o’er all the fields is drawn;
    Here are cowslips, there the violets appear;
    The rill’s low laughter, children’s joyous words,
    The ploughman’s chorus, with the song of birds,
    In mingled cadences, are heard afar and near.
                         --JOSIAH RICE TAYLOR.

    All the world is blooming, wherefore sigh?
    Violets amid the grasses lie,
    And the wild bees with their girdles bright
    Climb up dazzling shafts of dazzling light;
    And on cowslips fall, in golden play,
    Shadows of the swallows on their way.
                         --MRS. WHITON-STONE.

    One loves a baby face, with violets there,
    Violets instead of laurel in the hair,
    As these were all the little locks could bear.
                         --ROBERT BROWNING.

      The sea is growing summer blue,
    But fairer, sweeter than the smiling sky,
    Or bashful violet with tender eye,
    Is she whose love for me will never die,--
      I love you, darling, only you!
                         --ELIZABETH AKERS ALLEN.

                    “Use! Use! Use!”
    I cried impatiently;--“nothing but use!
    As if God never made a violet,
    Or hung a harebell!”
                         --J. G. HOLLAND.

    The pride of every grove I chose,
      The violet sweet and lily fair,
    The dappled pink and blushing rose,
      To deck my charming Chloe’s hair.
                         --MATTHEW PRIOR.

                                  ’Twas a child
    In whose large eyes of blue there shone, indeed,
    Something to waken wonder. Never sky
    In noontide depth, or softly breaking dawn--
    Never the dew in new-born violet’s cup,
    Lay so entranced in purity.
                         --NATHANIEL P. WILLIS.


    Violets, faint with love’s perfume,
    Lie hid in tall green grasses.
                         --MARY E. BLAKE.


    The violet, she is faint with heat--
      The lily is all forlorn;
    My love, arise, with thy dewy eyes,
      Arise, and be their morn!
                         --ALICE CARY.

    Grow greener, grass, where the river flows--
      Her feet have pressed you;
    Blow fresher, violet! lily! rose!
      Her eyes have blessed you.
                         --CHARLES MACKAY.

    Violets make the airs that pass
    Telltales of their fragrant slope.
                         --BAYARD TAYLOR.

    Sich a rainy season
      A-comin’ by-an’-by;
    But Sun will play de hide-an’-seek
      Yander in the sky.

    Lily’ll look so lonesome--
      Violet hide his eye;
    But de skies will do yo’ weepin’,
      So, honey, don’t you cry!

    W’en der rain is over,
      Violet dress in blue;
    Red rose say: “I sweet terday--
      An’ here’s a kiss fer you!”
                         --FRANK L. STANTON.

    Shadows, like the violets tangled,
      Like the soft light, softly mingled.
                         --ALICE CARY.

    When violets pranked the turf with blue,
    And morning filled their cups with dew.
                         --OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.

    Came one by one the seasons, meetly drest.
       ·      ·      ·      ·      ·      ·
    First Spring--upon whose head a wreath was set
    Of wind-flowers and the yellow violet--
    Advanced. Then Summer led his loveliest
      Of months, one ever to the minstrel dear
        (Her sweet eyes dewy wet),
    June, and her sisters, whose brown hands entwine
    The brier-rose and the bee-haunted columbine.
                         --EDMUND CLARENCE STEDMAN.

      Oh, not more sweet the tears
    Of the dewy eve on the violet shed,
    Than the dews of age on the hoary head
      When it enters the eve of years.

      ’Twas violet time when he and she
      Went roaming the meadows wide and free.
    A happy lad and lass were they,
    Their hearts, their hopes, their voices gay,--
      She seventeen, he twenty-three.

      The skies were calm as a sleeping sea,
      And the hills and streams and the mossy lea
      A part of the wooing seemed to be;
              ’Twas violet time.

      Years fled, and weak and old grew he;
      His form was bent like a snow-bowed tree,
    His hair was white and hers was gray,
    But their souls were young as a morn in May,
      And in their souls--sweet mystery!--
              ’Twas violet time!
                         --ERNEST WARBURTON SHURTLEFF.

    A violet by a mossy stone
      Half hidden from the eye--
    Fair as a star, when only one
      Is shining in the sky,
      She lived.
                         --WILLIAM WORDSWORTH.

    O playmate in the golden time!
      Our mossy seat is green,
    Its fringing violets blossom yet;
      The old trees o’er it lean.
                         --JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER.

    The brown pine-needles at our feet
      Spread forth until the green is met,
    To mingle all their perfume sweet
      With trillium and with violet.
                         --WILLIAM McLELLAN.

    Ungarlanded still stand the fair
      White ladyes of the wood;
    Yet, purple-robed, the violet
      Peeps from her gray-green hood.

    Passing along through the field of wheat
      By the hedge where in spring the violets glow,
    And the bluebells blossom around our feet.
                         --CHARLES SAYLE.

    Lady violet, blooming meekly
      By the brooklet free,
    Bending low thy gentle forehead
      All his grace to see;
    Turn thee from the wooing water--
      Whisper soft, I pray,
    For the wind might hear my secret--
      Does he love me? Say!
                         --N. C. KETCHUM.

    Violets in the hazel copse,
      Bluebells in the dingle;
    Birds in all the green tree-tops
      Joyous songs commingle.
                         --MARY C. GILLINGTON.

    In her face a garden lies:
    Violets are her azure eyes;
    Just below them there repose
    Blushing cheeks of velvet rose;
    ’Twixt the roses, scorning drouth,
    Tulips of her tempting mouth.
    In this garden alley may
    Only one, the chosen, stray.
    Reveling in their radiant hues,
    Tasting of their precious dews,
    Rich delights he ne’er forgets--
    Tulips, roses, violets.
                         --GEORGE BIRDSEYE.

      From over-sea,
    Violets, for memories,
      I send to thee.
                         --WILLIAM SHARP.

    For thoughts of a sylvan home,
    For forest trees gemmed with dew,
    For sake of the Giver kind,
        Violets, I love you.
                         --GRACE HIBBARD.

    I sometimes dream that when at last
      My life is done with fading things,
    Again will blossom forth the past
      To which my memory fondest clings.
    That some fair star has kept for me
    Fresh blooming still by brook and tree
          The violets--the violets!
                         --FRANCES L. MACE.

    When woods in early green were dressed,
    And from the chambers of the west
    The warmer breezes, traveling out,
    Breathed the new scent of flowers about,
    My truant steps from home would stray,
    Upon its grassy side to play,
    List the brown thrasher’s vernal hymn,
    And crop the violet on its brim.
                         --WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.

        In shadows cool and dim
    I rest at ease from care and cark,
    With pinks and violets to mark
        My small horizon’s rim.
                         --SAMUEL MINTURN PECK.

    A shadowy nook, where half afraid
      Of their own loveliness, some violets lie
    That will not look the gold sun in the face.
                         --OSCAR WILDE.

    How sweet to rest, ere dawns the summer’s heat,
      Where violets gaze upward to the sky!

    Little streams have flowers a-many,
    Beautiful and fair as any,--
    Arrowhead with eye of jet,
    And the water-violet.
                         --MARY HOWITT.

    Soft-breathed winds, under yon gracious moon,
      Doing mild errands for mild violets.
                         --SIDNEY LANIER.

    The violets that skirt the bank
        Bend down to thank
    The laughing stream with kisses sweet.

        Poised in a sheeny mist
        Of the dust of bloom,
    Clasped to the poppy’s breast and kissed,
      Baptized in violet perfume
        From foot to plume!
                         --JAMES MAURICE THOMPSON.


    Modest violet, maiden violet,
    Pray, can I borrow your blue eyes?
                         --ALICE CARY.


    These fall-time violets seem
    Like a dream within a dream.

    O that I were listening under the olives!
    So should I hear behind in the woodland
    The peasants talking. Either a woman,
    A wrinkled grandame, stands in the sunshine,
    Stirs the brown soil in an acre of violets--
    Large odorous violets--and answers slowly
    A child’s swift babble; or else at noon
    The laborers come.
                         --MARGARET L. WOODS.

    The violets meet and disport themselves,
    Under the trees, by tens and twelves.
                         --D. CHAUNCEY BREWER.

    Shall I tell you what wonderful fancy
      Built up this palace for me?
    It was only a little white violet
      I found at the root of a tree.
                         --ADELAIDE PROCTOR.

    From the field by the river’s brink,
      Where violets hid his nest,
      Soars high with a canticle of the blest
    The jubilant bobolink.
                         --FRANCES L. MACE.

    Open wide the windows--
      The green hills are in sight,
    Winds are whispering, “Violets!”
      And--there’s a daisy white,
    And the great sun says, “Good morning!”
      And the valleys sing delight.

    Violets, faint with love’s perfume,
      Lie hid in tall green grasses.
                         --MARY E. BLAKE.

    The woodbine I will pu’ when the e’ening star is near,
    And the diamond drops o’ dew shall be her een sae clear,
    The violets for modesty which weel she fa’s to wear.
                         --ROBERT BURNS.

    The bright-eyed daisy, the violet sweet,
      The blushing poppy that nods and trembles
    In its scarlet hood among the wheat.
                         --WILLIAM W. STORY.

    In meadows bright with violets
    And Spring’s fair children of the sun.

    Why do you shiver so,
      Violet sweet?
    Soft is the meadow-grass
      Under my feet.
    Wrapped in your hood of green,
      Violet, why
    Peep from your earth-door
      So silent and shy?
                         --LUCY LARCOM.

    O day of days! Thy memory
      Will never fade, nor pass;
    Patches of lowly violets
      Were clouding all the grass.
                         --ALICE CARY.

    Go, modest little violets, and lie upon her breast;
      Your eyes will tell her something--perhaps she’ll guess the rest!
                         --CHARLES HENRY WEBB.

    How gentle is the soul that looketh out
      From violets sweet through dim, blue, tearful eyes,
    That turns a pleading face to look about
      And watch the sun’s course through the smiling skies!
                         --ISAAC BASSETT CHOATE.

    Who beheld it? O, the rare surprise
      When, like souls upspringing from the sod,
    Violets unclosed their still blue eyes
      In the green fair world of God!
                         --EMILY S. OAKEY.

    Kiss mine eyelids, beauteous Morn,
    Blushing into life new-born!
    Lend me violets for my hair,
    And thy russet robe to wear!
                         --OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.

    The south wind is like a gentle friend
      Parting the hair so softly on my brow.
    I know it has been trifling with the rose
      And stooping to the violet.
                         --NATHANIEL P. WILLIS.

    The flowers we know, they move us so,
      Almost to weep we’re fain;
    Who heard us say, that fairest day
      Last spring, “They’re come again,
            Sweet violets”?
                         --EMILY S. OAKEY.

    I can hear these violets’ chorus
      To the sky’s benediction above;
    And we all together are lying
      On the bosom of Infinite Love.
                         --WILLIAM C. GANNETT.

    The modest, lowly violet
    In leaves of tender green is set,
    So rich she cannot hide from view,
    But covers all the bank with blue.
                         --DORA READ GOODALE.

    Here blows the warm red clover,
      There peeps the violet blue;
    O happy little children!
      God made them all for you.
                         --CELIA THAXTER.

    I pressed them to my lips for you,
      Ah me! I know your heart forgets
    In knowing not, or caring that
      I pick thee violets.
                         --MARY FREDERICK FAXON.

    When eve had come, and thicker grew
    The shadows all the garden through,
      Beside the rose-embowered gate,
      Her laughter stilled. To speak, or wait--
    Oh, beating heart, what should I do!
    Long lashes hid her eyes of blue,
    Twin violets befringed with dew.
                         --SAMUEL MINTURN PECK.

    I wonder if the violet felt
    Your presence when you gently knelt,
    And breathed for you its sweetest air
    Because you loved yet left it there.
                         --HARRIET PRESCOTT SPOFFORD.

    O, were I yon violet,
      On which she is walking!
    Or were I yon small bird,
      To which she is talking!
                         --ALLAN CUNNINGHAM.

    I asked a nodding violet, why
      It sadly hung its head.
    It told me Cynthia late past by,
      Too soon from it that fled.
                         --MICHAEL DRAYTON.

    Compassed all about with roses sweet
    And dainty violets from head to feet.
                         --EDMUND SPENSER.

    Weep no more, nor sigh, nor groan,
    Sorrow calls no time that’s gone:
    Violets plucked, the sweetest rain
    Makes not fresh nor grow again.
                         --SAMUEL FLETCHER.

                On beds of violets blue
    And fresh-blown roses washed in dew.
                         --JOHN MILTON.

    Over the river there lieth
      A city wondrous fair,
    And never the eye of a mortal
      Hath looked on the glories there.
    The lilies grow by the rivers,
      Stately and fair they blow,
    And lift their balm to the angels,
      In their censer-cup of snow;
    And the violets blossom forever
      In the haunts where the wild birds sing,
    And the fern and the flowers are fragrant
      In the balm of eternal spring.
                         --EBEN E. REXFORD.


    The violets bloom is loveliest,
    Oh pretty pets, the violets.
                         --M. D. TOLMAN.


    Ah, the days may be sullen and sober,
      The nights may be stormy and cold;
      But for him who has eyes to behold,
    The violets bloom in October.
                         --ELIZABETH AKERS ALLEN.

                              The soft warm haze
    Makes moist once more the sere and dusty ways,
    And, creeping through where dead leaves lie in drifts,
    The violet returns.
                         --HELEN HUNT JACKSON.

    Into her dream he melted, as the rose
      Blendeth its odor with the violet.
                         --JOHN KEATS.

    I think I love the violets best of all,
    Because of that hushed sweetness, far and faint
    As star-dust through the darkness dimly sown.
                         --MYRTLE REED.

    Oh, North, or South, or East, or West,
    The violet’s bloom is loveliest!
    They come from out their coverts green,
    The daintiest damsels ever seen,
    Oh, pretty pets, the violets!
                         --M. D. TOLMAN.

    To gild refinèd gold, to paint the lily,
    To throw a perfume on the violet,
    To smooth the ice, or add another hue
    Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
    To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,
    Is wasteful, and ridiculous excess.
                         --WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE.

          The sun pierced through
    And made a rainbow of the mist,
    And high, so high against the blue,
    I saw a mountain capped in snow;
    And in my hand were violets.
                         --MARY F. FAXON.

    Where fields of goldenrod cannot offset
    One meadow with a single violet.
                         --HELEN HUNT JACKSON.

    If ever thou ’rt left alone,
    Think not that thy love is dead,
    But look till thou find’st the red
    Wild rose, and say, “’Tis her cheek.”
    Then kiss it close; and seek--
    Where the clear dew never dries--
    Blue violets for mine eyes.
                         --CHARLES HENRY LÜDERS.

    Trust not, ye modest violets,
      His promises to you,
    Nor dare upon his fickle smile
      To broaden your kerchiefs blue.
                         --ALICE CARY.

    Because you mirror the skies
    In color of heaven’s own blue--
    For your sweet and dainty selves,
        Violets, I love you.
                         --GRACE HIBBARD.

                        When violets lean
    O’er wandering brooks and springs unseen,
    Or columbines, in purple drest,
    Nod o’er the ground-bird’s hidden nest.
                         --WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.

    My chill-veined snow-drops,--choicer yet
    My white or azure violet.
                         --CHRISTINA ROSSETTI.

    There came a softness in the air
      And with a throb of longing, ere I knew
      A hint of violets, a thought of you
    For whom it was, my heart breathed up a prayer.
                         --CURTIS HIDDEN PAGE.

    The primrose turned a babbling flower
      Within its sweet recess;
    I blushed to see its secret bower,
      And turned her name to bless.
    The violets said the eyes were blue,
    I loved, and did they tell me true?
                         --JOHN CLARE.

    I know, I know where violets blow
      Upon a sweet hillside,
    And very bashfully they grow
      And in the grasses hide--
    It is the fairest field, I trow,
      In the whole world wide.
                         --ROBERT LOUIS MUNGER.

    O, for the life of a gipsy!
      A strong-armed, barefoot girl;
    And to have the wind for a waiting-maid
      To keep my hair in curl;
    To bring me scent of the violet,
      And the red rose and the pine;
    And at night to spread my grassy bed--
      Ah! wouldn’t it be divine?
                         --ALICE CARY.

    The lillie will not long endure,
    Nor the snow continue pure:
    The rose, the violet,--one day
    See! both these lady-flowers decay:
    You must fade as well as they.
                         --ROBERT HERRICK.

    Once thy lip, to touch it only,
      To my soul has sent a thrill
    Sweeter than the violet lonely
      Plucked in March-time by the rill.
                         --JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE.

            Blow, violets, blow!
    And tell him, in your blossoming o’er and o’er,
    How in the places which he used to know
    His name is still breathed fondly as of yore.
                         --ELIZABETH AKERS ALLEN.

    See hyacinths and violets dim and sweet,
    And orange-blossoms on their dark green stems.
                         --WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.

    The snow-drop, and then the violet,
    Arose from the ground with warm rain wet,
    And their breath was mixed with fresh odors, sent
    From the turf, like the voice and the instrument.
                         --PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.

    When love in the faint heart trembles,
      And the eyes with tears are wet,
    O, tell me what resembles
      Thee, young Regret?
    Violets with dewdrops drooping,
      Lilies o’erfull of gold,
    Roses in June rains stooping,
      That weep for the cold,
      Are like thee, young Regret.
                         --GEORGE EDWARD WOODBERRY.

    Over the hilltop and down in the meadow-grass
      Heaven, like dew, on the waking earth lies;
    Part of it, dear, is the blue of these violets--
      Best of it all I find in your eyes.
                         --WILLIS BOYD ALLEN.

    Far back where the April violets grew
    There smiled, amid crystals of deathless dew,
        Our first and last Arcadia.

    In clear, unbroken melody
    The brook sings and the birds reply:
        “The violets--the violets!”
                         --FRANCES L. MACE.

    No more shall violets linger in the dell,
      Or purple orchis variegate the plain,
    Till Spring again shall call forth every bell,
      And dress with hurried hands her wreaths again.
                         --CHARLOTTE SMITH.

    When October dons her crown,
    And the leaves are turning brown,--
    Breathe, sweet children, soft regrets
    For the vanished violets.
                         --ELIZABETH AKERS ALLEN.

    Primrose and cowslip have I gathered here,
      Anemone and hiding violet,
    When April sang the spring song of the year.
      Now all is changed; the autumn day is wet
    With clouds blown from the west, and vapors fold
    Over the dripping woods and vacant wold.
                         --CHARLES DENYS CONWAY.

    She gave me a flower that she wore in her bosom,
    And violets, not half so blue as her eyes.
                         --EMILY S. OAKEY.

    Poor little Violet, calling through the chill
    Of this new frost which did her sister slay,
    In which she must herself, too, pass away!
    Nay, pretty Violet, be not so dismayed;
    Sleep only on your sisters sweet is laid.
                         --PHILIP BOURKE MARSTON.

    As I was gathering violets in the snow,
    Methought how often, when the heart is low,
        And Nature grieves,
    The buds of simple faith will meekly blow
        ’Neath frosted leaves.
                         --A. E. HAMILTON.

    Now cometh Winter, soft snow-wraps to bring,
    To keep her baby violets warm till spring.

    Very dark the autumn sky,
    Dark the clouds that hurried by;
    Very rough the autumn breeze
    Shouting rudely to the trees.

    Listening, frightened, pale and cold,
    Through the withered leaves and mould
    Peered a violet all in dread--
    “Where, oh, where is spring?” she said.

    Sighed the trees, “Poor little thing!
    She may call in vain for spring!”
    And the grasses whispered low,
    “We must never let her know.”

    “What’s this whispering?” roared the breeze;
    “Hush! a violet,” sobbed the trees,
    “Thinks it’s spring--poor child, we fear
    She will die if she should hear!”

    Softly stole the wind away,
    Tenderly he murmured, “Stay!”
    To a late thrush on the wing,
    “Stay with her one day and sing!”

    Sang the thrush so sweet and clear
    That the sun came out to hear,
    And, in answer to her song,
    Beamed on violet all day long.
                         --OLIVER HERFORD.


      Violet, little violet,
    Brave and true and sweet thou art.


    “All nature mourns,” I said; “November wild
      Hath torn the fairest pages from her book.”

    But suddenly a wild bird overhead
      Poured forth a strain so strangely clear and sweet,
    It seemed to bring me back the skies of May,
      And wake the sleeping violets at my feet.

    Then long I pondered o’er the poet’s words,
      “The loss of beauty is not always loss,”
    Till like the voice of love they soothed my pain,
      And gave me strength to bear again my cross.
                         --ALBERT LAIGHTON.

                            The violet’s gone,
    The first-born child of the early sun;
    With us she is but a winter’s flower,
    The snow on the hills cannot blast her bower,
    And she lifts up her dewy eye of blue
    To the youngest sky of the self-same hue.
                         --LORD BYRON.

    I picked thee violets
    Upon a morn when the white mist
    Went trailing down the leas and made
    A gauzy scarf to twine and twist
    About the feet of the blue hills.
                         --MARY F. FAXON.

    Between her breasts that never yet felt trouble
    A bunch of violets full-blown and double
    Serenely sleep.
                         --JOHN KEATS.

    Sweetest Echo, sweetest nymph, that liv’st unseen
          Within thy aery shell,
        By slow Meander’s argent green,
      And in the violet-embroidered vale.
                         --JOHN MILTON.

    Even the tiny violet can make
    Her little circle sweet as love.
                         --GRACE GREENWOOD.

    And Helen breathed the scent of violets, blown
      Along the bosky shores.
                         --BAYARD TAYLOR.

    There her head the golden lily rears,
    The soft-eyed violet sheds her odorous tears.
                         --NICHOLAS MITCHELL.

    I used to go and watch them,
      Both night and morning, too:--
    It was my tears, I fancy,
      That kept the violets blue.
                         --ADELAIDE PROCTOR.

    My girl hath violet eyes and yellow hair,
    A soft hand, like a lady’s, soft and fair,
    A sweet face pouting in a white straw bonnet,
    A tiny foot, and little boot upon it.
                         --ROBERT BUCHANAN.

    Here the first violets
      Perhaps will bud unseen,
    And a dove, maybe,
      Return to nestle here.
                         --CHRISTINA ROSSETTI.

    Gold violets, bright violets,
    The sparkling dew at sunrise wets,
    And doth with nectar overbrim;
    Lustre no cloudy day can dim;
    The golden sun doth shine upon
      And call his children rare;
    The yellow-bird hath sometimes stirred
      Drawn downward unaware.
                         --EMILY S. OAKEY.

    Lay her in lilies and in violets.
                         --EDMUND SPENSER.

                                    The violet’s blue,
    The rose bloom’s red,--and friends are tried and true;
    The blossoms on the boughs are white in spring,
    The wind is soft, the birds spread joyous wing,
    And soar and wheel in the blue sky, and sing,
            Because--because I love you.
                         --FRANCES HODGSON BURNETT.

    In languid luxury soft she glides
    Encircled by the azure tides,
    Like some fair lily, faint with weeping,
    Upon a bed of violets sleeping.
                         --THOMAS MOORE.

    E’en now what affection the violet awakes;
    What loved little islands, twice seen in their lakes,
        Can the wild water-lily restore!
                         --THOMAS CAMPBELL.

    Then by the enchantress Fancy led,
    On violet banks I lay my head.
                         --JAMES MONTGOMERY.

    The air is sweet with violets running wild
    ’Mid broken friezes and fallen capitals.
                         --SAMUEL ROGERS.

    Mistress violet, mistress violet,
      I want your tender and true eyes!
    For mine are as cold and as black as jet,
      And I want your heavenly blue eyes!
    Modest violet, maiden violet,
      Pray, can I borrow your blue eyes?
                         --ALICE CARY.

                    Flowers were the couch,
    Pansies and violets, and asphodels,
    And hyacinths, earth’s freshest, softest lap.
                         --JOHN MILTON.

                      Flowers, of such as keep
    Their fragrant tissues and their heavenly hues
    Fresh-bathed forever in eternal dews--
        The violet with her low-drooped eye,
        For learned modesty.
                         --SIDNEY LANIER.

    Before the urchin well could go,
    She stole the whiteness of the snow;
    And more--the whiteness to adorn,
    She stole the blushes of the morn:
    Stole all the sweets that ether sheds
    On primrose buds or violet beds.
    If lovers, Cupid, are thy care,
    Exert thy vengeance on this fair;
    To trial bring her stolen charms,
    And let her prison be my arms.
                         --CHARLES WYNDHAM.

    Thine old-world eyes--each one a violet--
      Big as the baby rose that is thy mouth--
    Sets me a-dreaming. Have our eyes not met
      In childhood--in a garden of the South?
                         --HENRY A. BEERS.

    May his soft foot, where it treads,
    Gardens thence produce, and meads,
    And those meddowes full be set
    With the rose and violet.
                         --ROBERT HERRICK.

    I remember, I remember,
    The roses, red and white,
    The violets and the lily-cups--
    Those flowers made of light.
                         --THOMAS HOOD.

                 The light drop of dew
    That glows in the violet’s eye,
    In the splendor of morn, to the fugitive view,
    May rival a star in the sky.
                         --JAMES MONTGOMERY.

    I saw thee weep--the big bright tear
      Came o’er that eye of blue:
    And then methought it did appear
      A violet dropping dew.
                         --LORD BYRON.

    Oh Stream of Life! the violet springs
      But once beside thy bed;
    But one brief summer, on thy path,
      The dews of heaven are shed.
                         --WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.

    Whate’er the baffling power
    Sent anger and earthquake, and a thousand ills--
    It made the violet flower,
    And the wide world with breathless beauty thrills.
                         --RICHARD WATSON GILDER.


    The morning star of all the flowers
        The virgin, virgin violet.
                         --LORD BYRON.


    O Winter, thou art warm at heart;
      Thine every pulse doth throb and glow,
    And thou dost feel life’s joy and smart,
      Beneath the blinding snow.

    Thine is the scent of bursting bud,
      Of April shower and violet;
    Thou feelest spring in all thy blood
      Yearn up like sweet regret.
                         --JAMES BENJAMIN KENYON.

    Bare are the places where the sweet flowers dwelt.
    What joy sufficient hath November felt,
    What profit from the violets’ day of pain?
                         --HELEN HUNT JACKSON.

    Pluck the others, but still remember
    Their herald out of dim December--
    The morning-star of all the flowers,
    The pledge of daylight’s lengthened hours;
    Nor, midst the roses, e’er forget
    The virgin, virgin violet.
                         --LORD BYRON.

        Violet, little violet,
    Brave and true and sweet thou art.
    May is in thy sunny heart,
        Maiden violet.
    Gentle as the summer day,
    Wintry storms bring no dismay,
        Winsome violet.
    All the days to thee are spring,
    Thine own sunshine dost thou bring,
        Violet, faithful violet!

    Only in dreams thy love comes back,
      And fills my soul with joy divine.
    Only in dreams I feel thy heart
      Once more beat close to mine.

    Only in blissful dreams of spring,
      And sunny banks of violet blue,
    The past folds back its curtain dim
      And memory shows thine image true.
                         --MELVILLE M. BIGELOW.

    Winter is come again. There is no voice
    Of waters with beguiling for your ear,
    And the cool forest and the meadows green
    Witch not your feet away; and in the dells
    There are no violets.
                         --NATHANIEL P. WILLIS.

    Once more, dear friend, the violet bank we seek,
      And tread with joy our old familiar ways.
                         --JESSIE CUNNINGHAM HOWDEN.

    Cheek o’er cheek, and with red so tender
      Rippling bright through the gypsy brown,
    Just to see how a lady’s splendor
      Shone the heads of the daffodils down.
    Winds through the violets’ misty covering
      Now kissed the white ones and now the blue,
    Sang the redbreast over them hovering
      All as the world were but just made new.
                         --ALICE CARY.

    That come before the swallow dares, and take
    The winds of March with beauty; violets, dim
    But sweeter than the lids of Juno’s eyes
    Or Cytherea’s breath.
                         --WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE.

    Could you not come when woods are green?
    Could you not come when lambs are seen?
    When the primrose laughs from its child-like sleep,
    And the violets hide and the bluebells peep?
                         --ALFRED AUSTIN.

    Thy face is like the violet’s
      That to the red rose lingers close,
    And he who looks at thee forgets
      The honeyed sweetness of the rose.
                         --JOEL BENTON.

    He gave her the wildwood roses
      And violets for her wreath,
    And a whisper at last of sweet response
      Stole on her perfumed breath.
                         --FRANCES L. MACE.

          Come not, O sweet days,
        Out of yon cloudless blue,
    Ghosts of so many dear remembered Mays,
    With faces like dead lovers, who died true.
    Come not, lest we go seek with eyes all wet,
          Primrose and violet,
          Forgetting that they lie
    Deep in the mould till winter has gone by.
                         --DINAH MARIA MULOCH CRAIK.

      Blighting and blowing--blighting and blowing--
    And the stones of the rivulet silent lie,
    And the winds in the fading woodlands cry,
      And the birds in the clouds are going;
    And the dandelion hides his gold,
    And their little blue tents the violets fold,
        And the air is gray with snowing:
        So life keeps coming and going.
                         --ALICE CARY.

    Dear chance it were in some rough wood-god’s lair
       ·      ·      ·      ·      ·      ·
    To sink o’erdrowsed, and dream that wild-flowers blew
    Around my head and feet silently there,
      Till spring’s glad choir adown the valley pealed
        And violets trembled in the morning dew.
                         --EDWARD DOWDEN.

    The sunbeams kiss askant the sombre hill,
    The naked woodbine climbs the window-sill,
    The breaths that noon exhales are faint and chill.

    Tread lightly where the dainty violets blew,
    Where to spring winds their soft eyes open flew;
    Safely they sleep the churlish winter through.

    Though all life’s portals are indiced with woe,
    And frozen pearls are all the world can show,
    Feel! Nature’s breath is warm beneath the snow!

    You’ll look at least on love’s remains,
        A grave’s one violet?
    Your look?--that pays a thousand pains.
        What’s death? You’ll love me yet!
                         --ROBERT BROWNING.

    Out of every shadowy nook
    Spirit faces seem to look,
    Some with smiling eyes, and some
    With a sad entreaty dumb;
    He who shepherded his sheep
    On the wild Sicilian steep,
    He above whose grave are set
    Sprays of Roman violet;
    Poets, sages,--all who wrought
    In the crucible of thought.
                         --CLINTON SCOLLARD.

    A fair little girl sat under a tree
    Sewing as long as her eyes could see;
    Then smoothed her work and folded it right,
    And said, “Dear work, good night, good night!”

    The tall pink foxglove bowed his head;
    The violets curtsied and went to bed;
    And good little Lucy tied up her hair,
    And said, on her knees, her favorite prayer.
                         --RICHARD MONCKTON MILNES.

    My banks they are furnished with bees,
      Whose murmur invites one to sleep;
    My grottoes are shaded with trees,
      And my hills are white over with sheep;
    I seldom have met with a loss,
      Such health do my fountains bestow;
    My fountains all bordered with moss,
      Where the harebells and violets grow.
                         --WILLIAM SHENSTONE.

    Where the fern in gladness dances
      On the banks of dimpled burns,
    Where the streamlet’s bright wave glances
      When the spring returns;
    White as winter’s spotless drift
    There our faces we uplift.
    Still we see the stars above us,
    Still we trust, because they love us--
      Are they flowers in the sky,
      Violets that have learned to fly?
    We believe, and hope, and trust,
    Know that He who made is just,
      And He never will forsake us
    While we’re white and pure of heart.
       Sister, maiden Sister, take us--
         One of us thou art!
                         --WILLIS BOYD ALLEN.

    O violets, sweet blue eyes of the spring!
                         --DEXTER SMITH.

    Here’s the violet’s modest blue,
    That ’neath hawthorns hides from view.
    While they choose each lovely spot,
    The sun disdains them not;
    So I’ve brought the flowers to plead
      And win a smile from thee.
                         --JOHN CLARE.

    Last night I found the violets
      You sent me once across the sea;
    From gardens that the winter frets,
      In summer lands they came to me.

    Still fragrant of the English earth,
      Still hurried from the frozen dew,
    To me they spoke of Christmas mirth,
      They spoke of England, spoke of you.
                         --ANDREW LANG.

    Darling, walk with me this morn;
      Let your brown tresses drink its sheen;
    These violets, within them worn,
      Of floral fays shall make you queen.
                         --EDMUND CLARENCE STEDMAN.

    O faint, delicious, springtime violet!
        Thine odor, like a key,
    Turns noiselessly in memory’s wards to let
        A thought of sorrow free.
                         --WILLIAM W. STORY.

    The violet, Spring’s little infant, stands
    Girt in thy purple swaddling-bands;
    On the fair tulip thou dost dote,
    Thou cloth’st it in a gay and party-colored coat.
                         --ABRAHAM COWLEY.

    Under the larch with its tassels wet,
    While the early sunbeams lingered yet,
    In the rosy dawn my love I met.

    Under the larch when the sun was set,
    He came with an April violet:
    Forty years--and I have it yet.

    Out of life with its fond regret,
    What have love and memory yet?
    Only an April violet.

    Good-bye to the red rose that is your mouth,
      The tender violets that are your sigh;
    The sweetness that you are--that is my South--
      Ah, not too soon, Enchantress, do I fly!--
        Tell me good-bye!
                         --RICHARD WATSON GILDER.

    Through the deep drifts the south wind breathed its way
      Down to the earth’s green face; the air grew warm,
      The snowdrops had regained their lovely charm;
    The world had melted round them in a day:
    My full heart longed for violets.
                         --CHARLES TENNYSON-TURNER.

    The sweetness of the violet’s deep blue eyes,
    Kissed by the breath of heaven, seems colored by its skies.
                         --LORD BYRON.

    When we were children we would say,--
      “I like the coming of the spring,
    I like the violets of May,
      I like, why, almost everything
      That March and May and April bring.”
    But now we value less the rose,
      And care not when the birds take wing.
    We like the winter and the snows.
                         --JAMES BERRY BENSEL.

    So long as there’s a sun that sets,
    Primroses will have their glory;
    Long as there are violets
    They will have a place in story.
                         --WILLIAM WORDSWORTH.

    Go, azure myrtle blossom,
      Go, violets and jasmine fair,
      And star the darkness of her hair,
    Or faint against her bosom.
                         --GRACE GREENWOOD.

    Bring the rathe primrose that forsaken dies,
    The tufted crow-toe, and pale jessamine,
    The white pink and the pansy freaked with jet,
    The glowing violet.
                         --JOHN MILTON.

      God does not send us strange flowers every year.
    When the spring winds blow o’er the pleasant places,
    The same dear things lift up the same fair faces--
              The violet is here.

      It all comes back: the odor, grace and hue;
    Each sweet relation of its life repeated:
    No blank is left, no looking-for is cheated;
              It is the thing we knew.

      So after the death-winter it must be.
    God will not put strange signs in the heavenly places:
    The old love will look out from the old faces.
              Veilchen! I shall have thee!
                         --ADELINE D. T. WHITNEY.


    The violets whisper from the shade,
    Which their own leaves have made.
                         --CHRISTINA ROSSETTI.


  ALLEN, ELIZABETH AKERS, 19, 30, 41, 111, 141, 147, 150
  ALLEN, WILLIS BOYD, 94, 149, 178
  ANONYMOUS, 21, 29, 42, 59, 89, 91, 103, 117, 120, 124, 129, 130, 151,
      170, 175, 181

  BAKER, ELLA M., 76
  BEERS, HENRY A., 164
  BLAKE, HOSEA G.,  20
  BLAKE, MARY E., 131
  BREWER, D. CHAUNCEY, 27, 63, 74, 129
  BROWNING, ROBERT, 111, 176
  BRYANT, WILLIAM CULLEN, 21, 22, 28, 46, 64, 72, 81, 83, 89, 123, 144,
      148, 166
  BUCHANAN, ROBERT, 16, 47, 65, 93, 160
  BYRON, LORD, 72, 158, 166, 170, 182

  CAREW, THOMAS, 63, 75
  CARY, ALICE, 28, 30, 47, 73, 115, 116, 132, 144, 146, 163, 172, 174
  CARY, PHŒBE, 109
  CARRYL, 45
  CHOATE, ISAAC BASSETT, 31, 106, 133
  CLARE, JOHN, 145, 179


  EMERSON, RALPH WALDO, 32, 34, 51, 52, 77, 96, 102

  FAXON, MARY F., 101, 135, 143, 158

  GILDER, RICHARD WATSON, 45, 166, 181
  GREENWOOD, GRACE, 18, 27, 42, 159, 183

  HAMILTON, A. E., 151
  HAY, JOHN, 95
  HERRICK, ROBERT, 78, 84, 147, 165
  HEWLETT, HENRY G., 71, 87
  HIBBARD, GRACE, 122, 144
  HOLLAND, J. G., 112
  HOLMES, OLIVER WENDELL, 49, 117, 133
  HOMER, 83

  JACKSON, HELEN HUNT, 42, 81, 141, 143, 169
  JAY, W. M. L., 96

  KEATS, JOHN, 141, 158
  KETCHUM, N. C., 120

  LANG, ANDREW, 32, 179
  LANIER, SIDNEY, 49, 124, 163
  LARCOM, LUCY, 60, 61, 64, 73, 82, 92, 97, 132
  LOWELL, JAMES RUSSELL, 24, 60, 75, 77, 110

  MACE, FRANCES L., 77, 95, 108, 122, 130, 149, 173
  MILTON, JOHN, 93, 137, 159, 163, 183
  MONKHOUSE, COSMO, 29, 92, 97
  MONTGOMERY, JAMES, 89, 162, 165
  MOORE, THOMAS, 20, 90, 162

  OAKEY, EMILY S., 21, 45, 63, 79, 91, 133, 134, 150, 161
  OVID, 94

  PECK, SAMUEL MINTURN, 58, 106, 123, 136
  PROCTOR, ADELAIDE, 31, 74, 130, 160

  REED, MYRTLE, 46, 142
  ROGERS, SAMUEL, 34, 162
  ROSSETTI, CHRISTINA, 23, 52, 62, 64, 80, 103, 145, 160

  SCOTT, WALTER, SIR, 95, 106
  SHAKSPEARE, WILLIAM, 27, 62, 93, 110, 142, 172
  SPENSER, EDMUND, 16, 108, 137, 161
  STEDMAN, EDMUND C., 117, 180
  STORY, WILLIAM W., 131, 180

  TABB, JOHN B., 67
  TAYLOR, BAYARD, 17, 80, 103, 104, 115, 159
  TENNYSON, ALFRED, 43, 50, 57, 62, 102
  THAXTER, CELIA, 29, 46, 71, 135
  THOMSON, JAMES, 83, 88
  TOLMAN, M. D., 102, 142
  TRIPP, 131

  VAN DYKE, HENRY, 43, 83
  VIRGIL, 57

  WHITTIER, JOHN GREENLEAF, 22, 71, 104, 119
  WILLIS, NATHANIEL P., 112, 134, 171

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