Joy! the Winter’s nearly gone!
Soon will Spring come dancing on;
And, before her, here dance I,
Pink like sunrise in the sky.
Other lovely things will follow;
Soon will cuckoo come, and swallow;
Birds will sing and buds will burst,
But the Almond is the first!
Joy! the Winter’s nearly gone!
There are two little trees:
In the garden there grows
The one with the snowballs;
All children love those!
The other small tree
Not everyone knows,
With her blossoms spread flat—
Yet they’re both Guelder Rose!
But the garden Guelder has nothing
When her beautiful balls are shed;
While in Autumn her wild little sister
Bears berries of ruby red!
In April when the woodland ways
Are all made glad and sweet
With primroses and violets
New-opened at your feet,
Look up and see
A fairy tree,
With blossoms white
In clusters light,
All set on stalks so slender,
With pinky leaves so tender.
O Cherry tree, wild Cherry tree!
You lovely, lovely thing to see!
Trunk and branches are smooth and grey;
(Ash-grey, my honey!)
The buds of the Ash-tree, black are they;
(And the days are long and sunny.)
The leaves make patterns against the sky,
(Blue sky, my honey!)
And the keys in bunches hang on high;
(To call them “keys” is funny!)
Each with its seed, the keys hang there,
(Still there, my honey!)
When the leaves are gone
and the woods are bare;
(Short days may yet be sunny.)
White fluff is drifting like snow round our feet;
Puff! it goes blowing
Away down the street.
Where does it come from? Look up and see!
There, from the Poplar!
Yes, from that tree!
Tassels of silky white fluffiness there
Hang among leaves
All a-shake in the air.
Fairies, you well may guess, use it to stuff
Pillows and cushions,
And play with it—puff!
Sing, sing, sing, you blackbirds!
Sing, you beautiful thrush!
It’s Spring, Spring, Spring; so sing, sing, sing,
From dawn till the stars say “hush”.
See, see, see the blossom
On the Pear Tree shining white!
It will fall like snow, but the pears will grow
For people’s and birds’ delight.
Build, build, build, you chaffinch;
Build, you robin and wren,
A safe warm nest where your eggs may rest;
Then sit, sit, sit, little hen!
Cherries, a treat for the blackbirds;
Cherries for girls and boys;
And there’s never an elf in the treetops
But cherries are what he enjoys!
Cherries in garden and orchard,
Ripe and red in the sun;
And the merriest elf in the treetops
Is the fortunate Cherry-tree one!
Why am I “Candytuft”?
That I don’t know!
Maybe the fairies
First called me so;
Maybe the children,
Just for a joke;
(I’m in the gardens
Of most little folk).
Look at my clusters!
See how they grow:
Some pink or purple,
Some white as snow;
Big ones and small;
Not very tufty—
No candy at all!
In shady shrubby places,
Right early in the year,
I lift my flowers’ faces—
O come and find them here!
My stems are thin and straying,
With leaves of glossy sheen,
The bare brown earth arraying,
For they are ever-green.
No great renown have I. Yet who
Does not love Periwinkle’s blue?
Great Sun above me in the sky,
So golden, glorious, and high,
My petals, see, are golden too;
They shine, but cannot shine like you.
I scatter many seeds around;
And where they fall upon the ground,
More Marigolds will spring, more flowers
To open wide in sunny hours.
It is because I love you so,
I turn to watch you as you go;
Without your light, no joy could be.
Look down, great Sun, and shine on me!
Where do fairy babies lie
Till they’re old enough to fly?
Here’s a likely place, I think,
’Mid these flowers, blue and pink,
(Pink for girls and blue for boys:
Pretty things for babies’ toys!)
Let us peep now, gently. Why,
Fairy baby, here you lie!
Kicking there, with no one by,
Baby dear, how good you lie!
All alone, but O, you’re not—
You could never be—forgot!
O how glad I am I’ve found you,
With Forget-me-nots around you,
Blue, the colour of the sky!
Fairy baby, Hushaby!
’Mid scarlet of poppies and gold of the corn,
In wide-spreading fields were the Cornflowers born;
But now I look round me, and what do I see?
That lilies and roses are neighbours to me!
There’s a beautiful lawn, there are borders and beds,
Where all kinds of flowers raise delicate heads;
For this is a garden, and here, a Boy Blue,
I live and am merry the whole summer through.
My blue is the blue that I always have worn,
And still I remember the poppies and corn.
Bells that ring from ancient towers—
Give their name to summer flowers—
Do the flower-fairies, playing,
Know what those great bells are saying?
Fairy, in your purple hat,
Little fairy, tell us that!
“Naught I know of bells in towers—
Mine are pink or purple flowers—
When I set them all a-swaying,
Something, too, my bells are saying;
Can’t you hear them—ding-dong-ding—
Calling fairy-folk to sing?”
Here Sweet Peas are climbing;
(Here’s the Sweet Pea rhyme!)
Here are little tendrils,
Helping them to climb.
Here are sweetest colours;
Fragrance very sweet;
Here are silky pods of peas,
Not for us to eat!
Here’s a fairy sister,
Trying on with care
Such a grand new bonnet
For the baby there.
Does it suit you, Baby?
Yes, I really think
Nothing’s more becoming
Than this pretty pink!
August in the garden!
Now the cheerful Phlox
Makes one think of country-girls
Fresh in summer frocks.
There you see magenta,
Here is lovely white,
Mauve, and pink, and cherry-red—
Such a pleasant sight!
Smiling little fairy
Climbing up the stem,
Tell us which is prettiest?
She says, “All of them!”
“How do you do, Grape Hyacinth?
How do you do?”
“Pleased to see you, Polyanthus,
Pleased to see you,
With your stalk so straight
and your colours so gay.”
“Thank you, neighbour!
I’ve heard good news today.”
“What is the news, Polyanthus?
What have you heard?”
“News of the joy of Spring,
In the song of a bird!”
“Yes, Polyanthus, yes,
I heard it too;
That’s why I’m here,
with my bells in spires of blue.”
There once was a child in a garden,
Who loved all my colours of flame,
The crimson and scarlet and yellow—
But what was my name?
For Gaillardia’s hard to remember!
She looked at my yellow and red,
And thought of the gold and the glory
When the sun goes to bed;
And she troubled no more to remember,
But gave me a splendid new name;
She spoke of my flowers as Sunsets—
Then you do the same!
Red, red, vermilion red,
With buds and blooms in a glorious head!
There isn’t a flower, the wide world through,
That glows with a brighter scarlet hue.
Her name—Geranium—ev’ryone knows;
She’s just as happy wherever she grows,
In an earthen pot or a garden bed—
Red, red, vermilion red!
We were all of us scarlet, and counted as weeds,
When we grew in the fields with the corn;
Now, fall from your pepper-pots, wee little seeds,
And lovelier things shall be born!
You shall sleep in the soil, and awaken next year;
Your buds shall burst open; behold!
Soft-tinted and silken, shall petals appear,
And then into Poppies unfold—
Like daintiest ladies, who dance and are gay,
All frilly and pretty to see!
So I shake out the ripe little seeds, and I say:
“Go, sleep, and awaken like me!”
Early in the mornings,
when children still are sleeping,
Or late, late at night-time,
beneath the summer moon,
What are they doing,
the busy fairy people?
Could you creep to spy them,
in silent magic shoon,
You might learn a secret,
among the garden borders,
Something never guessed at,
that no one knows or thinks:
Snip, snip, snip, go busy fairy scissors,
Pinking out the edges
of the petals of the Pinks!
Pink Pinks, white Pinks,
double Pinks, and single,—
Look at them and see
if it’s not the truth I tell!
Why call them Pinks
if they weren’t pinked out by someone?
And what but fairy scissors
could pink them out so well?
Heliotrope’s my name; and why
People call me “Cherry Pie”,
That I really do not know;
But perhaps they call me so,
’Cause I give them such a treat,
Just like something nice to eat.
For my scent—O come and smell it!
How can words describe or tell it?
And my buds and flowers, see,
Soft and rich and velvety—
Deepest purple first, that fades
To the palest lilac shades.
Well-beloved, I know, am I—
Heliotrope, or Cherry Pie!
“Lavender’s blue, diddle diddle”—
So goes the song;
All round her bush, diddle diddle,
(They love her well, diddle diddle,
So do the bees;)
While she herself, diddle diddle,
Sways in the breeze!
“Lavender’s blue, diddle diddle,
She’ll scent the clothes, diddle diddle,
Put away clean—
Clean from the wash, diddle diddle,
Hanky and sheet;
Lavender’s spikes, diddle diddle,
Make them all sweet!
Our stalks are very straight and tall,
Our colours clear and bright;
Too many-hued to name them all—
Red, yellow, pink, or white.
And some are splashed, and some, maybe,
As dark as any plum.
From tulip-fields across the sea
To England did we come.
We were a peaceful country’s pride,
And Holland is its name.
Now in your gardens we abide—
And aren’t you glad we came?
“Scilla, Scilla, tell me true,
Why are you so very blue?”
Oh, I really cannot say
Why I’m made this lovely way!
I might know, if I were wise.
Yet—I’ve heard of seas and skies,
Where the blue is deeper far
Than our skies of Springtime are.
P’r’aps I’m here to let you see
What that Summer blue will be.
When you see it, think of me!
Into the Dragon’s mouth he goes;
Never afraid is he!
There’s honey within for him, he knows,
Clever old Bumble Bee!
The mouth snaps tight; he is lost to sight—
How will he ever get out?
He’s doing it backwards—nimbly too,
Though he is somewhat stout!
Off to another mouth he goes;
Never a rest has he;
He must fill his honey-bag full, he knows—
Busy old Bumble Bee!
And Snapdragon’s name is only a game—
It isn’t as fierce as it sounds;
The Snapdragon elf is pleased as Punch
When Bumble comes on his rounds!
Brown bulbs were buried deep;
Now, from the kind old earth,
Out of the winter’s sleep,
Comes a new birth!
Flowers on stems that sway;
Flowers of snowy white;
Flowers as sweet as day,
After the night.
So does Narcissus bring
Tidings most glad and plain:
“Winter’s gone; here is Spring—
If dicky-birds should buy and sell
In tiny markets, I can tell
The way they’d spend their money.
They’d ask the price of cherries sweet,
They’d choose the pinkest worms for meat,
And common Groundsel for a treat,
Though you might think it funny.
Love me not, or love me well;
That’s the way they’d buy and sell.
Through sun and rain, the country lane,
The field, the road, are my abode.
Though leaf and bud be splashed with mud,
Who cares? Not I!—I see the sky,
The kindly sun, the wayside fun
Of tramping folk who smoke and joke,
The bairns who heed my dusty weed
(No sting have I to make them cry),
And truth to tell, they love me well.
My brothers, White, and Yellow bright,
Are finer chaps than I, perhaps;
Who cares? Not I! So now good-bye.
Though I’m poor to human eyes
Really I am rich and wise.
Every tiny flower I shed
Leaves a heart-shaped purse instead.
In each purse is wealth indeed—
Every coin a living seed.
Sow the seed upon the earth—
Living plants shall spring to birth.
Silly people’s purses hold
Lifeless silver, clinking gold;
But you cannot grow a pound
From a farthing in the ground.
Money may become a curse:
Give me then my Shepherd’s Purse.
Delve into the magical world of Flower Fairies with this intricately illustrated colouring book.
With 45 stunning illustrations to colour, this enchanting colouring book is the perfect gift for any Flower Fairies fan.