I. ‘Spring-flowers’! While you still delay to take Your leave of town, Our elm-tree’s ruddy-hearted blossom-flake Is fluttering down. II. Be truer to your promise. There! I heard Our cuckoo call. Be needle to the magnet of your word, Nor wait, till all III. Our vernal bloom from every vale and plain And garden pass, And all the gold from each laburnum chain Drop to the grass. IV. Is memory with your Marian gone to rest, Dead with the dead? For ere she left us, when we met, you prest My hand, and said V. ‘I come with your spring-flowers.’ You came not, my friend; My birds would sing, You heard not. Take then this spring-flower I send, This song of spring, VI. Found yesterday–forgotten mine own rhyme By mine old self, As I shall be forgotten by old Time, Laid on the shelf– VII. A rhyme that flower’d betwixt the whitening sloe And kingcup blaze, And more than half a hundred years ago, In rick-fire days, VIII. When Dives loathed the times, and paced his land In fear of worse, And sanguine Lazarus felt a vacant hand Fill with his purse. IX. For lowly minds were madden’d to the height By tonguester tricks, And once–I well remember that red night When thirty ricks, X. All flaming, made an English homestead hell– These hands of mine Have helpt to pass a bucket from the well Along the line, XI. When this bare dome had not begun to gleam Thro’ youthful curls, And you were then a lover’s fairy dream, His girl of girls; XII. And you, that now are lonely, and with Grief Sit face to face, Might find a flickering glimmer of relief In change of place. XIII. What use to brood? This life of mingled pains And joys to me, Despite of every Faith and Creed, remains The Mystery. XIV. Let golden youth bewail the friend, the wife, For ever gone. He dreams of that long walk thro’ desert life Without the one. XV. The silver year should cease to mourn and sigh– Not long to wait– So close are we, dear Mary, you and I To that dim gate. XVI. Take, read! and be the faults your Poet makes Or many or few, He rests content, if his young music wakes A wish in you XVII. To change our dark Queen-city, all her realm Of sound and smoke, For his clear heaven, and these few lanes of elm And whispering oak.