When beechen buds begin to swell, And woods the blue-bird`s warble know, The yellow violet`s modest bell Peeps from last-year`s leaves below. Ere russet fields their green resume, Sweet flower, I love, in forest bare, To meet thee, when thy faint perfume Alone is in the virgin air. Of all her train, the hands of Spring First plant thee in the watery mould, And I have seen thee blossoming Beside the snow-bank`s edges cold. Thy parent sun, who bade thee view Pale skies, and chilling moisture sip Has bathed thee in his own bright hue, And streaked with jet thy glowing lip. Yet slight thy form, and low thy seat, And earthward bent thy gentle eye, Unapt the passing view to meet, When loftier flowers are flaunting nigh. Oft, in the sunless April day, Thy early smile has stayed my walk; But midst the gorgeous blooms of May I passed thee on thy humple stalk. So they, who climb to wealth, forget The friends in darker fortunes tried; I copied them--but I regret That I should ape the ways of pride. And when again the genial hour Awakes the painted tribes of light, I`ll not o`er look the modest flower That made the woods of April bright.
- by William Cullen Bryant (1794 - 1878), "The Yellow Violet", from Poems, first published 1821 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by John C. Heiss (b. 1938), "The Yellow Violet", published 1978 [mezzo-soprano, flute, clarinet, violin, violoncello, piano], from Songs of Nature [text not verified]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]