To K.M.D.

In the buds, before they burst,
Leaves and flowers are moulded;
Closely pressed they lie at first,
Exquisitely folded.

Though no hope of change they felt,
Folded hard together,
Soon their sap begins to melt
In the warmer weather.

Till, when Life returns with Spring,
Through them softly stealing,
All their freshness forth they fling,
Hidden forms revealing. [606]

Who can fold those flowers again,
In the way he found them?
Or those spreading leaves restrain,
In the buds that bound them?

Trust me, Spring is very near,
All the buds are swelling;
All the glory of the year
In those buds is dwelling.

What the opened buds reveal
Tells us—Life is flowing;
What the buds, still shut, conceal,
We shall end in knowing.

Long I lingered in the bud
Doubting of the season,
Winter's cold had chilled my blood-—
I was ripe for treason.

Now no more I doubt or wait,
All my fears are vanished,
Summer’s coming, dear, though late,
Fogs and frosts are banished.

by James Clerk Maxwell

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