Firstlings

By Louise Imogen Guiney 1861–1920

(January 7, 1915)

In the dregs of the year, all steam and rain,
In the timid time of the heart again,
When indecision is bold and thorough,
And action dreams of a dawn in vain,

I saw high up over Bloxham vale
The ploughshare tilt to the next long trail,
And, spying a larder in every furrow,
The wagtails crowd like a dancing hail!

A second wonder there on the hill:
Beneath the hedge, I saw with a thrill
The budding primroses laugh good-morrow
From a deep cradle rocked by a rill!

Wagtail smart in his belted blue,
Primrose paying her gold ere due,—
(Out upon Winter! Down with Sorrow!)
These are the things that I know are true.

Louise Imogen Guiney, “Firstlings” from Happy Ending: The Collected Lyrics of Louise Imogen Guiney. Copyright 1927 and renewed © 1955 by Grace Guiney. Reprinted with the permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Source: Happy Ending: The Collected Lyrics of Louise Imogen Guiney (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1927)

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Poet Louise Imogen Guiney 1861–1920

Subjects Living, Winter, Spring, Nature, Sorrow & Grieving

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Louise Imogen Guiney

Biography

Louise Imogen Guiney is known for her lyrical, Old English-style poems that often recall the literary conventions of seventeenth-century English poetry. Informed by her religious faith, Guiney's works reflect her concern with the Catholic tradition in literature and often emphasize moral rectitude and heroic gallantry. Today Guiney is praised for her scholarship in both her poetry and in her numerous literary and historical . . .

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SUBJECT Living, Winter, Spring, Nature, Sorrow & Grieving

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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