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  4. The Yellow Violet by William Cullen Bryant
The Yellow Violet

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When beechen buds begin to swell,
  And woods the blue-bird’s warble know,
The yellow violet’s modest bell
  Peeps from the 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 humble 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’erlook the modest flower
  That made the woods of April bright.

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The Yellow Violet

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