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The first Violet.

‘ When heaviest lay the winter snow,
The hidden leaves were green;
Above, the bitter blast might blow,
But little cared the floweriet low,
Beneath its ample screen.

The old oak, round its shoulders bare,
Its tattered mantle drew;
Grim relic of the year's despair--
While, hopeful in its sheltered lair,
The budding violet grow.

Under blue skies and sunlight, mild
March, with its balmiest breath,
Upon the snow-drifts breathed and smiled,
And through them looked the winter's child,
Life in the arms of death.

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