By Christina Rossetti
Every valley drinks, Every dell and hollow: Where the kind rain sinks and sinks, Green of Spring will follow. Yet a lapse of weeks Buds will burst their edges, Strip their wool-coats, glue-coats, streaks, In the woods and hedges; Weave a bower of love For birds to meet each other, Weave a canopy above Nest and egg and mother. But for fattening rain We should have no flowers, Never a bud or leaf again But for soaking showers; Never a mated bird In the rocking tree-tops, Never indeed a flook or herd To graze upon the lea-crops. Lambs so woolly white, Sheep the sun-bright leas on, They could have no grass to bite But for rain in season. We should find no moss In the shadiest places, Find no waving meadow grass Pied with broad-eyed daisies: But miles of barren sand, With never a son or daughter, Not a lily on the land, Or lily on the water.
This poem was originally published in 1862 in Rossetti’s book, Goblin Market and Other Poems. It is now in the public domain.