Poem: Hail to spring’s intrepid forerunner, the Snowdrop

Lesley Duncan
Lesley Duncan

They are finally here, popping through the slush and slurry of the winter garden. Snowdrops: those modest but intrepid forerunners of the coming spring.

William Wordsworth celebrated them in one of his most unpretentious and charming of sonnets. Here it is.




Lone Flower, hemmed in with snows, and white as they

But hardier far, once more I see thee bend

Thy forehead as if fearful to offend,

Like an unbidden guest. Though day by day

Storms, sallying from the mountain-tops, waylay

The rising sun, and on the plains descend;

Yet art thou welcome, welcome as a friend

Whose zeal outruns his promise! Blue-eyed-May

Shall soon behold this border thickly set

With bright jonquils, their odours


On the soft west-wind and his frolic peers;

Nor will I then thy modest grace forget,

Chaste Snowdrop, venturous harbinger of Spring,

And pensive monitor of fleeting years!


Thank you to the readers who have already entered for the MacCash Scots Poetry Competition. For latecomers, the closing date has been extended to February 15. Each entrant may submit three entries no more than 30 lines long, predominantly in Scots and on any subject. Send to MacCash Poetry Competition, c/o Lesley Duncan, The Herald, 125 Fullarton Drive, Glasgow East Investment Park, Glasgow G32 8FG.