As now we imagine an end to night,
although the sun has not broken day,
the stars illumine winter aconite
between the shrinking drifts beside our way.
Each hanging snowdrop, swelling, shows that time
has moved beyond the winter’s hardest freeze
to sing the starving season’s softer rhyme,
the first notes in Earth’s warmer harmonies.
Although we know our hope may be betrayed,
the year’s full sum of snows far from complete,
we still believe the story that’s portrayed
by early buds that open at our feet,
for though these are but short ephemeral flowers,
they mark the end of our most desperate hours.