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March, thou month of varied weather!

Mild and frigid joined together –

         ‘Winter,’ amorous poets sing,

         ‘Ling’ring in the lap of Spring.’

Full of  reckless threat and bluster

Thou, like daring filibuster,

         Will not yield thy fitful way,

         Though a king dispute thy sway.

Month of terror, storm, and blizzard!

Never work of skillful wizard,

         Though in magic unsurpassed,

         Surer, swifter than the last.

Period of expectation!

Link between the desolation

         And the glory of the year –

         Time of roses drawing near.

Monarch viewed in many guises

Giving, as in rare surprises,  

         While we stand with cold benumb,

         Hints of balminess to come.

March, like mortals waxing crazy

For the arbutus and daisy,

         Violet and crocus-cup

         Round our pathway springing up.

Timidly the grass is creeping,

Daffodils awake from sleeping,

         And the long-dismantled woods

         Are alive with bursting buds.

Sweetest notes are bluebirds trilling,

Leafless groves with music filling,

         To whose tuneful prophecies

         Every heart responsive is.

Fickle March! from thee we borrow

Rays of promise for the morrow;

         For are coming, soon or late,

         Perfect days – if we but wait.

Hattie Howard (1869-1955) was an American poet. Other dates of her birth include 1849 and 1860, and in most articles, the date of her death is unknown. In the preface of the 2006 collection, simply called Poems by Hattie Howard, her collection is described as such: ‘Many of the poems abound in playful humor or tender touches of sympathy which appeal to a refined feeling, and love for the good, the true, and the beautiful’ Shei is said to have had an ear ‘so attuned to metric harmony that she must have been born within sound of some osier-fringed brook leaping and hurrying over its pebbly bed.’

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

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