The Wild Fritillary



Like a drooping thing of sorrow.
Sad to-day, more sad to-morrow;
Like a widow dark weeds wearing,
Anguish in her bosom bearing;
Like a nun in raiment sable.
Sorrow-bowed, inconsolable;
Like a melancholy fairy.
Art thou, Meadow-Fritillary!

Like the head of snake enchanted.
Where whilom the life hath panted,
All its purple checquerings scaly
Growing cold and dim and paly;
Like a dragon’s head half moulded.
Scaly jaws together folded,
Is the bud so dusk and airy
Of the wild Field-Fritillary !

Like a joy my memory knoweth —
In my native fields it groweth ;
Like tlie voice of one long parted,
Calling to the faithful-hearted ;
Like an unexpected pleasure
That hath neither stint nor measure ;
Like a bountiful good fairy,
Do I hail thee, Fritillary !

Mary Botham Howitt — The Wild Fritillary