Of old, with goodwill from the skies--
God's message to them given--
The angels came, a glad surprise,
And went again to heaven.
But now the angels are grown rare,
Needed no more as then;
Far lowlier messengers can bear
God's goodwill unto men.
Each year, the snowdrops' pallid dawn
Breaks from the earth below;
Light spreads, till, from the dark updrawn,
The noontide roses glow.
The snowdrops first--the dawning gray;
Then out the roses burn!
They speak their word, grow dim--away
To holy dust return.
Of oracles were little dearth,
Should heaven continue dumb;
From lowliest corners of the earth
God's messages will come.
In thy face his we see, O Lord,
And are no longer blind;
Need not so much his rarer word,
In flowers even read his mind.