'' While yet the air is keen, and no bird sings,
Nor any vaguest thrills of heart declare
The presence of the springtime in the air,
Through the raw dawn the shepherd homeward brings
The wee white lambs--the little helpless things--
For shelter, warmth, and comfortable care.
Without his help how hardly lambs would fare--
How hardly live through winter's hours to spring's!
So let me tend and minister apart
To my new hope, which some day you shall know:
It could not live in January wind
Of your disdain; but when within your heart
The bud and bloom of tenderness shall grow,
Amid the flowers my hope may welcome find. ''
-- "January,'' by Edith Nesbit