There stands by the wood-path shaded
A meek little beggar maid;
Close under her mantle faded
She is hidden like one afraid.
Yet if you but lifted lightly
That mantle of russet brown,
She would spring up slender and sightly,
In a smoke-blue silken gown.
For she is a princess, fated,
Disguised in the wood to dwell,
And all her life long has awaited
The touch that should break the spell;
And the Oak, that has cast around her
His root like a wrinkled arm,
Is the wild old wizard that bound her
Fast with his cruel charm.
Is the princess worth your knowing?
Then haste, for the spring is brief,
And find the Hepatica growing,
Hid under a last year’s leaf!