Opening Leaves

Dedication to the Honourable The Marchioness of Tavistock

Georgiana Russell

Lady Georgiana, Duchess of Bedford, 2nd wife of the 6th Duke of Bedford


When Spring, as the queen of the seasons renown’d,

Through nature her beauty displays,

The vallies and woodlands with verdure are crown’d,

And echo with carols of praise.


While spangled with flowers are mountain and plain,

And the meadows new beauties assume;

Mid the splendid display of her beautiful train,

The violet’s permitted to bloom.


Content while it blows in its sheltered abode,

It seems as if anxious to please;

And grateful for favours benignly bestow’d,

It sheds a perfume on the breeze.


Thus humble and grateful my thanks have I penn’d,

Like the violet a tribute I pay,

And hope that Your Ladyship will condescend

T’ accept it as Gratitude’s lay.


How distant the thought, when at morn’s twilight hours

My fancy her theme would pursue,

That the wild strains I sang to the plants and the flowers,

Would ever be noticed by you!


The kindness which you have conferr’d upon me,

May Heaven in its justice requite!

Its goodness, combined with its own, e’er shall be

Remember’d with grateful delight.


Reproduced as written in the 1831 original copy.

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