Last Updated on February 4, 2020 by Sophie Nadeau
There’s nothing more evocative than the humble little snowdrop to conjure up images of Spring and all it has to offer. It’s hardly surprising that this tiny plant has held such an important place in prose and verse over the centuries. Here are some stunning snowdrop quotes that will make you long for early spring…
Contrary to popular belief, the snowdrop did not originate in the British Isles. Instead, Galanthus Nivalis (as it is officially known in its Greco-Latin manifestation) comes from mainland Europe, most likely in the South. For more information on this humble flower, check out the history of the snowdrop here.
Nor will I then thy modest grace forget,
Chaste Snow-drop, venturous harbringer
of Spring, And pensive monitor of fleeting years!
William Wordsworth from ‘ To a Snow-Drop’ (1770-1850) – English Romantic Poet
Lone Flower, hemmed in with snows and white as they
But hardier far, once more I see thee bend
Thy forehead, as if fearful to offend,
Like an unbidden guest.
William Wordsworth from ‘To a Snow-Drop’ (1770-1850) – English Romantic Poet
Snowdrops: Theirs is a fragile but hardy celebration…in the very teeth of winter.
Louise Beebe Wilder (1878-1938) – American Gardening Writer
Everyone looks for the first snowdrop as proof that our part of the earth is once more turning towards the sun, but folklore maintains that we should be wary of bringing them into the house before St Valentine’s Day, as any unmarried females could well remain spinsters!
Carole Carlton Excerpt from ‘Mrs Darley’s Pagan Whispers: A Celebration of Pagan Festivals, Sacred Days, Spirituality and Traditions of the Year’ (1925-) – American author
The snowdrop and primrose our woodlands adorn,
And violets bathe in the wet o’ the morn.
Robert Burns (1759-1796) – Scottish Poet and lyricist
Deep sleeps the Winter,
Cold, wet and grey;
Surely all the world is dead;
Spring is far away.
Wait! the world shall waken;
It is not dead, for lo,
The Fair Maids of February
Stand in the snow!
Cicely Mary Barker ‘The Snowdrop Fairy’ (1895-1973) – English Illustrator and Author
I wonder if the sap is stirring yet,
If wintry birds are dreaming of a mate,
If frozen snowdrops feel as yet the sun
And crocus fires are kindling one by one:
Sing robin, sing:
I still am sore in doubt concerning Spring
Christina Rossetti – from ‘ The First Spring Day’ (1830-1894) – English Poet
Fair-handed Spring unbosoms every grace;
Throws out the snowdrop and crocus first,
The daisy, primrose, violet darkly blue,
And polyanthus of unnumbered dyes,
The yellow wallflower, stained with iron brown.
James Thomson – from ‘The Seasons, Spring’ (1700-1748) – Scottish poet and playwright
Winter’s gloomy night withdrawn,
Lo! the young romantic Hours
Search the hill, the dale, the lawn,
To behold the snow-drop white
Start to light,
And shine in Flora’s desert bowers,
Beneath the vernal dawn,
The Morning Star of Flowers!
James Montgomery from ‘The Snow-Drop’ (1771-1854) – Scottish-born poet and hymn writer
White rose in red rose-garden
Is not so white;
Snowdrops that plead for pardon
And pine for fright
Because the hard East blow
Over their maiden rows
Grow not as this face grows from pale to bright.
Algernon Charles Swinburne from ‘Before the Mirror’ (1837-1909) – English poet, playwright and novelist