Ready For Duty

Daffy-down-dilly came up in the cold
Through the brown mold,
Although the March breezes blew keen on her face,
Although the white snow lay on many a place.

Daffy-down-dilly had heard under ground
The sweet rushing sound
Of the streams, as they burst off their white winter chains,
Of the whistling spring winds, and the pattering rains.

“Now then,” thought Daffy, deep down in her heart,
“It’s time I should start!”
So she pushed her soft leaves straight up through the ground,
Till she came to the surface and then she looked round.

There was snow all about her, gray clouds overhead;
The trees all looked dead.
Then how do you think Daffy-down-dilly felt,
When the sun would not shine, and the ice would not melt?

“Cold weather!” said Daffy, still working away;
“The earth’s hard today!
But unless I can manage to lift up my head,
The people will think that Spring herself ‘s dead!”

So little by little, she brought her leaves out,
All clustered about;
And then her bright flowers began to unfold,
Till Daffy stood robed in her spring green and gold.

Oh, Daffy-down-dilly, so brave and so true !
I wish all were like you !
So ready for duty in all sorts of weather,
And holding forth courage and beauty together.

– Anna B. Warner

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