Lucy Larcom’s Musings on Spring

By Hannah Elder, Reproductions Coordinator

One of the best parts of my job as reproductions coordinator is getting to look through our collections every day, helping our researchers find the materials they need while also happening across some hidden gems inside those materials. Recently, I was photographing the three volumes of the Lucy Larcom diaries when I found some very seasonally appropriate poetry. Larcom was a teacher, writer, and poet whose works involved the themes of morality, religion, abolition, and her life growing up in Massachusetts. Reading through the poems in the volumes, which seem to be transcriptions of earlier drafts, I found that she often used nature as a lens through which she could understand these topics. She also used poetry to understand and celebrate nature itself.

The poem that I’d like to share today is one of those celebrations. In Spring, dated March 1847, Larcom describes some of the pleasures of spring, from the sound of blue birds to deep blue sky. Enjoy!

Spring by Lucy Larcom
Lucy Larcom’s Spring


Have you felt the south wind blowing?
Have you seen the soft grass growing?
Have you heard the blue-birds sing?
Oh! ‘tis Spring! ‘tis pleasant Spring.

In ravines fresh streams are welling.
On the tree-tops buds are swelling.
Warmly glow the cloudless skies
Blue and deep as seraph’s eyes.

Now the frogs begin their tune
Moaning to the stately moon.
And from dawn till twilight’s fall
Sounds the grouse his mournful call.

Merrily the woods are ringing.
O’er the sky gay plumes are winging.
Brightly smile and sweetly sing;
For ‘tis spring! ‘tis joyous Spring!

To keep the spring momentum going, I also pulled some sketches of my favorite element of spring: the flowers! These sketches come from the Minot Family papers and were drawn by my old friend Henry Davis Minot.

Flower sketches by Henry Davis Minot
Henry Davis Minot sketches. Clockwise from top left: Hepatica triloba; “Flowering Wintergreen” (Polygala paucifolia), Green Lily (Clintonia borealis), and Spring Beauty (Claytonia Caroliniana); 4 Painted Trillium (Trillium erythrocarpum), Dwarf Cornel (Cornus Canadensis), Goldthread (Coptis trifolia), and Starflower (Trientalis Americana); White Meadow Violet (Viola primulaefelia), Common Blue Violet (Viola cucullata), Pink Lady’s-slipper (Cypripedium acaule); Yellow Mocasson (Cypripedium parviflorum), Wood Violet (viola canina sylvestris), Yellow Violet (Viola pubescens – ? eriocarpa); Common Bellwort (Urularia sessilifolia), Clasp-leaved Bellwort (Urularia perfoliata), anenome (nemorosa), Rue- anenome (Thalictrum anemonoides); Purple Trillium (Trillium erectum), “Pitcher-plant” (Arisaema triphyllum), (True) Pitcher-plant (Sarracenia purpurea).

I don’t know about you, but these items have me even more excited for spring than I already was! May we all look forward to blue skies, bird calls, and fresh flowers.

If you’d like to place a reproductions request and fuel my future discoveries, visit the Reproductions page of our website to learn more.


    Well done, Hannah. A beautiful , inspiring poem. Thank you for including the sketches.

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