What though thy bed be frozen earth,
Thy cloak the chilling blast;
What though no mate to clear thy path,
Thy sky with gloom o’ercast –
What though of love itself doth fail,
Thy fragrance strewed in vain;
What though if bad o’er good prevail,
And vice o’er virtue reign –
Change not thy nature, gentle bloom,
Thou violet, sweet and pure,
But ever pour thy sweet perfume
Unasked, unstinted, sure !
Written to Sister Christine from New York on 6th January 1896. Violet is the spring flower of the West. But when it blooms in late winter, ie before the advent of spring, it has to fight against the cold blast. The poem is meant to give encouragement to the disciple to stand up to adverse circumstances.