(Written to a Western lady-disciple from New York, 6th January 1896.)

What though thy bed be frozen earth,
        Thy cloak the chilling blast;
What though no mate to cheer thy path,
        Thy sky with gloom o'ercast;

What though if 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!