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A little poetry today, written by Andrew Young, a 19th-century Scottish botanist and clergyman who is said to have seen almost every single British plant for himself: no mean feat in those days. I hadn’t come across this before, but it’s one of the most vivid evocations of the end of winter I’ve ever heard.

Last Snow
Although the snow still lingers
Heaped on the ivy’s blunt, webbed fingers
And painting tree trunks on one side,
Here, in this sunlit ride, the fresh, unchristened things appear
Leaf, spathe and stem with crumbs of earth clinging to them
To show the way they came
But no flower yet to tell their name
And one green spear stabbing a dead leaf from below
Kills winter at a blow.

As heard on Poetry Please with the inimitable Roger McGough yesterday on Radio 4.