A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye!
Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.
She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and oh,
The difference to me!
The interesting thing about this poem to me is the check in the rhythm at the very end between the last two lines. I don’t remember the technical terms (iambic tetrameter, then iambic trimeter?), but the rhythm is very sing-song –until you try to read the last two lines. Then, you’re almost forced to make a long pause after the word “oh”, and then either pronounce the three syllables of the word “difference” very distinctly, not a normal pronunciation in current American speech anyway, or slow the entire last line of the poem down and emphasize its importance and emotional impact.
Anyway, I like the picture of unheralded, little noticed Lucy, whomever she was, who made such a difference in the poet’s life that she has been immortalized in verse.