George Marion McClellan was an education black man (1866-19036). I'm very glad Poets.org found his poem and shared it today -- the sunny, cold, but beautiful day after a two day blizzard filled the air with gusts of small snowflakes and spread a meringue topping over the lawn outside my window. That lawn sprouts these unlikely dandelions every month of the year I've noticed. Now when I see them I will think of McClellan's poem,
A January Dandelion
by George Marion McClellan
All Nashville is a chill. And everywhere
Like desert sand, when the winds blow,
There is each moment sifted through the air,
A powdered blast of January snow.
O! thoughtless Dandelion, to be misled
By a few warm days to leave thy natural bed,
Was folly growth and blooming over soon.
And yet, thou blasted yellow-coated gem,
Full many a heart has but a common boon
With thee, now freezing on thy slender stem.
When the heart has bloomed by the touch of love's warm breath
Then left and chilling snow is sifted in,
It still may beat but there is blast and death
To all that blooming life that might have been.