Such as she is, who died to-day,

Such I, alas! may be to-morrow; Go, Damon, bid the Muse display The justice of thy Chloe's sorrow.

MATTHEW Prior, 166+-1721.



Why do ye weep, sweet babes? Can tears

Speak grief in you,

Who were but born

Just as the modest morn

Teem'd her refreshing dew!
Alas! ye have not known that shower

That mars a flower;

Nor felt the unkind

Breath of a blasting wind;
Nor are ye worn with years ;
Or warp'd as we,

Who think it strange to see
Such pretty flowers, like to orphans young,
Speaking by tears before ye have a tongue.

Speak, whimpering younglings, and make known

The reason why

Ye droop and weep;

Is it for want of sleep,

Or childish lullaby?
Or that ye have not seen as yet

The violet?

Or brought a kiss

From that sweetheart to this?
No, no ; this sorrow shown,
By your tears shed,

Would have this lecture read:
That things of greatest, so of meanest worth,
Conceived with grief are, and with tears brought forth.



Arise, and speak thy sorrows, Echo, rise ;
Here, by this fountain, where thy love did pine,
Whose memory lives fresh to vulgar fame,
Shrined in this yellow flower, that bears his name.


His name revives, and lifts me up from earth;
See, see the mourning fount, whose springs weep yet
Th' untimely fate of that too beauteous boy,
That trophy of self-love, and spoil of nature,
Who (now transform'd into this drooping flower)
Hangs the repentant head back from the stream;
As if it wish'd-would I had never look'd
In such a flattering mirror! 0, Narcissus !
Thou that wast once (and yet art) my Narcissus,
Had Echo but been private with thy thoughts,
She would have dropped away herself in tears
Till she had all turn'd waste, that in her
(As in a true glass) thou might'st have gazed,
And seen thy beauties by more kind reflection.
But self-love never yet could look on truth
But with blear'd beams; slick flattery and she
Are twin-born sisters, and do mix their eyes,
As if you sever one, the other dies.
Why did the gods give thee a heavenly form,
And earthly thoughts to make thee proud of it?
Why do I ask? 'Tis now the known disease
That beauty hath, to bear too deep a sense
Of her own self-conceived excellence.
O hadst thou known the worth of Heaven's rich gift,
Thou wouldst have turn'd it to a truer use,
And not (with starved and covetous ignorance)
Pined in continual eyeing that bright gem,
The glance whereof to others had been more
Than to thy famish'd mind the wide world's store.

Ben Jonsox, 1574-1637. THE ROSE.

Go, lovely rose !
Tell her that wastes her time and me,

That now she knows,
When I resemble her to thee,
How sweet and fair she seems to be.

Tell her that's young,
And shuns to have her graces spied,

That hadst thou sprung
In deserts where no men abide,
Thou must have uncommended died.

Small is the worth
Of beauty from the light retired;

Bid her come forth,
Suffer herself to be desired,
And not blush so to be admired.

Then die, that she
The common fate of all things rare

May read in thee ;
How small a part of time they share
That are so wondrous sweet and fair.

Yet, though thou fade,
From thy dead leaves let fragrance rise ;

And teach the maid
That goodness Time's rude hand defies ;
That virtue lives when beauty dies.

EDMUND WALLEE, 1605-1687.


O my fountain, so fresh and cool,
O my rose, so rosy red !
Why art thou blown out so early ?
None have I to pluck thee for!
If I plucked thee for my mother-
Ah, poor girl, I have no mother.
If I plucked thee for my sister-
Gone is my sister with her husband.

If I plucked thee for my brother-
To the war my brother's gone.
If I plucked thee for my lover-
Gone 's my lover far away!
Far away, o'er three green mountains,
Far away, o'er three cool fountains !

Translated by TALVI.


Fair pledges of a fruitful tree,

Why do ye fall so fast ?

Your date is not so past
But you may stay yet here awhile,
To blush and gently smile,

And go at last.

What were ye born to be,

An hour or half's delight,

And so to bid good-night:
'Twas pity nature brought ye forth,
Merely to show your worth,

And lose you quite.

But you are lovely leaves, where we

May read how soon things have

Their end, though ne'er so brave;
And after they have shown their pride,
Like you awbile they glide,
Into the grave.




The amusements and fancies of children, when connected with flowers, are always pleasing, being generally the conceptions of innocent minds unbiased by artifice or pretense ; and their love of them seems to spring from a genuine feeling and admiration-a kind of sympathy with objects as fair as their own untainted minds; and I think it is early flowers which constitute their first natural playthings; though summer presents a greater number and variety, they are not so fondly selected. We have our daisies strung and wreathed about our dress; our coronals of orchises and primroses, our cowslip balls, etc.; and one application of flowers at this season I have noticed, which, though perhaps it is local, yet it has a remarkably pretty effect, forming, for the time, one of the gayest little shrubs that can be seen. A small branch or long spray of the whitethorn, with all its spines uninjured, is selected; and on these, its alternate thorns, a white and blue violet, plucked from their stalks, are stuck upright in succession, until the thorns are covered, and when placed in a flower-pot of moss, it has perfectly the appear. ance of a beautiful vernal flowering dwarf shrub, and as long as it remains fresh is an object of surprise and delight.



When Love was a child, and went idling round

Among flowers the whole summer's day,
One morn in the valley a bower he found,

So sweet, it allured him to stay.

O’erhead from the trees hung a garland fair,

A fountain ran darkly beneath ;
'Twas Pleasure that hung the bright flowers up there,

Love knew it and jump'd at the wreath.

But Love did not know-and at his weak years,

What urchin was likely to know ?-
That sorrow had made of her own salt tears,

That fountain which murmur'd below.

He caught at the wreath, but with too much haste,

As boys when impatient will do ;
It fell in those waters of briny taste,

And the flowers were all wet through.

Yet this is the wreath he wears night and day ;

And though it all sunny appears
With Pleasure's own luster, each leaf, they say,
Still tastes of the fountain of tears.



Fair daffodils, we weep to see

You haste away so soon;
As yet, the early-rising sun

Has not attain'd its noon.

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