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Until the hastening day
But to the even song ;
And having pray'd together, we
Will go with you along.
We have short time to stay as you,
We have as short a spring ;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you or any thing.
As your hours do, and dry
Like to the summer's rain,
Or as the pearls of morning's dew,
Ne'er to be found again.
ROBERT HERRICK, 1591.
The stream with languid murmur creeps
In Lumin's flow'ry vale:
Beneath the dew the lily weeps,
Slow waving to the gale.
“Cease, restless gale !" it seems to say,
Nor wake me with thy sighing ;
The honors of my vernal day
On rapid wings are flying.
si To-morrow shall the traveler come
Who late beheld me blooming;
His searching eye shall vainly roam
The dreary vale of Lumin.”
SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE.
I stood tiptoe upon a little hill;
The air was cooling, and so very still,
That the sweet buds which with a modest pride
Fell droopingly in slanting curve aside,
Their scanty-leaved and finely tapering stems
Had not yet lost their starry diadems,
Caught from the early sobbings of the morn.
The clouds were pure and white as flocks new shorn.
And fresh from the clear brook; sweetly they slept
On the blue fields of heaven, and then there crept
A little noiseless noise among the leaves,
Born of the very sigh that silence heaves;
For not the faintest motion could be seen
Of all the shades that slanted o'er the green.
There was wide wandering for the greediest eye.
To peer about upon variety ;
Far round the horizon's crystal air to skim,
And trace the dwindled edgings of its brim;
To picture out the quaint and curious bending
Of a fresh woodland alley never-ending :
Or by the bowery clefts and leafy shelves,
Guess where the jaunty streams refresh themselves.
I gazed a while, and felt as light and free
As though the fanning wings of Mercury
Had play'd upon my heels : I was light-hearted,
And many pleasures to my vision started ;
So I straightway began to pluck a posy
Of luxuries bright, milky, soft, and rosy.
A bush of May-flowers with the bees about them ;
Ah, sure no tasteful nook could be without them;
And let a lush laburnum oversweep them,
And let long grass grow round the roots, to keep them
Moist, cool, and green; and shade the violets,
That they may bind the moss in leafy nets.
A filbert-edge with wild-brier overtwined,
And clumps of woodbine taking the soft wind
l'pon their summer thrones ; there too should be
The frequent checker of a youngling tree,
That with a score of bright-green brethren shoots
From the quaint mossiness of aged roots :
Round which is heard a spring head of clear waters.
Prattling so wildly of its lovely daughters,
The spreading blue-bells: it may haply mourn
That such fair clusters should be rudely torn
From their fresh beds, and scattered thoughtlessly
By infant hands left on the path to die.
Open afresh your round of starry folds,
Ye ardent marigolds !
Dry up the moisture from your golden lids,
For great Apollo bids
That in these days your praises should be sung
On many harps, which he has lately strung;
And when again your dewiness he kisses,
Tell him, I have you in my world of blisses :
So haply when I rove in some far vale,
His mighty voice may come upon the gale.
Here are sweet-peas, on tiptoe for a flight,
With wings of gentle flush o'er delicate white,
And taper fingers catching at all things,
To bind them all about with tiny rings.
What next? a turf of evening primroses,
O'er which the mind may hover till it dozes;
O’er which it well might take a pleasant sleep,
But that 'tis ever startled by the leap
Of buds into ripe flowers.
Our sweet autumnal western-scented wind
Robs of its odor none so sweet a flower,
In all the blooming waste it left behind,
As that sweet-brier yields it; and the shower
Wets not a rose that buds in beauty's bower
One half so lovely ; yet it grows along
The poor girl's pathway; by the poor man's door.
Such are the simple folks it dwells among;
And humble as the bud, so humble be the song.
I love it, for it takes its untouch'd stand
Not in the vase that sculptors decorate;
Its sweetness all is of my native land;
And e'en its fragrant leaf has not its mate
Among the perfumes which the rich and great
Bring from the odors of the spicy East.
You love your flowers and plants, and will you hate
The little four-leaved rose that I love best,
That freshest will awake, and sweetest go to rest ?
J. G. C. BRAIXARD.
THE WILD HONEYSUCKLE.
Fair flower, that dost so comely grow,
Hid in this silent, dull retreat,
Untouch'd thy honeyed blossoms blow,
Unseen thy little branches greet:
No roving foot shall crush thee here,
No busy hand provoke a tear.
By Nature's self in white array'd,
She bade thee shun the vulgar eye,
And planted here the guardian shade,
And sent soft waters murmuring by ;
Thus quietly thy summer goes,
Thy days declining to repose.
Smit with those charms that must decay,
I grieve to see your future doom ;
They died-nor were those flowers more gay
The flowers that did in Eden bloom;
Unpitying frosts and Autumn's power
Shall leave no vestige of this flower.
From morning suns and evening dews
At first thy little being came :
If nothing once, you nothing lose,
or when you die you are the same;
The space between is but an hour-
The frail duration of a flower.
Philip FRENEAU, 1752-1832.
I dreamed that, as I wander'd by the way,
Bare winter suddenly was changed to spring, And gentle odors led my steps astray,
Mix'd with a sound of waters murmuring
Along a shelving bank of turf, which lay
Under a copse, and hardly dared to fing
Its green arms round the bosom of the stream,
But kiss'd it and then fled, as thou mightest in a dream.
There grew pied wind-flowers and violets,
Daisies, those pearld Arcturi of the earth,
The constellated flower that never sets ;
Faint oxlips; tender blue-bells, at whose birth
The sod scarce heaved; and that tall flower that wets
Its mother's face with heaven-collected tears,
When the low wind, its playmate's voice, it hears.
And in the warm hedge grew lush eglantine,
Green cowbind and the moonlight-color'd May,
And cherry blossoms, and white cups, whose wine
Was the bright dew yet drain'd not by the day ;
And wild roses, and ivy serpentine,
With its dark buds and leaves, wandering astray,
And flowers azure, black, and streak'd with gold ;
Fairer than any waken’d eyes behold.
And nearer to the river's trembling edge
There grew broad Ang-flowers, purple prankt with white,
And starry river buds among the sedge,
And floating water-lilies, broad and bright,
Which lit the oak that overhung the hedge
With moonlight beams of their own watery light;
And hulrushes and reeds of such deep green
As soothed the dazzled eye with sober sheen.
Methought that of these visionary flowers
I made a nosegay, bound in such a way
That the same hues which in their natural bowers
Were mingled or opposed, the like array
Kept these imprison'd children of the hours
Within my hand-and then, elate and gay,
I hastend to the spot whence I had come,
That I might there present it !-oh, to whom :
P. B. SHELLEY.
6. I must tell you a feat of my dog Benu. Walking by the river side, I observed some water-lilies floating at a little distance from the bank. They are a large white flower, with an orange-colored eye, very beautiful I had a desire to gather one, and, having your long cane in my hand, by the help of it endeavored to bring one of them within my reach. But the attempt proved vain, and I walked forward. Beau had all the while observed me very attentively. Returning soon after toward the same place, I observed him plunge into the river, while I was