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To swell the reddening fruit that even now
Breathes a slight fragrance from the sunny slope.
But thou art of a gayer fancy. Well-
Let then the gentle Manitou of flowers,
Lingering amid the blooming waste he loves,
Though all his swarthy worshipers are gone-
Slender and small his rounded cheek all brown
And ruddy with the sunshine ; let him come
On summer mornings, when the blossoms wake,
And part with little hands the spiky grass ;
And touching with his cherry lips the edge
Of these bright beakers, drain the gathered dew.
W. C. BAYANT.
The royal rose—the tulip's glow
The jasmine's gold are fair to see ;
But while the graceful grasses grow,
Oh, gather them for me!
The pansy's gold and purple wing,
The snowdrop's smile may light the lea ;
But while the fragrant grasses spring,
My wreath of them shall be !
FRANCES S. Osgood.
When a daffodil I see
Hanging down his head toward me,
Guess I may what I may be :
First, I shall decline my head ;
Secondly, I shall be dead;
Lastly, safely buried.
ROBERT HERRICK, 1591.
GRASS. Is all grass ? Make you no distinction ? No; all is grass; or if you will have some other name, be it so. Once, this is true, that all flesh is grass; and if that glory which shines so much in your eyes must have a difference, then this is all that it can have--it is but the flower of that same grass ; somewhat above the common grass in gayness, a little
comelier and better appareled than it, but partakes of its frail and fading nature. It hath no privilege nor immunity that way; yea, of the two is less durable, and usually shorter lived ; at the last it decays with it. “ The grass withereth; and the flower thereof fadeth away.”
ARCHBISHOP LEIGHTON, 1613–1694.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay :
Ten thousand saw I at a glance
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee :
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company ;
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought :
For oft, when on my couch I lie,
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye,
Which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
W. WORDS WORTII.
SILENT nymph, with curious eye!
Who, the purple evening, lie
On the mountain's lonely van,
Beyond the noise of busy man;
form of things,
While the yellow linnet sings;
Or the tuneful nightingale,
Charms the forest with her tale;
Come, with all thy various hues,
Come, and aid thy sister Muse;
Now, while Phoebus riding high,
Gives luster to the land and sky!
Grongar Hill invites my song,
Draw the landscape bright and strong;
Grongar, in whose mossy cells,
Sweetly musing Quiet dwells;
Grongar, in whose silent shade,
For the modest Muses mad
So oft I have, the evening still,
At the fountain of a rill,
Sat upon a flowery bed,
With my hand beneath my head,
While stray'd my eyes o'er Towy's flood,
Over mead and over wood,
From house to house, from hill to hill,
Till Contemplation had her fill.
About his checker'd sides I wind,
And leave his brooks and meads behind,
And groves and grottoes where I lay,
And vistas shooting beams of day.
Wide and wider spreads the vale,
As circles on a smooth canal.
The mountains round, unhappy fate !
Sooner or later, of all height,
Withdraw their summits from the skies,
And lessen as the others rise.
Still the prospect wider spreads,
Adds a thousand woods and meads;
Still it widens, widens still,
And sinks the newly-risen hill.
Now I gain the mountain's brow,
What a landscape lies below!
No clouds, no vapors intervene,
But the gay, the open scene,
Does the face of Nature show
In all the hues of heaven's bow!
And, swelling to embrace the light,
Spreads around beneath the sight.
Old castles on the cliffs arise,
Proudly tow'ring in the skies!
Rushing from the woods, the spires
Seem from hence ascending fires !
Half his beams Apollo sheds
On the yellow mountain heads!
Gilds the fleeces of the flocks,
And glitters on the broken rocks!
Below me trees unnumbered rise,
Beautiful in various dyes :
The gloomy pine, the poplar blue,
The yellow beach, the sable yew,
The slender fir that taper grows,
The sturdy oak with broad-spread boughs,
And beyond the purple grove,
Haunt of Phyllis, queen of love!
Gaudy as the opening dawn
Lies a long and level lawn,
On which a dark hill, steep and high,
Holds and charms the wandering eye!
Deep are his feet in Towy's flood,
His sides are cloth'd with waving wood,
And ancient towers crown his brow,
That cast an awful look below;
Whose ragged walls the ivy creeps,
And with her arms from falling keeps ;
So both, a safety from the wind,
On mutual dependence find.
'Tis now the raven's bleak abode;
'Tis now th' apartment of the toad;
And there the fox securely feeds ;
And there the poisonous adder breeds ;
Concealed in ruins, moss, and weeds;
While, ever and anon, there falls,
Huge heaps of hoary molder'd walls.
Yet Time has seen, that lifts the low,
And level lays the lofty brow-
Has seen this broken pile complete,
Big with the vanity of state;
But transient is the smile of Fate!
A little rule, a little sway,
A sunbeam in a winter's day,
Is all the proud and mighty have
Between the cradle and the grave.
And see the rivers how they run,
Through wools and meads, in shade and sun,
Sometimes swift, sometimes slow-
Wave succeedling wave, they go
A various journey to the deep,
Like human life to endless sleep!
Thus is Nature's vesture wrought,
To instruct our wandering thought;
Thus she dresses green and gay,
To disperse our cares away.
Ever charming, ever new,
When will the lanólscape tire the view!
The fountain's fall, the river's flow,
The woody valleys, warm and low;