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Of close-ramm'd stones has charg'd th’encumber'd soil, And fairly laid the zodiac in the dust. He, therefore, who would see his flow'rs dispos'd Sightly and in just order, ere he gives The beds the trusted treasure of their seeds, Forecasts the future whole; that when the scene Shall break into its preconceiv'd display, Each for itself, and all as with one voice Conspiring, may attest his bright design. Nor even then, dismissing as perform'd His pleasant work, may he suppose it done. Few self-supported flow'rs endure the wind Uninjur'd, but expect th' upholding aid Of the smooth-shaven prop, and, neatly tied, Are wedded thus, like beauty to old age, For interest sake, the living to the dead. Some clothe the soil that feeds them, far diffus'd And lowly creeping, modest and yet fair, Like virtue, thriving most where little seen ; Some, more aspiring, catch the neighbour shrub With clasping tendrils, and invest his branch, Else unadorn'd, with many a gay festoon And fragrant chaplet, recompensing well The strength they borrow with the grace they lend. All hate the rank society of weeds, Noisome, and ever greedy to exhaust Th' impoverish'd earth; an overbearing race That, like the multitude made faction-mad, Disturb good order, and degrade true worth.
See, how the lily drinks The latent rill, scarce oozing through the grass, Of growth luxuriant; or the humid bank In fair profusion decks. Long let us walk, Where the breeze blows from yon extended field Of blossom'd beans. Arabia cannot boast A fuller gale of joy, than, liberal, thence Breathes through the sense, and takes the ravish'd soul. Nor is the mead unworthy of thy foot, Full of fresh verdure, and unnumber'd flow'rs, The negligence of nature, wide and wild; There, undisguis’d by mimic art, she spreads Unbounded beauty to the roving eye; Here, their delicious task the fervent bees, In swarming millions, tend; around, ath wart, Through the soft air the busy nations fly, Cling to the bud, and, with inserted tube, Suck its pure essence, its ethereal soul; And oft, with bolder wing, they soaring dare The purple heath, or where the wild thymie grows, And yellow load them with the luscious spoil. At length the finish'd garden to the view Its vistas opens, and its alleys green. Snatch'd through the verdant maze, the hurried eye Distracted wanders ; now the bow'ry walk
Of covert close, where scarce a speck of day
Nor broad carnations, nor gay-spotted pinks ;
To thee, sweet Maid, I bring,
So were thy mild affections prov'd,
THE CLOSE OF SPRING.
The garlands fade that Spring so lately wove,
Each simple flower which she has nursed in dew, — Anemones, that spangled every grove;
The Primrose wan, and Harebell mildly blue :
Or purple Orchis variegate the plain :
And dress with humid hands her wreaths again.
Are the fond visions of thy early day ;
Bid all thy fairy colours fade away!
Ah! why has happiness no second Spring ?