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M. Spract dei


In a valley obscure, on a bank of green shade,
A sweet little Harebell her dwelling had made;
Her roof was a woodbine, that tastefully spread
Its close-woven tendrils o'erarching her head;
Her bed was of moss, that each morning made new;
She dined on a sunbeam, and supp'd on the dew;
Her neighbour, the nightingale, sung her to rest
And care had ne'er planted a thorn in her breast.


One morning she saw, on the opposite side,
A Foxglove displaying his colours of pride;
She gazed on his form that in stateliness grew,
And envied his height, and his brilliant hue;
She mark'd how the flow'rets all gave way before him,
While they pressed round her dwelling with far less

Dissatisfied, jealous, and peevish, she grows,
And the sight of the Foxglove destroys her repose ;

She tires of her vesture, and swelling with spleen,
Cries, “ Ne'er such a dowdy blue mantle was seen !"
Nor keeps to herself any longer her pain,
But thus to a primrose begins to complain :

“I envy your mood, that can patient abide The respect paid that Foxglove, his airs and his pride ; There you sit, still the same, with your colourless

cheek, But you have no spirit, -would I were as moek."

The Primrose, good-humour'd, replied, “ If you know
More about him (remember I'm older than you,
And, better instructed, can tell you his tale):
You'd envy him least of all flowers in the vale ;
With all his fine airs and his dazzling show,
No blossom more baneful and odious can blow;
The reason that flow'rets before him give way
Is because they all hate him, and shrink from his


“To stay near him long would be fading or death,
For he scatters a pest with his venomous breath ;
While the flowers that you fancy are crowding you

Spring round you, delighted your converse to share.
His flame-colour'd robe is imposing, 'tis true,
Yet who likes it so well as your mantle of blue;
For we know that of innocence one is the vest,
The other the cloak of a treacherous breast.

“I see your surprise, but I know him full well,
And have number'd his victims, as fading they fell;
He blighted twin violets that under him lay,
And poisoned a sister of mine the same day."

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