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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
Falls on the lengthen'd gloom, protracted sweeps-
Now meets the bending sky; the river now
Dimpling along, the breezy ruffled lake,
The forest dark’ning round, the glittring spire,
Th’ ethereal mountain, and the distant main.
But why so far extensive ? when, at hand,
Along these blushing borders, bright with dew,
And, in yon mingled wilderness of flow’rs,
Fair-handed Spring unbosoms ev'ry grace;
Throws out the snow-drop and the crocus first ;
The daisy, primrose, violet darkly blue,
And polyanthus of unnumber'd dyes ;
The yellow wall-flower, stained with iron brown;
And lavish stock, that scents the garden round :
From the soft wing of vernal breezes shed,
Anemones ; auriculas, enrich'd
With shining meal o'er all their velvet leaves ;
And full ranunculus, of glowing red.
Then comes the tulip-race, where beauty plays
Her idle freaks : from family diffused
To family, as flies the father-dust,
The varied colours run; and while they break
On the charm'd eye, th' exulting florist marks,
With secret pride, the wonders of his hand.
No gradual bloom is wanting; from the bud,
First boon of Spring, to Summer's musky tribes :
Nor hyacinths, of purest virgin white,
Low-bent, and blushing inward ; nor jonquils
Of potent fragrance ; nor narcissus fair,
As o'er the fabled fountain hanging still ;

Nor broad carnations, nor gay-spotted pinks ;
Nor, shower'd from ev'ry bush, the damask rose.
Infinite numbers, delicacies, smells,
With hues on hues expression cannot paint,
The breath of Nature, and her endless bloom.



To thee, sweet Maid, I bring,
The beauteous progeny of Spring :
In every breathing bloom I find
Some pleasing emblem of thy mind.
The blushes of that op’ning rose,
Thy tender modesty disclose;
These snow-white lilies of the vale,
Diffusing fragrance to the gale,
No ostentatious tints assume,
Vain of their exquisite perfume ;
Careless, and sweet, and mild, we see
In these a lovely type of thee.
On yonder gay enamell’d green,
That azure blossom smild serene;
Not changing with the changeful sky,
Its faithless tints inconstant fly;
For, unimpair'd by winds and rain,
I saw th' unalter'd huo remain :

So were thy mild affections prov'd,
Thy heart, by fortune's frown unmov,
Pleas'd to administer relief,
Would solace and alleviate grief.
These flowers with genuine beauty glow;
The tints from Nature's pencil flow
What artist could improve their bloom,
Or 'meliorate their sweet perfume ?
Fruitless the vain attempt! Like these,
Thy native truth,—thine artless ease,
Fair, unaffected maid, can never fail to please.



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 :
No more shall Violets linger in the dell,

Or purple Orchis variegate the plain :
Till Spring again shall call forth every bell,

And dress with humid hands her wreaths again.
Oh poor humanity! so frail, so fair,

Are the fond visions of thy early day ;
Till tyrant passion, and corrosive care,

Bid all thy fairy colours fade away!
Another May new buds and flowers shall bring :

Ah! why has happiness no second Spring ?


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