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But leaves with scorn to envy's use
The insipid nightshade's baneful juice,
The nettle's sordid sting.
From all which nature fairest knows,
The vernal blooms, the summer rose,
She draws her blameless wealth ;
And when the generous task is done,
She consecrates a double boon,
To pleasure and to health.
TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY.
Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flower,
Thou's met me in an evil hour ;
For I maun crush amang the stoure
Thy slender stem :
To spare thee now is past my power,
Thou bonnie gem.
Alas! it's no thy neebor sweet,
The bonnie lark, companion meet!
Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet
Wi’ speckled breast,
When upward-springing, blithe, to greet
The purpling east.
Cauld blew the bitter-biting north
Upon thy early, humble birth ;
Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth
Amid the storm ;
Scarce reared above the parent-earth
Thy tender form.
The flaunting flowers our gardens yield,
High sheltering woods and wa's maun shield,
But thou, beneath the random bield
O'clod, or stane, Adorns the histie stubble-field,
Unseen, alane. There, in thy scanty mantle clad, Thy snawie bosom sunward spread, Thou lifts thy unassuming head
In humble guise ; But now the share uptears thy bed,
And low thou lies ! Such is the fate of artless maid, Sweet floweret of the rural shade! By love's simplicity betrayed,
And guileless trust,
Till she, like thee, all soiled, is laid
Low i' the dust.
Such is the fate of simple bard,
On life's rough ocean luckless-starred !
Unskilful he to note the card
Of prudent lore,
Till billows rage, and gales blow hard,
And whelm him o'er !
Such fate to suffering worth is given,
Who long with wants and woes has striven,
By human pride or cunning driven
To misery's brink,
Till, wrenched of every stay but Heaven,
He, ruined, sink !
Even thou who mourn'st the Daisy's fate,
That fate is thine-no distant date;
Stern Ruin's ploughshare drives, elate,
Full on thy bloom,
Till crushed beneath the furrow's weight,
Shall be thy doom.
TO THE HONOURABLE MISS CARTERET.
Bloom of beauty, early flower
Of the blissful bridal bower,
Thou, thy parents' pride and care,
Fairest offspring of the fair,
Lovely pledge of mutual love,
Angel seeming from above,
Was it not thou day by day
Dost thy very sex betray,
Female more and more appear,
Female, more than angel dear,
How to speak thy face and mien,
(Soon too dangerous to be seen)
How shall I, or shall the Muse,
Language of resemblance choose,
Language like thy mien and face,
Full of sweetness, full of grace?
By the next returning spring,
When again the linnets sing,
When again the lambkins play,
Pretty sportlings full of May,
When the meadows next are seen,
Sweet enamel, white and green,
And the year in fresh attire
Welcomes every gay desire,
Blooming on shalt thou appear
More inviting than the year,
Fairer sight than orchard shows,
Which beside a river blows :
Yet another spring I see,
And a brighter bloom in thee:
And another round of time,
Circling, still improves thy prime:
And beneath the vernal skies
Yet a verdure more shall rise,
Ere thy beauties, kindling slow,
In each finished feature glow,
Ere in smiles and in disdain
Thou exert thy maiden reign,
Absolute to save or kill
Fond beholders at thy will.
Happy thrice, and thrice again,
Happiest he of happy men,
Who, in courtship greatly sped,
Wins the damsel to his bed,
Bears the virgin prize away,
Counting life one nuptial day:
For the dark-brown dusk of hair,
Shadowing thick thy forehead fair,
Down the veiny temples growing,
O'er the sloping shoulders fowing,
And the smoothly penciled brow,
Mild to him in every vow,
And the fringed lid below,
Thin as thinnest blossoms blow,
And the hazely-lucid eye,
Whence heart-winning glances fly,
And that cheek of health, o'erspread
With soft-blended white and red,
And the witching smiles which break
Round those lips, which sweetly speak,
And thy gentleness of mind,
Gentle from a gentle kind,
These endowments, heavenly dower!
Brought him in the promised hour,
Shall for ever bind him to thee,
Shall renew him still to woo thee.
TO MISS GEORGIANA CARTERET.
Little charm of placid mien,
Miniature of Beauty's Queen,
Numbering years, a scanty nine,
Stealing hearts without design,
Young inveigler, fond in wiles,
Prone to mirth, profuse in smiles,
Yet a novice in disdain,
Pleasure giving without pain,
Still caressing, still caressed,
Thou and all thy lovers blessed,
Never teased, and never teasing,
Oh for ever pleased and pleasing !
Hither, British Muse of mine,
Hither, all the Grecian Nine,
With the lovely Graces Three,
And your promised nursling see :
Figure on her waxen mind
Images of life refined ;
Make it as a garden gay,
Every bud of thought display,
Till, improving year by year,
The whole culture shall appear,
Voice, and speech, and action, rising,
All to human sense surprising.
Is the silken web so thin
As the texture of her skin ?
Can the lily and the rose
Such unsullied hue disclose ?
Are the violets so blue
As her veins exposed to view ?
Do the stars in wintry sky
Twinkle brighter than her eye ?