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Spring parts the clouds with softest airs,
That she may sun thee;
Whole Summer-fields are thine by right;
And Autumn, melancholy wight!
Doth in thy crimson head delight
When rains are on thee.
In shoals and bands, a morrice train,
Thou greet'st the traveller in the lane ;
Pleased at his greeting thee again ;
Yet nothing daunted,
Nor grieved, if thou be set at naught:
And oft alone in nooks remote
We meet thee, like a pleasant thought,
When such are wanted.
Be violets in their sacred mews
The flowers the wanton Zephyrs choose ;
Proud be the rose, with rains and dews,
Her head impearling;
Thou liv'st with less ambitious aim,
Yet hast not gone without thy fame ;
Thou art indeed by many a claim
The Poets darling.
If to a rock from rains he fly, · Or, some bright day of April sky, Imprisoned by hot sunshine lie
Near the green holly, VOL. II.
And wearily at length should fare;
He needs but look about, and there
Thou art !- a friend at hand, to scare
A hundred times, by rock or bower,
Ere thus I have lain couched an hour,
Have I derived from thy sweet power
Some steady love; some brief delight;
Some memory that had taken flight;
Some chime of fancy wrong or right;
Or stray invention.
If stately passions in me burn,
And one chance look to thee should turn,
I drink out of an humbler urn
A lowlier pleasure ;
The homely sympathy that heeds
The common life, our nature breeds ;
A wisdom fitted to the needs
Of hearts at leisure.
Fresh-smitten by the morning ray, .
When thou art up, alert and gay,
Then, cheerful Flower! my spirits play
With kindred gladness :
And when, at dusk, by dews opprest
Thou sink’st, the image of thy rest
Hath often eased my pensive breast
Of careful sadness.
And all day long I number yet,
All seasons through, another debt,
Which I, wherever thou art met,
• To thee am owing;
An instinct call it, a blind sense;
A happy, genial influence,
Coming one knows not how, nor whence,
Nor whither going.
Child of the Year! that round dost run
Thy pleasant course, - when day's begun
As ready to salute the sun
As lark or leveret,
Thy long-lost praise thou shalt regain ;
Nor be less dear to future men
Than in old time; — thou not in vain
Art Nature's favorite.*
* See, in Chaucer and the elder Poets, the honors formerly paid to this flower.
With little here to do or see
Of things that in the great world be,
Daisy ! again I talk to thee,
For thou art worthy,
Thou unassuming Commonplace
Of Nature, with that homely face,
And yet with something of a grace,
Which Love makes for thee !
Oft on the dappled turf at ease
I sit, and play with similes,
Loose types of things through all degrees,
Thoughts of thy raising :
And many a fond and idle name
I give to thee, for praise or blame,
As is the humor of the game,
While I am gazing.
A nun demure, of lowly port:
Or sprightly maiden, of Love's court,
In thy simplicity the sport
Of all temptations ;
A queen in crown of rubies drest;
A starveling in a scanty vest;
Are all, as seems to suit thee best,
A little cyclops, with one eye
Staring to threaten and defy,
That thought comes next, — and instantly
The freak is over,
The shape will vanish, — and behold
A silver shield with boss of gold,
That spreads itself, some faery bold
In fight to cover!
I see thee glittering from afar, -
And then thou art a pretty star ;
Not quite so fair as many are
In heaven above thee !
Yet like a star, with glittering crest,
Self-poised in air thou seem'st to rest; -
May peace come never to his nest,
Who shall reprove thee!
Bright Flower ! for by that name at last,
When all my reveries are past,
I call thee, and to that cleave fast,
Sweet, silent creature !
That breath’st with me in sun and air,
Do thou, as thou art wont, repair
My heart with gladness, and a share
Of thy meek nature !