Imatges de pÓgina

For lo! no sooner have the chills withdrawn,

Than the bright elm is tufted on the lawn;

The merry sap

has run up

in the bowers,

And burst the windows of the buds in flowers;
With song the bosoms of the birds run o'er;
The cuckoo calls; the swallow's at the door;
And apple-trees at noon, with bees alive,

Burn with the golden chorus of the hive.

Now all these sweets, these sounds, this vernal blaze,
Is but one joy, express'd a thousand ways;

And honey from the flow'rs, and song from birds,
Are from the poet's pen his overflowing words.

Ah friends! methinks it were a pleasant sphere,
If, like the trees, we blossom'd every year;
If locks grew thick again, and rosy dyes

Return'd in cheeks, and raciness in eyes,
And all around us, vital to the tips,

The human orchard laugh'd with cherry lips!

Lord! what a burst of merriment and play,

Fair dames, were that! and what a first of May!

So natural is the wish, that bards gone by Have left it, all, in some immortal sigh!

And yet the winter months were not so well: Who would like changing, as the seasons fell? Fade every year; and stare, midst ghastly friends, With falling hairs, and stuck-out fingers' ends? Besides, this tale, of youth that comes again,

Is no more true of apple-trees than men.

The Swedish sage, the Newton of the flow'rs,

Who first found out those worlds of paramours,

Tells us, that every

blossom that we see

Boasts in its walls a separate family;

So that a tree is but a sort of stand,

That holds those filial fairies in its hand;

Just as Swift's giant might have held a bevy

Of Lilliputian ladies, or a levee.

It is not he that blooms: it is his race,

Who honour his old arms, and hide his rugged face.

Ye wits and bards then, pr'ythee know your duty, And learn the lastingness of human beauty. Your finest fruit to some two months may reach : I've known a cheek at forty like a peach.

But see! the weather calls me. Here's a bee
Comes bounding in my room imperiously,
And talking to himself, hastily burns

About mine ear, and so in heat returns.
O little brethren of the fervid soul,
Kissers of flow'rs, lords of the golden bowl,
I follow to your fields and tufted brooks:
Winter's the time to which the poet looks

For hiving his sweet thoughts, and making honied




O LOVERS, ye that poorly love, and ye
That think ye love beyond sobriety,

Twine me a wreath, if but for only this,


prove the roses in the poet's kiss.

Not metaphors alone are lips and roses,

Whate'er the gallant or the churl supposes:

Ask what compounds them both, and science tells

Of marvellous results in crucibles,

Of common elements,-say two in five,—

By which their touch is soft, their bloom's alive; So that the lip and leaf do really, both,

Hold a shrewd cut of the same velvet cloth.

The maxim holds, where'er the compounds fall,—

In birds, in brooks, in wall-flowers, and the wall: The beauty shares them with her very shawl.

'Tis true, the same things go to harden rocks;

There's iron in the shade of Julia's locks;

And when we kiss Amanda's tears away,

A briny pity melts in what we say :

But read these common properties aright,

And shame in love is quench'd, and wise delight.

The very coarsest clay, the meanest shard

That hides the beetle in the public yard,

Shares with the stars, and all that rolls them on;
Much more the face we love to look upon;
And be the drops compounded as they may,
That bring sweet sorrows from sweet eyes away,
Where's the mean soul shall honour not the tears
Shed for a lover's hope, a mother's fears?

Rise, truth and love, and vindicate my rhyme!
The crabbed Scot, that once upon a time
Asked what a poem proved, and just had wit
Το prove himself a fool, by asking it,

E'en he had blood, as Burns or Wallace had,

Or as the lip that makes a painter mad.

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