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For lo! no sooner have the chills withdrawn,
Than the bright elm is tufted on the lawn;
And burst the windows of the buds in flowers;
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,
And honey from the flow'rs, and song from birds,
Ah friends! methinks it were a pleasant sphere,
Return'd in cheeks, and raciness in eyes,
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
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,
Tells us, that every blossom that we see
So that a tree is but a sort of stand,
That holds those filial fairies in its hand;
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
For hiving his sweet thoughts, and making honied
ALTER ET IDEM.
A CHEMICO-POETICAL THOUGHT.
O LOVERS, ye that poorly love, and ye
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;
Rise, truth and love, and vindicate my rhyme!
E'en he had blood, as Burns or Wallace had,
Or as the lip that makes a painter mad.