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Such fate to suffering worth is given,
To mis'ry's brink,
He, ruin'd, sink!
Full on thy bloom,
BURNS. ROBERT HERRICK is, in his quaint way, a master of this art :
“ Fair Daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
Will go with you along.
We have short time to stay as you,
We have as short a spring ;
Flowers and love are naturally associated :
“ Sweet violets, Love's paradise, that spread
Your gracious odours, which you couched bear
Within your palie faces,
That plays amidst the plain,
Be proud to touch those places !
Whereby her dainty parts are sweetly fed,
You pretty daughters of the earth and sun,
My bitter sighs, that have my heart undone !” RALEIGH. Another of “the banished minds," has a love simile for the small flower bursting its "frosty prison :"
“ All as the hungry winter-starved earth,
Where she by nature labours towards her birth,
DRAYTOX. But there are loftier feelings associated with flowers. Love, in some poetical minds, rises into devotion to the Great Source of all beauty and joy. Never were Spring-flowers the parents of holier thoughts than are found in this
of HERBERT :-
To which, besides their own demean,
Grief melts away like snow in May;
Who would have thought my shrivel'd heart
Quite under ground, as flow'rs depart
Where they, together, all the hard weather,
These are thy wonders, Lord of power!
to heaven, in an hour;
We say amiss, 'This, or that, is ;'
Oh, that I once past changing were;
Many a spring I shoot up fair,
Nor doth my flower want a spring show'r ;
But, while I grow in a straight line
Thy anger comes, and I decline.
Where all things burn, when thou dost turn,
And now in age I bud again:
I once more smell the dew and rain ;
It cannot be that I am he,
These are thy wonders, Lord of love!
Which when we once can find and prove,
Who would be more, swelling through store,
By the side of our old poet of the English Church may we worthily place the devotional poem on Flowers of a Transatlantic bard :
“Spake full well, in language quaint and olden,
One who dwelleth by the castled Rhine,
Stars, that in earth's firmament do shine.
As astrologers and seers of eld;
Like the burning stars which they beheld.
God hath written in those stars above;
Stands the revelation of his love.
Written all over this great world of ours;
In these stars of earth-these golden flowers.
Sees, alike in stars and flowers, a part
Which is throbbing in his brain and heart.
Blossoms flaunting in the eye of day,
Buds that open only to decay ;
Flaunting gaily in the golden light;
Tender wishes, blossoming at night!
Workings are they of the selfsame powers,
Seeth in himself, and in the flowers.
Everywhere about us are they glowing,
Some like stars, to tell us Spring is born:
Stand like Ruth amid the golden corn;
And in Summer's green-emblazoned field,
In the centre of his brazen shield :
On the mountain-top, and by the brink
Where the slaves of Nature stoop to drink ;
Not alone in her vast dome of glory,
Not on graves of bird and beast alone,
On the tomb of heroes, carved in stone;
In ancestral houses, whose crumbling towers,
Tell us of the ancient Games of Flowers ;
Flowers expand their light and soul-like wings,
How akin they are to human things.
We behold their tender buds expand;
LONGFELLOW. Go then into the fields when the snow melts and the earth is unbound. Pry into the hedges for the first Primrose; see if there be a Daisy nestling in the short grass ; look for the little Celandine :
“ Ere a leaf is on the bush,
In the time before the Thrush