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THE WINTER NOSEGAY.
What Nature, alas ! has denied
To the delicate growth of our isle, Art has in a measure supplied,
And Winter is deck'd with a smile. See, Mary, what beauties I bring
From the shelter of that sunny shed, Where the flowers have the charms of the spring,
Though abroad they are frozen and dead.
"Tis a bower of Arcadian sweets,
Where Flora is still in her prime, A fortress, to which she retreats
From the cruel assaults of the clime. Wbile Earth wears a mantle of snow,
These pinks are as fresh and as gay As the fairest and sweetest, that blow
On the beautiful bosom of May.
See how they have safely survived
The frowns of a sky so se re; Such Mary's true love, that has lived
Through many a turbulent year. The charms of the late-blowing rose
Seem graced with a livelier hue, And the winter of sorrow best shows
The truth of a friend such as you.
TO THE NIGHTINGALE.
WHICH THE AUTHOR HEARD SING ON NEW YEAR'S DAY,
Whence is it, that amazed I hear
From yonder wither'd spray,
The melody of May?
Of such a favour shown,
To witness it alone?
For that I also long
Though not like thee in song?
Of some divine command,
Of happier days at hand?
And joyless year have I,
Beneath a wintry sky.
Who only need'st to sing,
And every season Spring.
THE POPLAR FIELD.
The poplars are fell’d, farewell to the shade,
Twelve years have elapsed since I last took a view
The blackbird has fled to another retreat,
My fugitive years are all hasting away,
The change both my heart and my fancy employs,
WRITTEN IN A TIME OF AFFLICTION.
Oh, happy shades—to me unbless'd !
Friendly to peace, but not to me! How ill the scene that offers rest,
And heart that cannot rest, agree! This glassy stream, that spreading pine,
Those alders quivering to the breeze, Might soothe a soul less hurt than mine,
And please, if any thing could please, But fix'd unalterable Care
Foregoes not what she feels within, Shows the same sadness every where,
And slights the season and the scene. For all that pleased in wood or lawn,
While Peace possess'd these silent bowers, Her animating smile withdrawn,
Has lost its beauties and its powers.
The saint or moralist should tread
This moss-grown alley musing slow; They seek like me the secret shade,
But not like me to nourish wo!
Me fruitful scenes and prospects waste
Alike admonish not to roam ; These tell me of enjoyments past,
And those of sorrows yet to come.
Weak and irresolute is man;
The purpose of to-day,
To-morrow rends away.
Vice seems already slain;
And it revives again.
Some foe to his upright intent
Finds out his weaker part; Virtue engages his assent,
But Pleasure wins his heart.
"Tis here the folly of the wise
Through all his art we view; And, while his tongue the charge denies,
His conscience owns it true.
Bound on a voyage of awful length
And dangers little known,
Man vainly trusts his own.
To reach the distant coast:
Or all the toil is lost.