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TABLES OF FLORA.



** Ill-fated flower, at eve to blow,"

In pity's simple thought he cries,
*' Thy bosom must not feel the glow

** Of splendid suns, or smiling skies.

*' Nor thee, the vagrants of the field,
" The hamlet's little train behold :

** Their eyes to sweet oppression yield,
*' When thine the falling shades unfold.

** Nor thee the hasty shepherd heeds,

** When love has fill'd his heart with cares,

'* For flowers he rifles all the meads,

*' For waking flowers — but thine forbears.

*' A'n! waste no more that beauteous bloom
** On night's chill shade, that fragrant breathy

** Let smiling suns those gems illume !
** Fair flower, to live unseen is death."'

Soft as the voice of vernal gales

That o'er the bending meadow blow.

Or streams that steal thro' even vales.
And murmur that they move so slow-:

Deep In her unfrequented bovver.
Sweet Philomela pour'd her strain ;

The bird of eve approv'd her flower.
And answer'd thus the anxious swain.



10 FABLES OF FLORA.



Live unseen !
By moonlight shades, in vallevs green,^

Lovely flower, we'll live unseen.
Of our pleasures deem not lighlUv
Laughing day may look more sprighth'.
But I love the modest mien.
Still I love the modest mien
Of gentle evening fair, and her star-train'd queen.

Didst thou, shepherd, never find.

Pleasure is of pensive kind ^

Has thy cottage never knoAvir

That she loves to live alone ?

Dost thou not at evening hour

Feel some soft and secret power.

Gliding o'er thy yielding mind.

Leave sweet serenity behind ;

"While all disarm'd, the cares of day

Steal thro' the falling gloom away ?

Love to think thv lot was laid

In this undistinguish'd shade.

Far from the world's infectious view.

Thy little virtues safely blew.

Go, and in day's more dangerous hour.

Guard thv emblematic fiower.



TABLES OF FLORA. 11



FABLE III.



THE

LAUREL AND THE REED.

The * reed that once the shepherd blew
On old Cephisus' hallovv'd side.
To Sylla's cruel bow apply'd.

Its inoffensive master slew.

Stay, bloody soldier, stay thy hand.
Nor take the shepherd's gentle breath :

Thy rage let innocence withstand;
Let music soothe the thirst of death.

He frown'd — He bade the arrow fly —
The arrow smote the tuneful swain ;

No more its tone his Hp shall try.
Nor wake its vocal soul aq;aia.



Cephisus, from his sedgy urn.

With woe beheld the sanguine deed ;

He mourn'd, and, as they heard him mourn,
Assenting sigh'd each trembling reed.



* The reeds on the banks of the Cephisus, of which the
ihepherds made their pipes, Sylla's soldiers used for arrows.



FABLES OF FLORA.



*• Fair ofi'spring of my waves," he cried ;

** That bind my brows, my banks adornj
*^ Pride of the plains, t!ie rivers' pride,

*' For music, peace, and beauty born!

*' Ah ! what, unlieedful have we done?

'* What daemons here in death delight?
•* What fiends that curse the social sun ?

** What furies ofinferncJ nighi?

" See, see my peaceful shepherds bleed!

" Each heart in harmony that vv'd,
" Smote bv its own melodious reed,

♦* Lies cold, along my blushing side.

** Back, to your urn, my waters, fly 3
*' Or find in earth some secret way ;

«* For horror dims yon conscious sky,
** And hell has issu'd into day."

Thro' Delphi's holy depth of shade
The sympathetic sorrows ran ;

While in his dim and mournful glade
The Genius of her groves began :

*' In vain Cephisus sighs to save

** The swain that loves his watry mead,

" And weeps to see his reddening wave,
•' And mourns for his perverted reed •



FABLES OF FLORA. l3



" In vain my violated groves

** Must I with equal grief bewail,

*' While desolation sternly roves,
*' And bids the sanguine hand assail.

" God of the genial stream, behold
" My laurel shades of leaves so bare!

'* Those leaves no poet's brows enfold,
*' Nor bind Apollo's golden hair.

" Like thy fair offspring, misapply'd,
" Far other purpose they supply ;

" The murderer's burning cheek to hide,
*' And on his frownful temples die.

'' Yet deem not these of Pluto's race,
*' Whom wounded Naturfe sues in vain ;

^' Pluto disclaims the dire disgrace,

*' And cries, indignant. They are men.



14 FABLES OF FLORA.



FABLE IV.



THE

GARDEN ROSE AND THE WILD ROSE.



As Dee, whose current, free from stain.
Glides fair o'er Merioneth's plain.
By mountains forc'd his way to steer
Along the lake of Pimble ]Mere,
Darts swiftly thro' the stagnant mass,
His waters trembling as they pass.
And leads his lucid waves below,
Unmix'd, unsullied as they flow —
So clear thro' life's tumultuous tide.
So free could Thought and Fancy glide ;
Could Hope as sprightly hold her course.
As first she left her native source,
Unsought in her romantic cell
The keeper of her dreams might dwell.

But ah ! they will not, will not last —
VlTien life's first fairy stage is past.
The glowing hand of Hope is cold 3
And Fancy lives not to be old.



TABLES OF FLORA. M

Darker, and darker all before ;
We turn the former prospect o'er ;
And find in Memory's faithful eye
Our little stock of pleasures lie.

Come, then ; thy kind recesses ope I
Fair keeper of the dreams of Plope !
Come with thy visionary train ;
And bring my morning scenes again !
To Enons wild and silent shade.
Where oft my lonely youth was laid ;
What time the woodland Genius came.
And touch'd me with his holy flame. —

Or, where the hermit, Bela, leads
Her waves thro' solitary meads ;
And only feeds the desart-flower.
Where once she sooth'd my slumbering hour ;
Or rousd by Stainmore's wintry sky.
She wearies echo with her cry ;
And oft, v.hat storms her bosom tear.
Her deeply-wounded banks declare. —

Where Eden's fairer waters flow.
By Milton's bower, or Osty's brow.
Or Brockley's alder-shaded cave.
Or, winding round the Druid's grave.
Silently glide, with pious fear
To sound his holy slumbers near. —



l6 FABLES OF FLORA.



To these fair scenes of Fancy's reign,
O Memory! bear me once again :
For, when life's varied scenes are past,
'Tis simple Nature charms at last.



'Twas thus of old a poet pray'd ;

Til' indulgent power his pray'r approv'd.
And, ere the gather'd rose could fade,

Restor'd him to the scenes he lov'd.

A Rose, the poet's flivourite flower.
From Flora's cultur'd walks he bore ;

No fairer bloom'd in Eshers bower.
Nor Prior's charming Chlce wore.

No fairer flowers could Fancy twine

To hide Anacreon's snowy hair ;
For there Almeria's bloom divine.

And Elliot's sweetest blush was there.

When she, the pride of courts, retires.
And leaves for shades, a nation's love.

With awe the village maid admires.

How Waldegrave looks, how Waldegrave moves.

So maneli'd much in Enon's shade
The flowers that all uncultur'd grew.

When there the splendid Rose display'd
Her swelling breast, and shinina: hue.



FABLES OP FLORA.



Yet one, that oft adorn'd the place
Where now her gaudy rival reign'd.

Of simpler bloom, but kindred race.
The pensive Eglantine complain'd.—

" Mistaken 3-outh," with sighs she said,
" From Nature and from me to stray I

*^ The bard, b}' splendid forms betray 'd,
*' No more shall frame the purer lay.

•' Luxuriant, like the flaunting Rose,
*' And gay the brilliant strains may be,

*• But far, in beauty, far from those,
" That flow'd to Nature and to me."

The poet felt, with fond surprise.
The truths the sylvan critic told ;

And, " Tliough this courtly Rose," he cries,
" Is gay, is beauteous to behold ;

** Yet, lovelv flower, I find in thee

** \\ ild sweetness which no words express,

" And charms in thy simplicity,

" That dwell not in the pride of dress."



Vol. n.



18 FABLES OF FLORA.



FABLE V.



THE

VIOLET AND THE PANSY

Shepherd, if near thv artless breast
The god of fond desires repair j

Implore him for a gentle guest,

Implore him with unwearied praver.

Should beauty's soul-enchanting smile,
Love-kindling looks, and features gay.

Should these thy wandering e\-e beguile,
And steal thy warcless heart away ;

That heart shall soon with sorrow swell.
And soon the erring eye deplore.

If in the beauteous bosom dwell
No gen lie virtue's genial store.

Far from his hive one summer-day,
A young and yet unpractis'd bee.

Borne on his lender wings awav.

Went forth the flowery world to see.



FABLES OF FLORA. 1^



The morn, the noon in play he pass'd.
But when the shades of evening came.

No parent brought the due repast.
And faitttness seiz'd his little frame.

By nature ur-j'd, bv instinct led.
The bosom of a flower he sought.

Where streams mourn'd round a mossy bed,
And violets all the bank enwrought.

Of kindred race, but brighter dies.
On that fair bank a Pansy grew.

That borrow'd from indulgent skies
A velvet shade and purple hue.

The tints that streamd with glossy gold.
The velvet shade, the purple hue.

The stranger wonder'd to behold.
And to its beauteous bosom flew.

Not fonder haste the lover speeds.
At evening's fall, his fair to meet.

When o'er the hardly-bending meads
lie springs on more than mortal feet.

Nor glows his eyes with brighter glee.
When stealing near her orient breast.

Than felt the fond enamour'd bee,

When first the golden bloom he prest.
C'2



FABLES OF FLORA.



Ah! pity much his youth untry'd,
His heart in beauty's magic spell !

So never passion thee betide,

But where the genial virtues dwell.

In vain he seeks those virtues there ;

No soul-sustaining charms abound :
No honey'd sweetness to repair

The languid waste of life is found.

An aged bee, whose labours led

Thro' those fair springs, and meads of gold.
His feeble wing, his drooping head

Beheld, and pitied to behold.

" Fly, fond adventurer, fly the art

" That courts thine eye with fLiir attire ;

" Who smiles to win the heedless heart,
*' Will smile to see that heart expire.

" This modest flower of humbler hue,
'* That boasts no depth of glowing dyes,

" Array'd in unbespangled l)lue,

** The simple clothing of the skies —

" This flower, with balmy sweetness blest,
" May yet thy languid life renew :"

He said, and to the Violet's breast
The liitle vagrant faintly flew.



TABLES OF FLORA. 21



FABLE VI.



gUEEN OF THE MEADOW AND THE CROWN
IMPERIAL.

From Bactriu's vales, where beauty blows

Luxuriant in the genial ray ;
Where flowers a bolder gem disclose.

And deeper drink the golden dav i

From Bactria's vales to Britain's shore
What time the Crown Imperial came.

Full high the stately stranger bore
The honours of his birth and name.

In all the pomp of eastern state.

In all the eastern glory gay.
He bade, with native pride elate.

Each flower of humbler birth obey.

O, that the child unborn might hear.
Nor hold it strange in distant time.

That freedom e'en to flowers was dear.
To flowers that bloom'd in Britain s clime!



22 FABLES OF FLORA.



Thro' purple meads, and spicy gales.
Where Strymon's * silver waters play.

While far from hence their goddess dwells.
She rules with delegated sway.

That sway the Crown Imperial sought.
With high demand and haughty mien ;

But equal claim a rival brought,
A rival call'd the Meadow's Queen.

** In climes of orient glory born,

** Where beauty first and empire grew;

*• Where first unfolds the golden morn,
** Where richer falls the fragrant dew :

** In light's ethereal beauty drest,

** Behold," he cried, ** the favour'd flower,
** Which Flora's high commands invest

*' With ensigns of imperial power!

** Where ))rostrate vales, and blushing mead$,
" And bending mountains own his sway,

" While Persia's lord his empire leads,
** And bids the trembling world obey ;

" While blood bedews the straining bow,
" And conquest rends the scatter'd air,

" 'Tis mine to bind the victor's brow,
** And reign in envy'd glory there.

* The Icniau Strvmon.



FABLES OF FLORA. S^



" Then lowly bow, ye British flowers !

** Confess your monarch's mighty sway,
" And own the only glory yours,

*' When fear flies trembling to obey."

He said, and sudden o'er the plain.
From flower to flower a murmur ran.

With modest air, and milder strain.

When thus the Meadow's Queen began :

" If vain of birth, of glory vain,

'* Or fond to bear a regal name,
" The pride of folly brings disdain,

** And bids me urge a tyrant's claim :

*' If war my peaceful realms assail,
'* And then, unmov'd by pity's call,

** I smile to see the bleeding vale,
** Or feel one joy in Nature's fall,

*' Then may each justly vfogeful flower
** Pursue her Queen vviih gen'rous shiff ,

** Nor leave the hand of lawless powir
*' Such compass on the scale of life.

** One simple virtue all my pride !

^' The wish that flics to mis'ry's aid;
** The balm that stops the crimson tide,*

" And heals the wounds that war has mad«.

* The property of that flower.



24 FABLES OF FLORA.



Their free consent by zephyrs borne.

The flowers their Meadow's Oueen obey;

And fairer blushes crown'd the morn.
And sweeter fragrance filPd the day.



TABLES OF FLORA.



FABLE VII.



THE

WALL-FL O WE R.

** Why loves my flower, the sweetest flower
*' That swells the golden breast of May,

** Thrown rudely o'er this ruin'd tower,
*' To waste her solitary day ?

** W^hy, when the mead, the spicy vale,
** The grove and genial garden call,

** Will she her fragrant soul exhale,
** Unheeded on the lonely wall ?

*' For never sure was l)eauty born
** To live in death's deserted shade !

** Come, lovely flower, my banks adorn,
** My banks for life and beautv made."

Thus Fity wak'd the tender thought.
And by her sweet persuasion led.

To seize the hermit-flower 1 sought.
And bear her from her stony bed.



26 FABLES OF FLOILA.



I sought — but sudden on mine ear
A voice in hollow murmurs broke,

And smote my heart with holv fear —
The Genius of the Ruin spoke.

** From thee be far th" ungentle deed,
** The honours of the dead to spoil,

** Or take the sole remaining meed,

** The flower that cro'ivns their former toil \

** Nor deem that flower the garden's foe,
•' Or fond to grace this barren shade;

*' 'Tis Nature tells her to bestow
" Her honours on the lonely dead.

** For this, obedient zephyrs bear

** Her light seeds round von turret's mold,

** And undispers'd by tcmj;ests there,
*' They rise in vegetable gold.

" Nor shall thy wonder wake to see
*' Such desart scenes distinction crave j

** Oft have they been, and oft shall be

*• Truth's, Honour's, Valour's, Beauty's grave.

** "Where longs to fall that rifted spire,

** As weary of th' insulting air ;
** The j)0ct's thought, the warrior's fire,

*' The lover's sighs are sleeping there.



FABLES OF FLORA.



** When that too shakes the trembling ground,
** Borne down by some tempestuous sky,

" And many a slumbering cottage round
*' Startles — how still their hearts will lie !

'' Of them who, wrapt in earth so cold,
*^ No more the smiling day shall view,

** Should many a tender tale be told ;
** For many a tender thought is due.

*' Hast thou not seen some lover pale,

•* When evening brought the pensive hour,

*• Step slowly o'er the shadowy vale,

** And stop to pluck the frequent flower ?

** Those flowers he surely meant to strew

" On lost affection's lowly coll ;
" Tho' there, as fond remembrance grew,

** Forgotten, from his hand they fell.

" Has not for thee the fragrant thorn
" Been taught her first rose to resign ?

** With vain but pious fondness borne
** To deck thy Nancy's honour'd shrine !

** 'Tis Nature pleading in the breast,
** Fair memory of her works to find j

** And when to fate she yields the rest,
" She claims the monumental minJ.



£8 FABLES OF FLORA.



** Why, else, the o'ergrown paths of time
" Would thus the lettered sage explore,

** With pain these crumbling ruins climb,
** And on the doubtfal sculpture pore ?

** Why seeks he with unwearied toil

** Thro' death's dim walks to urge his way,

*' Reclaim his long-asserted spoil,
** And lead Oblivion into day?

** 'Tis ^Nature prompts, by toil or fear

** Unmov'd, to range thro' death's domain :

** The tender parent loves to hear
*' Her children's story told again.

*' Treat not v»-ith scorn his thoughtful hours,
** If hap'y near these haunts he stray j

** Nor take the fair enlivening flowers
** That bloom to cheer his lonelv wav/'



FABLES OF FLORA.



FABLE VIII.

THE

TULIP AND THE MYRTLE.



'TwAs on the border of a stream

A gaily-painted Tulip stood.
And, gilded by the morning beam,

Survey'd her beauties in the flood.

And sure, more lovely to behold,
]\Jight nothing; meet the wistful eye.

Than crimson fading into gold.
In streaks of fairest symmetry.

The beauteous Piower, with pride elate.
Ah me! that pride with beauty dwells !

Vainly affects superior state.

And thus in empty fancy swells :

" O lustre of unri-sall'd bloom !

" Fair painting of a hand divine !
** Superior far to mortal doom,

" The hues of hcav'n alone are mine !



30 FABLES OP FLORA,



'' Away, ye worthless, formless race !

** Ye weeds, that boast the name of flowers ?
" No more my native bed disgrace,

*' Unmeet for tribes so mean as vours !



*' Shall the bright daughter of the sun
'* Associate with the shrubs of earth?

** Ye slaves, your sovereign's presence shun !
** Respect her beauties and her birth.

*' And thou, dull, sullen ever-green !

" Shalt thou my shining sphere invade?
" j\Iy noon-dav beauties beam unseen,

" Obscur'd beneath thy dusky shade!"

*' Deluded flower 1" the Myrtle cries,
** Shall we thy moment's bloom adore ?

** The meanest shrub that 3-ou despise,
*•' The meanest flower has merit more.

'* That daisy, in its simple bloom,
*' Shall last along the changing year;

" Blush on the snow of winter's gloom,
*• And bid the smiling spring appear.


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