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Appealed to many a poet's page,
To prove her right to reign.
The Lily's height bespoke command,
A fair imperial flower;
She seemed designed for Flora's hand,
The sceptre of her power.
This civil bickering and debate
The goddess chanced to hear, And flew to save, ere yet too late,
The pride of the parterre°;
“Yours is,” she said, "the nobler hue,
And yours the statelier mien: And till a third surpasses you,
Let each be deemed a queen.”
Thus, soothed and reconciled, each seeks
The fairest British fair,
The seat of empire is her cheeks,
They reign united there."
The poplars are felled, farewell to the shade,
And the whispering sound of the cool colonnade;
The winds play no longer and sing in the leaves,
Nor Ouseo on his bosom their image receives.
Twelve years have elapsed since I last took a view 5
Of my favorite field, and the bank where they grew,
And now in the grass behold they are laid,
And the tree is my seat that once lent me a shade.
The blackbird has fled to another retreat,
Where the hazels afford him a screen from the heat, 10
And the scene, where his melody charmed me before,
Resounds with his sweet-flowing ditty no more.
My fugitive years are all hasting away,
And I must ere long lie as lowly as they,
With a turf on my breast, and a stone at my head, 15
Ere another such grove shall arise in its stead.
'Tis a sight to engage me, if anything can,
To muse on the perishing pleasures of man,
Though his life be a dream, his enjoyments, I see,
Have a being less durable even than he.
ON THE RECEIPT OF MY MOTHER'S PIC
TURE OUT OF NORFOLK, THE GIFT OF MY COUSIN, ANN BODHAM
that those lips had language! Life has passed With me but roughly since I heard thee last. Those lips are thine thy own sweet smile I see, The same, that oft in childhood solaced me; Voice only fails, else how distinct they say, “Grieve not, my child, chase all thy fears away!” The meek intelligence of those dear eyes, (Blessed be the art that can immortalize, The art that baffles Time's tyrannic claim To quench it,) here shines on me still the same. 10
Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,
O welcome guest, though unexpected here !
Who biddest me honor with an artless song,
Affectionate, a mother lost so long,°
I will obey, not willingly alone,
But gladly, as the precept were her own:
And, while that face renews my filial grief,
Fancy shall weave a charm for my relief,
Shall steep me in Elysiano reverie,
A momentary dream, that thou art she.
My mother! when I learned that thou wast dead, Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed ? Hovered thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son,
Wretch even then, life's journey just begun?
Perhaps thou gavest me, though unfelt, a kiss; 25
Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss
Ah, that maternal smile! it answers Yes.
I heard the bell tolled on thy burial day,
I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away,
And turning from my nursery window, drew
A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu !
But was it such ? — It was where thou art gone
Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown.
May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore,
The parting word shall pass my lips no more!
Thy maidens, grieved themselves at my concern,
Oft gave me promise of thy quick return.
What ardently I wished, I long believed,
And disappointed still, was still deceived.
By expectation every day beguiled,
Dupe of to-morrow even from a child.
Thus many a sad to-morrow came and went,
stock of infant sorrows spent, I learned at last submission to my lot, But though I less deplored thee, ne'er forgot.°
Where once we dwelt our name is heard no more, Children not thine have trod my nursery floor; And where the gardener, Robin, day by day, Drew me to school along the public way, Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapped 50 In scarlet mantle warm, and velvet cap,
'Tis now become a history little known,
That once we called the pastoral house our own.
Short-lived possession! but the record fair,
That memory keeps of all the kindness there,
Still outlives many a storm, that has effaced
A thousand other themes less deeply traced.
Thy nightly visits to my chamber made,
That thou mightst know me safe and warmly laid;
Thy morning bounties ere I left my home,
The biscuit, or confectionery plum,
The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestowed
By thy own hand, till fresh they shone and glowed;
All this, and more endearing still than all,
Thy constant flow of love, that knew no fall,
Ne'er roughened by those cataracts and breaks
That humor interposed too often makes;
All this still legible in memory's page,
And still to be so to my latest age,
Adds joy to duty, makes me glad to pay
Such honors to thee as my numbers may:
Perhaps a frail memorial, but sincere,
Not scorned in Heaven, though little noticed here.
Could Time, his flight reversed, restore the hours, When, playing with thy vesture's tissued flowers, 75 The violet, the pink, and jessamine, I pricked them into paper with a pin, (And thou wast happier than myself the while, Wouldst softly speak, and stroke my head and smile,)