« PreviousContinue »
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,°
This civil bickering and debate
"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 POPLAR FIELD
THE poplars are felled, farewell to the shade,
Twelve years have elapsed since I last took a view 5
And the tree is my seat that once lent me a shade.
The blackbird has fled to another retreat,
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
'Tis a sight to engage me, if anything can,°
ON THE RECEIPT OF MY MOTHER'S PICTURE OUT OF NORFOLK, THE GIFT OF MY COUSIN, ANN BODHAM
O 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 art that baffles Time's tyrannic claim.
Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,
O welcome guest, though unexpected here!
I will obey, not willingly alone,
But gladly, as the precept were her own:
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
I heard the bell tolled on thy burial day,
Thy maidens, grieved themselves at my concern,
Oft gave me promise of thy quick return.
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.
That thou mightst know me safe and warmly laid;
The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestowed
By thy own hand, till fresh they shone and glowed;
Thy constant flow of love, that knew no fall,
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,)