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And wearily at length should fare;
He needs but look about, and there
Thou art ! - a friend at hand, to scare
A hundred times, by rock or bower,
Ere thus I have lain couched an hour,
Have I derived from thy sweet power
Some apprehension ;
Some steady love; some brief delight;
Some memory that had taken flight;
Some chime of fancy wrong or right;
Or stray invention.
If stately passions in me burn,
And one chance look to thee should turn,
I drink out of an humbler urn
A lowlier pleasure ;
The homely sympathy that heeds
The common life, our nature breeds;
A wisdom fitted to the needs
Of hearts at leisure.
Fresh-smitten by the morning ray,
When thou art up, alert and gay,
Then, cheerful Flower! my spirits play
With kindred gladness :
And when, at dusk, by dews opprest
Thou sink'st, the image of thy rest
Hath often eased my pensive breast
Of careful sadness.
And all day long I number yet,
All seasons through, another debt,
Which I, wherever thou art met,
To thee am owing;
An instinct call it, a blind sense ;
A happy, genial influence,
Coming one knows not how, nor whence,
Nor whither going.
Child of the Year! that round dost run
Thy pleasant course, — when day's begun
As ready to salute the sun
As lark or leveret,
Thy long-lost praise thou shalt regain ;
Nor be less dear to future men
Than in old time; thou not in vain
Art Nature's favorite.*
With little here to do or see
Of things that in the great world be,
Daisy ! again I talk to thee,
For thou art worthy,
Thou unassuming Commonplace
Of Nature, with that homely face,
And yet with something of a grace,
Which Love makes for thee!
Oft on the dappled turf at ease
I sit, and play with similes,
Loose types of things through all degrees,
Thoughts of thy raising :
And many a fond and idle name
I give to thee, for praise or blame,
As is the humor of the game,
While I am gazing.
A nun demure, of lowly port;
Or sprightly maiden, of Love's court,
In thy simplicity the sport
Of all temptations ;
A queen in crown of rubies drest;
A starveling in a scanty vest ;
Are all, as seems to suit thee best,
A little cyclops, with one eye
Staring to threaten and defy,
That thought comes next, — and instantly
The freak is over,
The shape will vanish, - - and behold
A silver shield with boss of gold,
That spreads itself, some faery bold
In fight to cover!
I see thee glittering from afar,
And then thou art a pretty star ;
Not quite so fair as many are
In heaven above thee !
Yet like a star, with glittering crest,
Self-poised in air thou seem'st to rest;
May peace come never to his nest,
Who shall reprove thee !
Bright Flower ! for by that name at last,
When all my reveries are past,
I call thee, and to that cleave fast,
Sweet, silent creature !
That breath’st with me in sun and air,
Do thou, as thou art wont, repair
My heart with gladness, and a share
Of thy meek nature !
BENEATH these fruit-tree boughs that shed Their snow-white blossoms on my head, With brightest sunshine round me spread
Of Spring's unclouded weather, In this sequestered nook how sweet To sit upon my orchard-seat ! And birds and flowers once more to greet,
My last year's friends together.
One have I marked, the happiest guest
In all this covert of the blest:
Hail to thee, far above the rest
In joy of voice and pinion !
Thou, Linnet ! in thy green array,
Presiding spirit here to-day,
Dost lead the revels of the May;
And this is thy dominion.
While birds, and butterflies, and flowers,
Make all one band of paramours,
Thou, ranging up and down the bowers,
Art sole in thy employment:
A Life, a Presence like the air,
Scattering thy gladness without care,
Too blest with any one to pair ;
Thyself thy own enjoyment.