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A SENSITIVE plant in a garden grew,
And the Spring arose on the garden fair,
The snowdrop, and then the violet,
Then the pied wind-flowers and the tulip tall,
And the Naiad-like lily of the vale,
HOW SLEEP THE BRAVE.
And the hyacinth, purple, and white, and blue,
And the jessamine faint, and the sweet tuberose,
HOW SLEEP THE BRAVE.
How sleep the brave who sink to rest
By fairy hands their knell is rung;
OBSERVE the insect race, ordain'd to keep
Lo! the bright train their radiant wings unfold, With silver fringed, and freckled o'er with gold. On the gay bosom of some fragrant flower, They, idly fluttering, live their little hour; Their life all pleasure, and their task all play, All spring their age, and sunshine all their day. Not so the child of sorrow, wretched man: His course with toil concludes, with pain began, That his high destiny he might discern, And in misfortune's school this lesson learnPleasure's the portion of the inferior kind, But glory, virtue, Heaven for man design’d.
What atom forms of insect life appear ! And who can follow Nature's pencil here? Their wings with azure, green, and purple gloss’d, Studded with colour'd eyes, with gems emboss'd, Inlaid with pearl, and mark’d with various stains Of lively crimson, through their dusky veins. Some shoot like living stars athwart the night, And scatter from their wings a vivid light, To guide the Indian to his tawny loves, As through the woods with cautious step he moves. See the proud giant of the beetle race, What shining arms his polish'd limbs enchase ! Like some stern warrior, formidably bright, His steely sides reflect a gleaming light; On his large forehead spreading horns he wears, And high in air the branching antlers bears ; O'er many an inch extends his wide domain, And his rich treasury swells with hoarded grain.
BARBAULD. THE REAPER AND THE FLOWERS.
THERE is a reaper, whose name is Death,
And, with his sickle keen,
And the flowers that grow between.
“ Shall I have nought that is fair ?” saith he;
“Have nought but the bearded grain ? Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,
I will give them all back again.”
He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes,
He kiss'd their drooping leaves; It was for the Lord of Paradise
He bound them in his sheaves.
“My lord has need of these flowerets gay,"
The reaper said, and smiled ; “ Dear tokens of the earth are they,
Where He was once a child.
“ They shall all bloom in fields of light,
Transplanted by my care,
These sacred blossoms wear.”