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VII.

TO THE DAISY.

“ Her * divine skill taught me this,
That from everything I saw
I could some instruction draw,
And raise pleasure to the height
Through the meanest object's sight.
By the murmur of a spring,
Or the least bough's rustelling;
By a Daisy whose leaves spread
Shut when Titan goes to bed;
Or a shady bush or tree;
She could more infuse in me,
Than all Nature's beauties can
In some other wiser man."

G. WITHER.

In youth from rock to rock I went,
From hill to hill, in discontent
Of pleasure high and turbulent,

Most pleased when most uneasy;
But now my own delights I make, -
My thirst at every rill can slake,
And gladly Nature's love partake,

Of thee, sweet Daisy !

Thee Winter in the garland wears
That thinly decks his few gray hairs ;

* His Muse.

Spring parts the clouds with softest airs,

That she may sun thee;
Whole Summer-fields are thine by right;
And Autumn, melancholy wight!
Doth in thy crimson head delight

When rains are on thee.

In shoals and bands, a morrice train,
Thou greet'st the traveller in the lane ;
Pleased at his greeting thee again ;

Yet nothing daunted,
Nor grieved, if thou be set at naught:
And oft alone in nooks remote
We meet thee, like a pleasant thought,

When such are wanted.

Be violets in their sacred mews
The flowers the wanton Zephyrs choose ;
Proud be the rose, with rains and dews

Her head impearling;
Thou liv'st with less ambitious aim,
Yet hast not gone without thy fame ;
Thou art indeed by many a claim
The Poet's darling.

If to a rock from rains he fly,
Or, some bright day of April sky,
Imprisoned by hot sunshine lie

Near the green holly,

VOL. II.

3

And wearily at length should fare;
He needs but look about, and there
Thou art ! a friend at hand, to scare

His melancholy.

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.*

1802.

* See, in Chaucer and the elder Poets, the honors formerly paid to this flower.

VIII.

TO THE SAME FLOWER.

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

While I am gazing.

game,

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,

Thy appellations.

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