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THE BLOSSOM

109

CVIII

TO DAFFODILS

Fair daffodils, we weep to see

You haste away so soon ;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attain'd his noon.

Stay, stay
Until the hasting day

Has run
But to the evensong;
And, having prayed together, we
Will go with you along.
We have short time to stay, as you,

We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you, or anything.

We die
As your hours do, and dry

Away,
Like to the summer's rain ;
Or as the pearls of morning's dew,
Ne'er to be found again.

Herrick.

CIX

THE BLOSSOM

LITTLE think'st thou, poor

flower, Whom I have watched six or seven days, And seen thy birth, and seen what every hour Gave to thy growth, thee to this height to raise,

And now dost laugh and triumph on this bough,

-Little think'st thou
That it will freeze anon, and that I shall
To-morrow find thee fall’n, or not at all.

Little think'st thou, poor heart,
That labourest yet to nestle thee,
And think'st by hovering here to get a part
In a forbidden or forbidding tree,
And hop'st her stiffness by long siege to bow,

- Little think'st thou That thou, to-morrow, ere the sun doth wake, Must with the sun and me a journey take.

J. Donne,

CX

TO BLOSSOMS

Fair pledges of a fruitful tree,

Why do ye fall so fast?

Your date is not so past
But you may stay yet here awhile
To blush and gently smile,

And go at last.

What! were ye born to be

An hour or half's delight,

And so to bid good night?
'Twas pity Nature brought you forth
Merely to show your worth

And lose you quite.

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But you are lovely leaves, where we

May read how soon things have

Their end, though ne'er so brave: And after they have shown their pride

Like you awhile, they glide

Into the grave.

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CXII

THE ROSE

A Rose, as fair as ever saw the North,
Grew in a little garden all alone;
A sweeter flower did Nature ne'er put forth,
Nor fairer garden yet was never known:
The maidens danced about it morn and noon,
And learnèd bards of it their ditties made;
The nimble fairies by the pale-faced moon
Water'd the root and kiss'd her pretty shade.
But well-a-day !—the gardener careless grew;
The maids and fairies both were kept away,
And in a drought the caterpillars threw
Themselves

upon

the bud and every spray. God shield the stock ! If heaven send no supplies, The fairest blossom of the garden dies.

Wm. Browne.

CXIII

THE FUNERAL RITES OF THE ROSE

The Rose was sick and smiling died;
And, being to be sanctified,
About the bed there sighing stood
The sweet and flowery sisterhood:
Some hung the head, while some did bring,
To wash her, water from the spring ;
Some laid her forth, while others wept,
But all a solemn fast there kept:

A SUMMER'S EVENING

113

The holy sisters, some among,
The sacred dirge and trental 1 sung.
But ah ! what sweets smelt everywhere,
As Heaven had spent all perfumes there.
At last, when prayers for the dead
And rites were all accomplished,
They, weeping, spread a lawny loom,
And closed her up as in a tomb.

Herrick.

CXIV

A SUMMER'S EVENING

CLEAR had the day been from the dawn,

All chequer'd was the sky,
The clouds, like scarfs of cobweb lawn,

Veil'd heaven's most glorious eye.
The wind had no more strength than this,

- That leisurely it blew—
To make one leaf the next to kiss

That closely by it grew.
The rills, that on the pebbles play'd,

Might now be heard at will ;
This world the only music made,

Else everything was still.
The flowers, like brave embroider'd girls,

Look'd as they most desired
To see whose head with orient pearls

Most curiously was tyred. i Trental, a service for the dead, of thirty masses, usually celebrated upon as many different days.

H

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