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“Where longs to fall that rifted spire,
“As weary of th' insulting air; “ The poet's thought, the warrior's fire,
“ The lover's sighs are sleeping there.
“ When that too shakes the trembling ground,
“ Borne down by some tempestuous sky, “ And many a slumbering cottage round
“Startles-how still their hearts will lie!
“Of them who, wrapt in earth so cold,
“No more the smiling day shall view, “Should many a tender tale be told;
“ For many a tender thought is due.
“ Hast thou not seen some lover pale,
“When evening brought the pensive hour, “Step slowly o'er the shadowy vale,
“And stop to pluck the frequent flower?
“ Those flowers he surely meant to strew
“On lost affection's lowly cell; “ Though there, as fond remembrance grew,
Forgotten, from his hand they fell.
“Has not for thee the fragrant thorn
“Been taught her first rose to resign? “With vain but pious fondness borne
“To deck thy Nancy's honoured shrine!
“ 'Tis NATURE pleading in the breast,
“Fair memory of her works to find; “ And when to fate she yields the rest,
“She claims the monumental mind.
Why, else, the o'ergrown paths of time
“ Would thus the lettered sage explore, “ With pain these crumbling ruins climb,
“ And on the doubtful sculpture pore?
“Why seeks he with unwearied toil
“ Through death's dim walks to urge his way, “ Reclaim his long-asserted spoil,
" And lead Oblivion into day?
“'Tis NATURE prompts, by toil or fear
“Unmoved, to range thro' death's domain: “The tender parent loves to hear
“Her children's story told again.
“ Treat not with scorn, his thoughtful hours,
“ If haply near these haunts he stray; “Nor take the fair enlivening flowers
“ That bloom to cheer his lonely way.”
'Twas on the border of a stream
A gayly-painted Tulip stood, And, gilded by the morning beam,
Surveyed her beauties in the flood.
This fable was first published in a Collection of Letters, supo posed to have passed between St. Evremond and Waller.
And sure, more lovely to behold,
Might nothing meet the wistful eye, Than crimson fading into gold,
In streaks of fairest symmetry.
The beauteous flower with pride elate,
Ah me! that pride with beauty dwells! Vainly affects superior state,
And thus in empty fancy swells.
“O lustre of unrivalled bloom!
“Fair painting of a hand divine! “Superior far to mortal doom,
“ The hues of heaven alone are mine!
“Away, ye worthless, formless race!
“ Ye weeds, that boast the name of flowers! “No more my native bed disgrace,
“Unmeet for tribes so mean as yours!