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Merely to show your worth,
And lose you quite.
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.
THE GIRL DESCRIBES HER FAWN.
WITH sweetest milk and sugar first
I it at my own fingers nursed ;
And as it grew, so every day
It wax'd more white and sweet than they-
It had so sweet a breath ! and oft
I blush'd to see its foot more soft
And white,-shall I say,—than my hand ?
Nay, any lady's of the land !
It is a wondrous thing how fleet
'Twas on those little silver feet:
With what a pretty skipping grace
It oft would challenge me the race :--
And when 't had left me far away
'Twould stay, and run again, and stay :
For it was nimbler much than hinds,
And trod as if on the four winds.
I have a garden of my own,
But so with roses overgrown
And lilies, that you would it guess
To be a little wilderness :
And all the spring-time of the year
It only lovéd to be there.
Among the beds of lilies I
Have sought it oft, where it should lie;
Yet could not, till itself would rise,
Find it, although before mine eyes :-
For in the flaxen lilies' shade
It like a bank of lilies laid.
Upon the roses it would feed,
Until its lips e'en seem'd to bleed :
And then to me 'twould boldly trip,
And print those roses on my lip.
But all its chief delight was still
On roses thus itself to fill,
And its pure virgin limbs to fold
In whitest sheets of lilies cold :-
Had it lived long, it would have been
Lilies without-roses within.
How vainly men themselves amaze
To win the palm, the oak, or bays,
And their uncessant labour see
Crown'd from some single herb or tree,
Whose short and narrow-vergéd shade
Does prudently their toils upbraid ;
While all the flowers and trees do close
To weave the garlands of Repose.
Fair Quiet, have I found thee here,
And Innocence thy sister dear?
Mistaken long, I sought you then
In busy companies of men :
Your sacred plants, if here below,
Only among the plants will grow :
Society is all but rude
To this delicious solitude.
No white nor red was ever seen
So amorous as this lovely green.
Fond lovers, cruel as their flame,
Cut in these trees their mistress' pame :
Little, alas, they know or heed
How far these beauties hers exceed !
Fair trees! wheres'e'er your barks I wound,
No name shall but your own be found.
When we have run our passions' heat
Love hither makes his best retreat :
The gods, who mortal beauty chase,
Still in a tree did end their race :
A pollo hunted Daphne so
Only that she might laurel grow :
And Pan did after Syrinx speed
Not as a nymph, but for a reed.
What wondrous life is this I lead !
Ripe apples drop about my head ;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine ;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach ;
Stumbling on melons, as I pass,
Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.
Meanwhile the mind from pleasure less
Withdraws into its happiness ;
The mind, that ocean where each kind
Does straight its own resemblance find ;
Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other worlds, and other seas;
Annihilating all that's made
To a green thought in a green shade.
Here at the fountain's sliding foot
Or at some fruit-tree's mossy root,
Casting the body's vest aside
My soul into the boughs does glide;
There, like a bird, it sits and sings,
Then whets and claps its silver wings,
And, till prepared for longer flight,
Waves in its plumes the various light.
Such was that happy Garden-state
While man there walk'd without a mate :
After a place so pure and sweet,
What other help could yet be meet !
But 'twas beyond a mortal's share
To wander solitary there :
Two paradises 'twere in one,
To live in Paradise alone.
How well the skilful gardener drew
Of flowers and herbs this dial new !
Where, from above, the milder sun
Does through a fragrant zodiac run :
And, as it works, th' industrious bee
Computes its time as well as we.
How could such sweet and wholesome hours
Be reckon'd, but with herbs and flowers !
Jack and Joan, they think no ill,
But loving live, and merry still ;
Do their week-day's work, and pray
Devoutly on the holy-day :