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If to a rock from rains he fly,

Or, some bright day of April sky,
Imprisoned by hot sunshine lie
Near the green holly,

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


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 favourite.


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



WITH little here to do or see

Of things that in the great world be,
Yet once again I talk to thee,
For thou art worthy,

Thou unassuming Common-place
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 similies,

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 humour of the game,

While I am gazing.

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.

A little cyclops, with one eye
Staring to threaten and defy,

That thought comes next-and instantly
The freak is over,

The shape will vanish-and behold
A silver shield with boss of gold,
That spreads itself, some faery bold
In fight to cover!

I see thee glittering from afar-
And then thou art a pretty star ;
Not quite so fair as many are
In heaven above thee!

Yet like a star, with glittering crest,
Self-poised in air thou seem'st to rest ;-

May peace come never to his nest,

Who shall reprove thee!

Bright Flower! for by that name at last,
When all my reveries are past,

I call thee, and to that cleave fast,
Sweet silent creature!

That breath'st with me in sun and air,
Do thou, as thou art wont, repair
My heart with gladness, and a share

Of thy meek nature!



BENEATH these fruit-tree boughs that shed
Their snow-white blossoms on my head,
With brightest sunshine round me spread
Of spring's unclouded weather,

In this sequestered nook how sweet
To sit upon my orchard-seat!

And birds and flowers once more to greet,

My last year's friends together.


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