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Think how ye prospered, thou and thine,
Amid the unviolated grove
In foresight, or in love.
LOVE LIES BLEEDING.
[It has been said that the English, though their country has
produced so many great poets, is now the most unpoetical nation in Europe. It is probably true ; for they have more temptation to become so than any other European people. Trade, commerce, and manufactures, physical science, and mechanic arts, out of which so much wealth has arisen, have made our countrymen infinitely less sensible to movements of imagination and fancy than were our forefathers in their simple state of society. How touching and beautiful were, in most instances, the names they gave to our indigenous flowers, or any other they were familiarly acquainted with !- Every month for many years have we been importing plants and flowers from all quarters of the globe, many of which are spread through our gardens, and some perhaps likely to be met with on the few Commons which we have left. Will their botanical names ever be displaced by plain English appellations, which will bring them home to our hearts by connexion with our joys and sorrows ? It can never be, unless society treads back her steps towards those simplicities which have been banished by the undue influence of towns spreading and spreading in every direction, so that city-life with every generation takes more and more the lead of rural. Among the ancients, villages were reckoned the seats of barbarism. Refinement, for the most part false, increases the desire to accumulate wealth ; and while theories of political economy are boastfully pleading for the practice, inhumanity pervades all our dealings in buying and selling. This selfishness wars against disinterested imagination in all directions, and, evils coming round in a circle, barbarism spreads in every quarter of our island. Oh, for the reign of justice, and then the humblest man among us would have more power and dignity
in and about him than the highest have now !] You call it, “Love lies bleeding,"—80 you may, Though the red Flower, not prostrate, only droops, As we have seen it here from day to day, From month to month, life passing not away: A flower how rich in sadness ! Even thus stoops, (Sentient by Grecian sculpture's marvellous power) Thus leans, with hanging brow and body bent Earthward in uncomplaining languishment, The dying Gladiator. So, sad Flower! ('Tis Fancy guides me willing to be led, Though by a slender thread,) So drooped Adonis bathed in sanguine dew Of his death-wound, when he from innocent air The gentlest breath of resignation drew; While Venus in a passion of despair Rent, weeping over him, her golden hair Spangled with drops of that celestial shower. She suffered, as Immortals sometimes do; But
pangs more lasting far, that Lover knew Who first, weighed down by scorn, in some lone bower Did press this semblance of unpitied smart Into the service of his constant heart, His own dejection, downcast Flower! could share With thine, and gave the mournful name which thou
wilt ever bear.
COMPANION TO THE FOREGOING.
NEVER enlivened with the liveliest ray
The old mythologists, more impress’d than we
[WRITTEN at Rydal Mount. Observed a hundred times in the
SYLPH was it ? or a Bird more bright
Than those of fabulous stock ?
Another of the flock,
To nestle in the rock.
Of April's mimicries !
Among the budding trees,
To frolic on the breeze.
Maternal Flora ! show thy face,
And let thy hand be seen,
green, Take root (so seems it) and look up
In honour of their Queen.
That not in vain aspired
Most dainty, most admired,
Of their own offspring tired.
Not such the World's illusive shows;
Her wingless flutterings,
The floweret as it springs,
Are melancholy things :
With ever-varying wiles,
So well she reconciles,
THE KITTEN AND FALLING LEAVES.
[Seen at Town-end, Grasmere. The elder-bush has long since dis
appeared : it hung over the wall near the Cottage ; and the Kitten continued to leap up, catching the leaves as here described. The infant was Dora.]
That way look, my Infant, lo!