"The Faded Bouquet. " by Mary Darby Robinson (1758-1800)
FAIR was this blushing ROSE of May,
And fresh it hail'd morn's breezy hour,
When ev'ry spangled leaf look'd gay,
Besprinkled with the twilight show'r;
When to its mossy buds so sweet,
The BUTTERFLY enamour'd flew,
And hov'ring o'er the fragrant treat,
Oft bath'd its silken wings in dew.
SWEET was this PRIMROSE of the dale,
When on its native turf it grew;
And deck'd with charms this LILY pale,
And rich this VIOLET'S purple hue;
This od'rous WOODBINE fill'd the grove
With musky gales of balmy pow'r;
When with the MYRTLE interwove
It hung luxuriant round my bow'r.
AH ! ROSE, forgive the hand severe,
That snatch'd thee from thy scented bed;
Where, bow'd with many a pearly tear,
Thy widow'd partner droops its head;
And thou, sweet VI'LET, modest flow'r,
O ! take my sad, relenting sigh;
Nor stain the breast whose glowing pow'r,
With too much fondness bade thee die.
SWEET LILY had I never gaz'd
With rapture on your gentle form;
You might have dy'd, unknown, unprais'd,
The victim of some ruthless storm;
Where fickle LOVE his altar rears,
Your little bells had learnt to wave;
Or sadly gemm'd with kindred tears,
Had deck'd some hapless MAIDEN's grave.
Inconstant WOODBINE, wherefore rove
With gadding stem about my bow'r ?
Why, with my darling MYRTLE wove,
In bold defiance mock my pow'r ?
Why quit thy native, lonely vale,
To flaunt thy buds, thy odours fling;
And idly greet the passing gale,
On ev'ry wanton zephyr's wing ?
Yet, yet, repine not, tho' stern FATE
Hath nipp'd thy leaves of varying hue;
Since all that's lovely, soon or late,
Shall sick'ning, fade,–and die like you.
The fire of YOUTH–the frost of AGE,
Nor WISDOM S voice–nor BEAUTY'S bloom,
Th' insatiate tyrant can assuage,
Or stop the hand that seal'd YOUR DOOM.