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SMALL, modest, crimson-tipped flower,
Thou 'st met me in an evil hour,
For I must crush among the stoure
Thy slender stem :
To spare thee now is past my power,
Thou beauteous gem.
Alas ! 'tis not thy neighbour sweet,
The bonny lark, companion meet,
Bending thee 'mong the dewy wheat,
With speckled breastWhen upward springing, blythe to greet
The purpling east.
Cold blew the bitter-biting north
Upon thy early humble birth;
Yet cheerfully thou venturest forth
Amid the storm,
Scarce rear'd above the parent earth
Tby tender form.
The flaunting flowers our gardens yield,
High sheltering woods and walls must shield;
But thou between the random bield
Of clod or stone,
Adorn'st the rugged stubble field,
There in thy scanty mantle clad,
Thy snowy bosom sunward spread,
Thou lift'st thy unassuming head
In humble guise;
But now the share uptears thy bed,
And low thou lies!
Hail, artless Simplicity, beautiful maid,
In the genuine attractions of Nature array’d;
Let the rich and the proud, and the gay and the vain,
Still laugh at the graces that move in thy train.
The linnet enchants us the bushes among;
Though cheap the musician, yet sweet is the song;
We catch the soft warbling in air as it floats,
And with ecstasy hang on the ravishing notes.
Our water is drawn from the clearest of springs,
And our food, nor disease nor satiety brings ;
Our mornings are cheerful, our labours are bless'd,
Our evenings are pleasant, our nights crown'd with rest.
From our culture yon garden its ornament finds,
And we catch at the hint for improving our minds ;
To live to some purpose we constantly try,
And we mark by our actions the days as they fly.
Since such are the joys that Simplicity yields,
We may well be content with our woods and our fields:
How useless to us then, ye great, were your wealth,
When without it we purchase both pleasure and health!
LET not the vulgar read this pensive strain ;
Their jests the tender anguish would profane :
Yet these some deem the happiest of their kind,
Whose low enjoyments never reach'd the mind;
Who ne'er a pain but for themselves have known,
Nor ever felt a sorrow but their own:
Who call romantic every finer thought,
Conceived by pity, or by friendship wrought.
Ah! wherefore happy? where's the kindred mind?
Where the large soul that takes in human kind?
Where the best passions of the mortal breast?
Where the warm blessing when another's bless'd?
Where the soft lenitives of others' pain,
The social sympathy-the sense humane?
The sigh of rapture and the tear of joy,
Anguish that charms, and transports that destroy?
For tender sorrow has her pleasures too,
Pleasures which prosperous dulness never knew!
She never knew, in all her coarser bliss,
The sacred rapture of a pain like this;
Nor thinks the cautious only are the just :
Who never was deceived, I would not trust.
Then take, ye happy vulgar! take your part
Of sordid joy that never touch'd the heart.
Benevolence which seldom stays to choose,
Lest pausing Prudence teach her to refuse;
Friendship, which once determined, never swerves,
Weighs ere it trusts, but weighs not ere it serves;
And soft-eyed Pity, and Forgiveness bland,
And melting Charity with open hand,
And artless Love believing and believed,
And generous Confidence which ne'er deceived,
And Mercy stretching out ere Want can speak,
To wipe the tear from pale Affliction's cheek ;
These ye bave never known ! then take your part
Of sordid joy which never touch'd the heart.
-O WAR, what art thou? After the brightest conquest, what remains Of all thy glories ? For the vanquish'd-chains-For the proud victor-what? Alas! to reign O'er desolated nations-a drear waste, By one man's crime, by one man's lust of power Unpeopled ! Naked plains and ravaged fields, Succeed to smiling harvests and the fruits Of peaceful olive-luscious fig and vine ! Here--rifled temples are the cavern'd dens Of savage beasts, or haunt of birds obscene; There-populous cities blacken in the sun, And in the general wreck proud palaces Lie undistinguish’d, save by the dun smoke Of recent conflagration! When the song Of dear-bought joy, with many a triumph swellid, Salutes the victor's ear, and soothes his pride, How is the grateful harmony profaned With the sad dissonance of virgins' cries Who mourn their brothers slain! Of matrons hoar, Who clasp their wither'd hands, and fondly ask, With iteration shrill-their slaughter'd sons ! How is the laurel's verdure stain'd with blood, And soil'd with widows' tears !