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"Tw As on the border of a stream
A gayly-painted Tulip stood,

And, gilded by the morning beam,
Surveyed her beauties in the flood.

* This fable was first published in a Collection of Letters, supposed to have passed between St. Evremond and Waller.


And sure, more lovely to behold,
Might nothing meet the wistful eye,

Than crimson fading into gold,
In streaks of fairest symmetry.

The beauteous flower with pride elate,
Ah me! that pride with beauty dwells!

Vainly affects superior state,
And thus in empty fancy swells.

“O lustre of unrivalled bloom!
“Fair painting of a hand divine!

“Superior far to mortal doom,
“The hues of heaven alone are mine!

“Away, ye worthless, formless race!
“Ye weeds, that boast the name of flowers'

“No more my native bed disgrace,
“Unmeet for tribes so mean as yours!

“Shall the bright daughter of the Sun
“Associate with the shrubs of earth?

“Ye slaves, your sovereign's presence shunt
“Respect her beauties and her birth.

“And thou, dull, sullen ever-green!
“Shalt thou my shining sphere invade?

“My noon-day beauties beam unseen,
“Obscured beneath thy dusky shade!”

“Deluded flower!” the Myrtle cries,
“Shall we thy moment's bloom adore?

“The meanest shrub that you despise,
“The meanest flower has merit more.

“That daisy in its simple bloom,
“Shall last along the changing year;
“Blush on the snow of winter's gloom,
“And bid the smiling spring appear.

“The violet, that, those banks beneath, “Hides from thy scorn its modest head, * Shall fill the air with fragrant breath, “When thou art in thy dusty bed.

“Even I, who boast no golden shade,
“Am of no shining tints possess'd,

“When low thy lucid form is laid,
“Shall bloom on many a lovely breast.

“And he, whose kind and fostering care
“To thee, to me, our beings gave,

“Shall near his breast my flowrets wear,
“And walk regardless o'er thy grave. .

“Deluded flower, the friendly screen
“That hides thee from the noon-tide ray,

“And mocks thy passion to be seen,
“Prolongs thy transitory day.

“But kindly deeds with scorn repaid,
“No more by virtue need be done:

“I now withdraw my dusky shade,
“And yield thee to thy darling sun.”

Fierce on the flower the scorching beam With all its weight of glory fell;

The flower exulting caught the gleam, And lent its leaves a bolder swell.

Expanded by the searching fire,
The curling leaves the breast disclose;

The mantling bloom was painted higher,
And every latent charm exposed.

But when the sun was sliding low,
And evening came, with dews so cold;

The wanton beauty ceased to blow, -
And sought her bending leaves to fold.

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