[Page 173]

THE TULIP AND MYRTLE.

1 TWAS on the border of a stream
2 A gaily-painted Tulip stood,
3 And, gilded by the morning beam,
4 Survey'd her beauties in the flood.
5 And sure, more lovely to behold,
6 Might nothing meet the wistful eye,
7 Than crimson fading into gold,
8 In streaks of fairest symmetry.
9 The beauteous flower, with pride elate,
10 Ah me! that Pride with Beauty dwells?
11 Vainly affects superior state,
12 And thus in empty fancy swells:
13 "O lustre of unrivall'd bloom!
14 " Fair painting of a hand divine,
15 "Superior far to mortal doom,
16 " The hues of Heaven alone are mine!
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17 "Away, ye worthless, formless race!
18 " Ye weeds, that boast the name of flowers!
19 "No more my native bed disgrace,
20 " Unmeet for tribes so mean as yours!
21 "Shall the bright daughter of the sun
22 " Associate with the shrubs of earth?
23 "Ye slaves, your sovereign's presence shun!
24 " Respect her beauties and her birth.
25 "And thou, dull, sullen ever-green!
26 " Shalt thou my shining sphere invade?
27 "My noon-day beauties beam unseen,
28 " Obscur'd beneath thy dusky shade! "
29 "Deluded flower!" the Myrtle cries,
30 "Shall we thy moment's bloom adore?
31 " The meanest shrub that you despise,
32 "The meanest flower has merit more.
33 "That daisy, in its simple bloom;
34 " Shall last along the changing year;
35 "Blush on the snow of winter's gloom,
36 And bid the smiling spring appear.
37 "The violet, that, those banks beneath,
38 " Hides from thy scorn its modest head,
39 "Shall fill the air with fragrant breath,
40 " When thou art in thy dusty bed.
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41 "Ev'n I, who boast no golden shade,
42 " Am of no shining tints possest,
43 "When low thy lucld form is laid,
44 " Shall bloom on many a lovely breast.
45 "And he, whose kind and fostering care
46 " To thee, to me, our beings gave,
47 "Shall near his breast my flowrets wear,
48 " And walk regardless o'er thy grave.
49 "Deluded flower! the friendly screen
50 " That hides thee from the noon-tide ray,
51 "And mocks thy passion to be seen,
52 " Prolongs thy transitory day.
53 "But kindly deeds with scorn repaid,
54 " No more by Virtue need be done:
55 "I now withdraw my dusky shade,
56 " And yield thee to thy darling sun. "
57 Fierce on the flower the scorching beam
58 With all its weight of glory fell;
59 The flower exulting caught the gleam,
60 And lent its leaves a bolder swell.
61 Expanded by the searching fire,
62 The curling leaves the breast disclos'd;
63 The mantling bloom was painted higher,
64 And every latent charm expos'd.
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65 But when the sun was sliding low,
66 And evening came with dews so cold;
67 The wanton beauty ceas'd to blow,
68 And sought her bending leaves to fold.
69 Those leaves, alas! no more will close;
70 Relax'd, exhausted, sickening, pale;
71 They left her to a parent's woes,
72 And fled before the rising gale.

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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): THE TULIP AND MYRTLE.
Themes: advice; moral precepts; nature
Genres: fable
References: DMI 32663

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Source edition

A collection of poems in four volumes. By several hands. Vol. IV. [The second edition]. London: printed for G. Pearch, 1770, pp. 173-176. 4v. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T116245; DMI 1137; OTA K093079.004)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.