Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834 / Devon / England)
Lines On Observing A Blossom On The First Of February, 1796
Sweet flower! that peeping from thy russet stem
Unfoldest timidly, (for in strange sort
This dark, frieze-coated, hoarse, teeth-chattering month
Hath borrowed Zephyr's voice, and gazed upon thee
With blue voluptuous eye) alas poor flower!
These are but flatteries of the faithless year.
Perchance, escaped its unknown polar cave,
E'en now the keen north-east is on its way.
Flower that must perish! shall I liken thee
To some sweet girl of too, too rapid growth,
Nipped by consumption mid untimely charms?
Or to Bristowa's bard, the wond'rous boy!
As amaranth, which earth scarce seemed to own,
Till disappointment come, and pelting wrong
Beat it to earth? or with indignant grief
Shall I compare thee to poor Poland's hope,
Bright flower of hope killed in the opening bud?
Farewell, sweet blossom! better fate be thine
And mock my boding! Dim similitudes
Weaving in moral strains, I've stolen one hour
From anxious self, life's cruel taskmaster!
And the warm wooings of this sunny day
Tremble along my frame, and harmonize
The attempered organ, that even saddest thoughts
Mix with some sweet sensations, like harsh tunes
Played deftly on a soft-toned instrument.
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