The Lily Of The Valley,

Sophrosyne, companion dear,
Who hangs a pearl in Pity's ear,
And wanders through the dewy lawn
To catch the rose--bud newly blown,
And tied yon knot of fringy flowers,
And darken'd all the grove with bowers;
Who bade yon Lily of the Vale
Tell o'er her artless simple tale;
That, going to queen Flora's court,
Where once a year flowers all resort,
She wander'd through the woodlands wide,
And saw the babbling streamlet glide,
With many a Daisy sitting here,
And many a Cowslip walking there,
And many a Harebell tinkling loud,
And many a Pansy dress'd and proud,
And many a Primrose faint and pale,
All stationed up and down the dale;
With these acquaintance soon she made,
And lov'd the flowers that lov'd the shade;
Ask'd Flora if she there might stay,
And shun the fervour of the day;
And when the Primrose pale should die,
With purer sweets her loss supply.

This humble prayer gay Flora grants,
For soon supply'd are little wants;
And bade Retirement form a shade
Of willows sweet, to sooth the maid.

But Innocence one day had been
Culling some flowerets on the green,
And many a gay one fondly press'd,
And many a sweet one wooed her breast,
But yet an emblem of her mind
This blue--eyed stranger could not find.

It chanc'd Sophrosyne with Eve
Went out, her 'custom'd bower to weave,
And sprinkling with soft Pity's dew
Each drooping flower that lost its hue,
Bade gentle Eve refreshment lend
To all that faint or lowly bend.

Not far from hence a Nymph was seen
Of meek--set eye and artless mien;
Soft white the well turn'd limbs enfolds;
Her tresses a blue riband holds,
And as the winds the locks unfurl,
Give birth to many a beauteous curl.
A straw--wrought hat with care was tied,
As if her lovely face to hide;
Her apron tuck'd and full of flowers,
She carried to Sophrosyne's bowers,
While Innocence was waiting there,
And tying up her nut--brown hair--
For all the flowers she yet had found
She threw upon the thankless ground--
And thus she cried: ``Lie there--I see
Nought can prevent my destiny;
My race is run unless I find
An emblem of my spotless mind;
This Fate avers--to that I yield,
And quit this for th' Elysian field.''

``Simplicity!'' Sophrosyne cried,
``Where hast thou been?--I will not chide;
But haste, some emblem thou can'st find
Of the pure, spotless, artless mind!''

``O! yes, Sophrosyne, see here
The sweetest flower of all the year;
But 'tis not mixed among the rest,
I ever wear it in my breast.''
So saying, show'd the Lily fair,
The Valley's pride, was shelter'd there;
Then Innocence her emblem knew,
And own'd how strong the likeness grew;
And own'd, too, that no other flower
That shows its face at any hour,
Could e'er so tenderly declare
'Twas half so spotless, pure, and fair.

READ THIS POEM IN OTHER LANGUAGES
COMMENTS OF THE POEM