Eliza Acton

To the Wild Heath-flow’r

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There be sweet wreaths upon the brow of spring,
Thornless, as those which bloom in Paradise,
And fresh as Love's first feelings,--bright, as are
His earliest dreams, ere one cold touch of earth
Hath sullied their pure lustre. To the sun
The young, delicious, violet unfolds
Its purple beauty, 'tis the fav'rite child
Of fragrancy, and its rich breathings steal
O'er me, like music of the past, and wake
Thoughts of departed moments, which my soul
Would fain forget, they throw the present hours
Into such deep, dark shadow: Mem'ry weeps

As she recalls their foulness of delight!--
When these fair garlands of the year are gone,
With wild profusion, Summer's glowing hand
Flings o'er the earth her luxury of flowers.
Amidst her scented blossoms brightest shine
The radiant roses, censers of the sun,
Which, till they perish ever meet his beams
With clouds of od'rous incense. Like a bride
Rob'd in her delicate vest of stainless white,
And shrin'd within her bow'r of solitude,
The pale and peerless lily, sheds perfume
O'er the lone spots in which she loves to dwell.
Like a soft star, the twilight primrose lends
Its hue and gracefulness to charm the close
Of the still ev'ning tide;--yet even these,
The deep blue violet,--th' imperial rose,--
The valley's tintless-queen,--and faint night-flow'r,
Are to my sight less welcome far than thou,
The desert's off'ring--yet thy fairy leaves
Unfold no treasure of enchanted hues,

And yield no perfume to the morning ray.
Unlike the myrtle-shrub, with its young buds
Snowy as orient pearls; or,--fairer still,--
The orange-tree, whose laden blossoms bend
Heavy with their own sweetness, thou dost give
No grace to palaces: upon the wild
It is thy fate to bloom, and fade--alike
Unshaded, from the mid-day's burning beam;
Unshelter'd from the tempest's blighting breath :--
Yet falls the fresh'ning dew from heav'n for thee,
As for the loftiest cedar;--and ev'n so,
Comfort descendeth from the skies, to cheer
The world's neglected children, who, with scorn,
Wounded, despis'd, and trampled on, may find
Balm for the broken spirit, in the peace
Which is not of the earth--God's sacred gift
Unto the pure in heart:--a holy hope
Is theirs, which cannot die, and still it points
On, through this vale of suff'ring, and of tears,
Unto the dawn of Immortality!

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Eliza Acton