The Cowslip.

Unfolding to the breeze of May,1
The Cowslip greets the vernal ray2
The topaz and the ruby gem,3
Her blossom’s simple diadem ;4
And, as the dew-drops gently fall,5
They tip with pearls her coronal.6
In princely halls and courts of kings7
Its lustrous ray the diamond flings ;8
Yet few of those who see its beam,9
Amid the torch-light’s dazzling gleam,10
As bright as though a meteor shone,11
Can call the costly prize their own.12
But gems of every form and hue13
Are glittering here in morning dew ;14
Jewels that all alike may share15
As freely as the common air :16
No niggard hand, or jealous eye,17
Protects them from the passer by.18
Man to his brother shuts his heart,19
And Science acts a miser’s part ;20
But Nature, with a liberal hand,21
Flings wide her stores o’er sea and land,22
If gold she gives, not single grains23
Are scatter’d far across the plains ;24
But lo, the desert streams are roll’d25
O’er precious beds of virgin gold.26
If flowers she offers, wreaths are given,27
As countless as the stars of heaven :28
Or music—’tis no feeble note29
She bids along the valleys float ;30
Ten thousand nameless melodies31
In one full chorus swell the breeze.32
Oh, art is but a scanty rill33
That genial seasons scarcely fill.34
But nature needs no tide’s return35
To fill afresh her flowing urn :36
She gathers all her rich supplies37
Where never-failing waters rise.”38