BETA

TO A WILD FLOWER.*

In what delightful land,1
Sweet scented flower, didst thou attain thy birth ?2
Thou art no offspring of the common earth,3
By common breezes fann’d.4
Full oft my gladden’d eye,5
In pleasant glade or river’s marge has traced,6
(As if there planted by the hand of taste),7
Sweet flowers of every dye.8
But never did I see,9
In mead, or mountain, or domestic bower,10
’Mong many a lovely and delicious flower,11
One half so fair as thee !12
Thy beauty makes rejoice13
My inmost heart. I know not how ’ tis so14
Quick coming fancies thou dost make me know,15
For fragrance is thy voice16
And still it comes to me,17
In quiet night, and turmoil of the day,18
Like memory of friends gone far away,19
Or, haply, ceased to be.20
Together we’ll commune,21
As lovers do, when, standing all apart,22
No one o’erhears the whispers of their heart,23
Save the all-silent moon.24
Thy thoughts I can divine,25
Although not uttered in vernacular words ;26
Though me remind’st of songs of forest birds ;27
Of venerable wine ;28
Of Earth’s fresh shrubs and roots ;29
Of Summer days, when men their thirsting slake30
In the cool fountain, or the cooler lake,31
While eating wood-grown fruits.32
Thy leaves my memory tell33
Of sights, and scents, and sounds, that come again,34
Like ocean’s murmurs, when the balmy strain35
Is echoed in its shell.36
The meadows in their green37
Smooth-running waters in the far off ways,38
The deep-voiced forest, where the hermit prays,39
In thy fair face are seen.40
Thy home is in the wild41
’Mong sylvan shades, near music-haunted springs,42
Where peace dwells all apart from earthly things,43
Like some secluded child.44
The beauty of the sky,45
The music of the woods, the love that stirs46
Wherever Nature charms her worshippers,47
Are all by thee brought nigh.48
I shall not soon forget49
What thou hast taught me in my solitude;50
My feelings have acquired a taste of good,51
Sweet flower ! since first we met.52
Thou bring’st unto the soul53
A blessing and a peace, inspiring thought;54
And dost the goodness and the power denote55
Of Him who formed the whole.56
* We have taken the liberty of extracting this beautiful little
poem from the second edition (lately published) of a volume en-
titled “ Poetical Aspirations, by William Anderson.” That a poet
who can write such things should be so little known, is a strong
signification of the difficulty which characteristises the present age,
with all its advantages, of attaining almost any degree of literary
celebrity.