William Cowper


[Written 1777 (?).  Published 1782.]

WHAT nature, alas! has deni'd
    To the delicate growth of our isle,
Art has in a measure supplied,
    And winter is deck'd with a smile.
See, Mary, what beauties I bring
    From the shelter of that sunny shed,
Where the flow'rs have the charms of the spring,
    Though abroad they are frozen and dead.

'Tis a bow'r of Arcadian sweets,
    Where Flora is still in her prime,
A fortress, to which she retreats
    From the cruel assaults of the clime.
While earth wears a mantle of snow,
    These pinks are as fresh and as gay
As the fairest and sweetest that blow
    On the beautiful bosom of May.

See how they have safely surviv'd
    The frowns of a sky so severe;
Such Mary's true love, that has liv'd
    Through many a turbulent year.
The charms of the late blowing rose
    Seem grac'd with a livelier hue,
And the winter of sorrow best shows
    The truth of a friend such as you.




The Complete Poetical Works of William Cowper.
H. S. Milford, ed.
London: Henry Frowde, 1905. 293-4.



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