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To keep her slender fingers from the sunne
Pan through the pastures oftentimes hath runne,
To pluck the speckled foxglove from their stemme
And on those fingers neatly placed them.
Through the vales to my love!
Where the turf is so soft to the feet
And the thyme makes it sweet,
And the stately foxglove
Hangs silent its exquisite bells.
White foxglove, by an angle in the wall,
No vulgar bees
Consult you, wondering
If such a dainty thing
Can give them ease.
the foxglove tall
Sheds its loose purple bells, or in the gust,
Or when it bends beneath the upspringing lark,
Or mountain-finch alighting.
Through quaint obliquities I might pursue
These cravings; when the foxglove, one by one
Upwards through every stage of the tall stem
Had shed beside the public way its bells,
And stood of all dismantled, save the last
Left at the tappering ladder's top, that seemed
To bend as doth a slender blade of grass.
An empty sky, a world of heather,
Purple of foxglove, yellow of broom;
We two among them wading together,
Shaking out honey, treading perfume.
Bring orchis, bring the foxglove spire,
The little speedwell's darling blue,
Deep tulips dash'd with fiery dew,
Laburnums, dropping-wells of fire
This lily's height bespeaks command,
A fair, imperial flower;
She seems designed for Flora's hand,
The scepter of her power.
Then her gay gilded Front th' Imperial-Crown
Erects aloft, and with a scornful Frown
O'erlooks the subject Plants, while humbly they
Wait round. and Homage to her Highness pay;
Beneath the Summit of her Stem is plac'd
A Diadem of Gold, and richly grac'd.
Then verdant Leaves in bushy Plumes arise,
And crisp'd and curling entertain the Eyes;
Beneath these Leaves four radiant Blossoms bent
Like painted Cups revers'd are downward sent
No Flow'rs aspire in Pomp and State more high,
Or lays a juster Claim to Majesty.
Then went I to a garden and did spy a gallant flower,
The Crown Imperial: sure, said I,
Peace at the root must dwell;
But when I digged I saw a worm devour
What shewed so well.
Like a drooping thing of sorrow,
Sad to-day, more sad to-morrow;
Like a widow dark weeds wearing,
Anguish in her bosom bearing.
Like a joy my memory knoweth —
In my native fields it groweth;
Like the voice of one long parted,
Calling to the faithful-hearted;
Like an expected pleasure
That hath neither stint nor measure;
Like a bountiful good fairy,
Do I hail, Fritillary.
In all the pomp of eastern state,
In all the eastern glory gay,
He bade with nature pride elate
Each flower of humbler birth obey.
"In climes of orient glory born,
Where beauty first and empire grew;
Where first unfolds the golden morn,
Where richer falls the fragrant dew.
Then lowly bow, ye British flowers!
Confer your monarch's mighty sway,
And own the only glory yours,
When fear flies trembling to obey."