[Page 322]


1 THE nymph must lose her female friend
2 If more admir'd than she
3 But where will fierce contention end
4 If flowr's can disagree?
5 Within the garden's peaceful scene
6 Appear'd two lovely foes,
7 Aspiring to the rank of queen,
8 The lily and the rose.
[Page 323]
9 The rose soon redden'd into rage,
10 And swelling with disdain,
11 Appeal'd to many a poet's page
12 To prove her right to reign.
13 The lily's height bespoke command,
14 A fair imperial flow'r,
15 She seem'd design'd for Flora's hand,
16 The sceptre of her pow'r.
17 This civil bick'ring and debate
18 The goddess chanc'd to hear,
19 And flew to save, e'er yet too late,
20 The pride of the parterre.
21 Your's is, she said, the nobler hue,
22 And your's the statelier mien,
23 And 'till a third surpasses you,
24 Let each be deem'd a queen.
[Page 324]
25 Thus sooth'd and reconcil'd, each seeks
26 The fairest British fair,
27 The seat of empire is her cheeks,
28 They reign united there.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): THE LILY AND THE ROSE.
Themes: beauty; fame
Genres: allegory

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Source edition

Cowper, William, 1731-1800. Poems: by William Cowper, of the Inner Temple, Esq. London: printed for J. Johnson, 1782, pp. 322-324. [4],367,[1]p. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T14895; OTA K027775.000) (Page images digitized by the University of California Libraries.)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

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