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To Lady Charlemont, in Return for Her Presents of Flowers

March, 1808.

1 YES, though the sullen east-wind storm,
2 And sunless skies the Spring deform,
3 The lovely Nina's graceful hand
4 Can, like a fairy's lily wand,
5 Bid every vernal sweet appear,
6 And bloom with early fragrance here!
7 Yes here, even here, they breathe perfume,
8 Though walls of melancholy gloom,
9 With northern aspect frowning rude,
10 Each brighter beam of Heaven exclude.
11 Behold! at Nina's soft command,
12 The flowers their velvet leaves expand,
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13 And sweet, and blue like her own eye,
14 (That loves in languid peace to lie,
15 And bending beautiful in shade,
16 Seems of the amorous light afraid)
17 Fresh violets here their charms diffuse,
18 And here, with richly mingling hues,
19 The gold and purple crocus vie
20 To mock the pomp of majesty.
21 See how her soul-bewitching smile
22 Can even selfish love beguile!
23 While fair Narcissus bends no more
24 His snowy beauties to adore,
25 But lifts for once his cups of gold
26 A fairer image to behold.
27 Dear Nina! teach a grateful heart
28 Thine own persuasive, winning art;
29 So might I best my thanks commend,
30 So please each kind, each cherished friend!
31 For, as thy hand with smiling flowers
32 Hath crowned the lingering, wintry hours,
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33 Even thus for me affection's care
34 Hath sheltered from the nipping air
35 The tender buds of half-chilled hope
36 That seemed in withering gloom to droop,
37 And bid them bloom, revived again,
38 In spite of years, and grief, and pain.
39 O'er me Affection loves to shed
40 Her comforts full, unmeasured;
41 To bless my smiling hearth she sends
42 The dearer smile of dearest friends,
43 And bids my prison couch assume
44 No form of pain, no air of gloom;
45 But sweet content and cheerful ease,
46 All that in solitude can please,
47 And all that soothing, social love
48 Can bid its quiet favourites prove,
49 Wooed by the voice of tenderness,
50 Unite my happy home to bless.
51 As round that lovely pictured wreath
52 Where Rubens bid his pencil breathe,
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53 Where touched with all its magic power
54 Glow the rich colours of each flower,
55 Attendant cherubs sweetly join,
56 And all their odorous wings entwine;
57 One cherub guards each blushing flower,
58 And pure ambrosia seems to shower:
59 So, Nina, o'er each peaceful day
60 Protecting love and kindness play,
61 And shed o'er each some balmy pleasure
62 That grateful memory loves to treasure!

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    Title (in Source Edition): To Lady Charlemont, in Return for Her Presents of Flowers
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    Genres: occasional poem

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    Psyche, With Other Poems. London: Printed for LONGMAN, HURST, REES, ORME, AND BROWN, PATERNOSTER-ROW, 1811, pp. 274-277. 314p. (Page images digitized by University of California Libraries.)

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