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To the Daisy


In youth from rock to rock I went
From hill to hill, in discontent
Of pleasure high and turbulent,
Most pleas'd when most uneasy;
But now my own delights I make,
My thirst at every rill can slake,
And gladly Nature's love partake
Of thee, sweet Daisy!

When soothed a while by milder airs,
Thee Winter in the garland wears 10
That thinly shades his few grey hairs;
Spring cannot shun thee;
Whole summer fields are thine by right;
And Autumn, melancholy Wight!
Doth in thy crimson head delight
When rains are on thee.

In shoals and bands, a morrice train,
Thou greet'st the Traveller in the lane;
If welcome once thou count'st it gain;
Thou art not daunted, 20
Nor car'st if thou be set at naught;
And oft alone in nooks remote
We meet thee, like a pleasant thought,
When such are wanted.

Be Violets in their secret mews
The flowers the wanton Zephyrs chuse;
Proud be the Rose, with rains and dews
Her head impearling;
Thou liv'st with less ambitious aim,
Yet hast not gone without thy fame; 30
Thou art indeed by many a claim
The Poet's darling.

If to a rock from rains he fly,
Or, some bright day of April sky,
Imprison'd by hot sunshine lie
Near the green holly,
And wearily at length should fare;
He need but look about, and there
Thou art! a Friend at hand, to scare
His melancholy. 40

A hundred times, by rock or bower,
Ere thus I have lain couch'd an hour,
Have I derived from thy sweet power
Some apprehension;
Some steady love; some brief delight;
Some memory that had taken flight;
Some chime of fancy wrong or right;
Or stray invention.

If stately passions in me burn,
And one chance look to Thee should turn, 50
I drink out of an humbler urn
A lowlier pleasure;
The homely sympathy that heeds
The common life, our nature breeds;
A wisdom fitted to the needs
Of hearts at leisure.

When, smitten by the morning ray,
I see thee rise alert and gay,
Then, chearful Flower! my spirits play
With kindred motion: 60
At dusk, I've seldom mark'd thee press
The ground, as if in thankfulness,
Without some feeling, more or less,
Of true devotion.

And all day long I number yet,
All seasons through, another debt,
Which I wherever thou art met,
To thee am owing;
An instinct call it, a blind sense;
A happy, genial influence, 70
Coming one knows not how nor whence,
Nor whither going.

Child of the Year! that round dost run
Thy course, bold lover of the sun,
And chearful when the day's begun
As morning Leveret,
Thou long the Poet's praise shalt gain;
Thou wilt be more belov'd by men
In times to come; thou not in vain
Art Nature's Favorite. 80


NOTE
--_To the Daisy_. This Poem, and two others to the same
Flower, which the Reader will find in the second Volume, were
written in the year 1802; which is mentioned, because in some of the
ideas, though not in the manner in which those ideas are connected,
and likewise even in some of the expressions, they bear a striking
resemblance to a Poem (lately published) of Mr. Montgomery, entitled,
a Field Flower. This being said, Mr. Montgomery will not think any
apology due to him; I cannot however help addressing him in the
words of the Father of English Poets.

'Though it happe me to rehersin--
That ye han in your freshe song is saied,
Forberith me, and beth not ill apaied,
Sith that ye se I doe it in the honour
Of Love, and eke in service of the Flour.'

William Wordsworth