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TO DAFFODILS.

Do paint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men, for thus sings he:
Cuckoo;

Cuckoo, cuckoo,-O word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!

When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,

And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks,
When turtles tread, and rooks and daws,

And maidens bleach their summer smocks,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men, for thus sings he :
Cuckoo;

Cuckoo, cuckoo,-O word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!

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William Shakspeare.

Has not attained his noon :
Stay, stay

Until the hastening day

Has run

But to the even-song;
And, having prayed together, we
Will go with you along.

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We have short time to stay as you;
We have as short a Spring;

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As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you, or any thing:
We die,

As your hours do; and dry
Away

Like to the summer's rain,
Or as the pearls of morning dew,
Ne'er to be found again.

Robert Herrick.

TO BLOSSOMS.

FAIR pledges of a fruitful tree,
Why do ye fall so fast?
Your date is not so past
But you may stay yet here awhile
To blush and gently smile,
And go at last.

What! were ye born to be

An hour or half's delight,
And so to bid good-night?
"Tis pity Nature brought ye forth.
Merely to show your worth,
And lose you quite.

But you are lovely leaves, where we
May read how soon things have
Their end, though ne'er so brave;
And, after they have shown their pride,
Like you, awhile, they glide
Into the grave.

Robert Herrick.

TO PRIMROSES.

TO PRIMROSES,

FILLED WITH MORNING DEW.

WHY do ye weep, sweet babes? Can tears

Speak grief in you,

Who were but born

Just as the modest morn

Teemed her refreshing dew?

Alas! ye have not known that shower

That mars a flower;

Nor felt th' unkind

Breath of a blasting wind;

Nor are ye worn with years;
Or warped, as we,

Who think it strange to see
Such pretty flowers, like to orphans young,
Speaking by tears before ye have a tongue.

Speak, whimpering younglings, and make known
The reason why

Ye droop and weep.

Is it for want of sleep,

Or childish lullaby?

Or, that ye have not seen as yet

The violet?

Or brought a kiss

From that sweetheart to this?

No, no; this sorrow, shown
By your tears shed,

Would have this lecture read:

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"That things of greatest, so of meanest worth,

Conceived with grief are, and with tears brought forth.'

Robert Herrick.

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THE PRIMROSE.

WELCOME, pale primrose! starting up between Dead matted leaves of ash and oak, that strew The every lawn, the wood, and spinny through, Mid creeping moss and ivy's darker green;

How much thy presence beautifies the ground! How sweet thy modest, unaffected pride Glows on the sunny bank, and wood's warm side! And where thy fairy flowers in groups are found, The school-boy roams enchantedly along,

Plucking the fairest with a rude delight; While the meek shepherd stops his simple song To gaze a moment on the pleasing sight; O'erjoyed to see the flowers that truly bring The welcome news of sweet returning Spring.

John Clare.

SONG: ON MAY MORNING.

Now the bright morning star, day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose.

Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire !
Woods and groves are of thy dressing,
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.

John Milton.

SONG TO MAY.

SONG TO MAY.

MAY! queen of blossoms,

And fulfilling flowers,
With what pretty music

Shall we charm the hours?
Wilt thou have pipe and reed,
Blown in the open mead?
Or to the lute give heed

In the green bowers?
Thou hast no need of us,
Or pipe or wire,

That hast the golden bee
Ripened with fire;
And many thousand more
Songsters, that thee adore,
Filling earth's grassy floor
With new desire.

Thou hast thy mighty herds,
Tame, and free livers;
Doubt not, thy music too

In the deep rivers;
And the whole plumy flight,
Warbling the day and night—
Up at the gates of light,

See, the lark quivers!

When with the jacinth
Coy fountains are tressed;

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