Powers of poetry descend!
And to your humble votary lend
Your willing aid, and from your bowers
Bring me ever blowing flowers,
Cultur’d by the Muses’ care
Gather’d from their bright parterre
At the foot of yonder mountain
Water’d by Castalian fountain.
Help me then ye nymphs divine!
And an Attic Wreath I’ll twine
First for bay and laurel green
Be odes, and epic poems seen —
Then fair Erato bring her roses
Ere each bud its bloom discloses;
And in the midst of these shall shine
A leaf from old Anacreon’s vine.
In coat of yellow streak’d with red
The gaudy tulip lifts his head,
Like him in garb of hues diverse
Appears the mock heroic verse.
To the Fair Attics and the Attics who are not fair
Brothers and Sisters of the Chest,
The wreath is yours, I’ve done my best
’Tis true, my Pegasus is lame,
Of course my verse must be the same:
Another time a theme more humble
Shall save us both, from many a stumble.
A Vagrant Flower Found:
Me thought I’d lost the eglantine
But here it is, a Valentine!
Friendship’s off’rings kind and true
Will give the am’ranth’s purple hue,
And for the snowdrop’s pallid grace
A mournful elegy I’ll place.
The simple lay warm from the heart
Shall play the modest violet’s part,
Which tho’ unmark’d, unseen, may bloom,
Gives to the sense its soft perfume.
Nor rue, nor wormwood, shall be there
But pensées delicate and rare
Such as are born of ladies fair,
Shall spring and flourish ev’ry-where:
And but I fear the critics keen,
Auld Coila’s flower I’d gladly glean.
To the Muses
Thanks gentle ladies for your care
Thanks for each fragrant flower
The flow’rs are sweet, but Oh! I fear
That each was much more sweet more fair
When in its native soil and air
And in you classic bower
There wants a skilfull hand, a grace
Such matchless flow’rs as yours to place.