Addressed to a Friend before leaving the Country
Tho’ fogs and sleety rains prevail,
Thou flow’r of humble form,
Rears’t thy fair head to meet the gale,
Nor droop’d beneath the storm.
Tho’ frosts begem the wrinkled leaf,
Thy amber petals bloom
Of garden ornaments the chief
Within stern winter’s gloom.
I’ll shield thee primrose when the snow
On breezes keen descend
Yon osiers shall a screen bestow
Thy foliage to defend.
To innocence if virtue guard
Shall brave misfortune’s pow’r,
And life’s clear sky again reward,
The late unshelter’d flow’r.
Then bloom — to cheer the dreary day
The sole corolla near,
Till spring with warm enliv’ning ray
Proclaims thou’st nought to fear.
Ah! then I’d seek thee in the shade,
They flow’ry tribes pursue
Where I have seen the blossoms fade
Retrace the violet new.
If forc’d this pleasing spot to leave,
May some kind hand be found,
Robin! thy little cares to ease,
And scatter crumbs around.
So when the death of winter’s past,
And cowslips deck the plain;
I’ll hope where here I fed him last
To meet the pet again!
And mem’ry with delight shall trace
The many cheerful hours;
Sport with the lovely feather’d race
Our shrubs and fav’rite flow’rs.
While hope the scene presents to view
That friendship could endear,
May spring the happiness renew
That winter promis’d here.