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Alexander Pope (1688–1744). Complete Poetical Works. 1903.

Early Poems: Imitations of English Poets

Cowley: The Garden

FAIN would my Muse the flow’ry treasures sing,

And humble glories of the youthful Spring;

Where op’ning roses breathing sweets diffuse,

And soft carnations shower their balmy dews;

Where lilies smile in virgin robes of white,

The thin undress of superficial light;

And varied tulips show so dazzling gay,

Blushing in bright diversities of day.

Each painted flow’ret in the lake below

Surveys its beauties, whence its beauties grow;

And pale Narcissus, on the bank in vain

Transformëd, gazes on himself again.

Here aged trees cathedral walks compose,

And mount the hill in venerable rows;

There the green infants in their beds are laid,

The garden’s hope, and its expected shade.

Here orange trees with blooms and pendants shine,

And Vernal honours to their Autumn join;

Exceed their promise in the ripen’d store,

Yet in the rising blossom promise more.

There in bright drops the crystal fountains play,

By laurels shielded from the piercing day;

Where Daphne, now a tree as once a maid,

Still from Apollo vindicates her shade;

Still turns her beauties from th’ invading beam,

Nor seeks in vain for succour to the stream.

The stream at once preserves her virgin leaves,

At once a shelter from her boughs receives,

Where summer’s beauty midst of winter stays,

And winter’s coolness spite of summer’s rays.