Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE GARLAND, by MATTHEW PRIOR



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THE GARLAND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The pride of every grove I chose
Last Line: The justice of thy chloe's sorrow.'
Subject(s): Beauty; Flowers; Love; Nymphs; Pride; Self-esteem; Self-respect


THE pride of every grove I chose,
The violet sweet, and lily fair,
The dappled pink, and blushing rose,
To deck my charming Chloe's hair.

At morn the nymph vouchsafed to place
Upon her brow the various wreath;
The flowers less blooming than her face,
The scent less fragrant than her breath.

The flowers she wore along the day;
And every nymph and shepherd said,
That in her hair they looked more gay,
Than glowing in their native bed.

Undrest at evening, when she found
Their odours lost, their colours past;
She changed her look, and on the ground
Her garland and her eye she cast.

That eye dropt sense distinct and clear,
As any muse's tongue could speak;
When from its lid a pearly tear
Ran trickling down her beauteous cheek.

Dissembling what I knew too well,
'My love, my life,' said I, 'explain
This change of humour: pr'ythee tell:
That falling tear--what does it mean?'

She sighed: she smiled: and to the flowers
Pointing, the lovely moralist said:
'See! friend, in some few fleeting hours,
See yonder, what a change is made.

'Ah me, the blooming pride of May,
And that of Beauty are but one;
At morn both flourish bright and gay,
Both fade at evening, pale, and gone.

'At morn poor Stella danced and sung;
The amorous youth around her bowed;
At night her fatal knell was rung;
I saw and kissed her in her shroud.

'Such as she is, who died to-day;
Such I, alas! may be to-morrow:
Go, Damon, bid thy muse display
The justice of thy Chloe's sorrow.'





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