Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO FLORA, by HENRY BAKER



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TO FLORA, by            
First Line: Tell me, flora, tell me, why
Last Line: "be, and do, we know not what."
Subject(s): Life


"Tell me, Flora, tell me, why,
Little Love, and Thou, and I,
Hasten not to yonder bower,
There secure the present hour?

Prythee, let us not delay
Seizing pleasure while we may:
Opportunity, now smiling,
Is uncertain, and beguiling;
Who knows what may hap to-morrow,
Good, or evil, joy or sorrow?
Those are out of Fortune's power,
Who possess the lucky hour.

Come, my Flora, let us try,
Whether Love, and Thou, and I,
Cannot find a prudent way
Fully to enjoy the day:
See, my Flora, sure we may.
Folded in each other's arms,
Raptured with each other's charms,
Be thy snowy bosom pressed
To this panting, glowing breast:
O! My Charmer! let us prove
All the mysteries of love,
Each bestowing, each possessing,
Every wish, and every blessing.

Prythee, be not long denying,
Winged Time is ever flying:
Even now a moment's gone:
Death is always posting on:
While we foolishly delay,
He may snatch us both away.

Of all to come beyond the grave
We can no conception have,
Mortal optics cannot see
Into dark Eternity;
What is pleasure here, we know,
Love alone is truly so;
Let us hasten then to prove
All the smiling joys of love;
Never more perhaps may be
Another possibility.

And in whatsoever way,
Busy, idle, dull or gay,
Howsoe'er we life employ,
Be it full of grief or joy,
Whether young, or old, we die,
Lingering or suddenly,
Whether we neglect, or care,
Still the same must be our lot,
To go, and live, we know not where,
Be, and do, we know not what."





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