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TO JOANNA, ON SENDING ME THE LEAF OF A FLOWER ... WORDSWORTH'S GARDEN, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: Joanna! Though I well can guess
Last Line: I in one page will place you!
Alternate Author Name(s): Quaker Poet
Subject(s): Leaves; Poetry & Poets; Wordsworth, William (1770-1850)

JOANNA! though I well can guess
That in mirth's very idleness,
And raillery's enjoyment,
This leaf is sent; it shall not lose
Its errand, but afford the Muse
Some minutes' light employment.

Thou sent'st it, in thy naughty wit,
As emblem, type, or symbol, fit
For a mere childish rhymer;
And I accept it, not as such,
But as indicative of much
Lovelier, and far sublimer.

I own, as over it I pore,
It is a simple leaf, no more:
And further, without scandal,
It is so delicate and small,
One see 'twas never meant at all
For boorish grasp to handle.

But in itself, for aught I see,
'Tis perfect as a leaf can be;
Nor can I doubt a minute,
That on the spot where first it grew,
It had each charm of shape, and hue,
And native sweetness in it.

I own, without all "ifs" and "buts,"
That, as I see it now, it cuts
A very puny figure;
And looks like garbled passages,
Which certain critics, when they please,
Can comment on with vigour.

But 'tis not by one leaf alone,
The beauty of the flower is known;
Nor do I rank a poet
By parts, that critics may think fit
To quote, who, "redolent of wit,"
Take up his works to show it.

If on its stem, this leaf display'd
Beauty which sought no artful aid,
And scatter'd fragrance round it;
If the sweet flower on which it grew
Was graceful, natural, lovely too,
Delighting all who found it:—

Then will I own that flower to be
A type of Wordsworth, or of thee;
For kindred virtues grace you;
And though the bard may think me bold,
And thou mayst half resolve to scold,
I in one page will place you!

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