Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FIELD SWEET-BRIER, by ALICE CARY

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THE FIELD SWEET-BRIER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I love the flowers that come about with spring
Last Line: Our wild sweet-brier would be the one to choose.
Subject(s): Brier; Flowers; Briar

I LOVE the flowers that come about with spring,
And whether they be scarlet, white, or blue,
It mattereth to me not anything;
For when I see them full of sun and dew,
My heart doth get so full with its delight,
I know not blue from red, nor red from white.

Sometimes I choose the lily, without stain;
The royal rose sometimes the best I call;
Then the low daisy, dancing with the rain,
Doth seem to me the finest flower of all;
And yet if only one could bloom for me --
I know right well what flower that one would be!

Yea, so I think my native wilding brier,
With just her thin four leaves, and stem so rough,
Could, with her sweetness, give me my desire,
Aye, all my life long give me sweets enough;
For though she be not vaunted to excel,
She in all modest grace aboundeth well.

And I would have no whit the less content,
Because she hath not won the poet's voice,
To pluck her little stars for ornament,
And that no man were poorer for my choice,
Since she perforce must shine above the rest
In comely looks, because I love her best!

When fancy taketh wing, and wills to go
Where all selected glories blush and bloom,
I search and find the flower that used to grow
Close by the door-stone of the dear old home --
The flower whose knitted roots we did divide
For sad transplanting, when the mother died.

All of the early and the latter May,
And through the windless heats of middle June,
Our green-armed brier held for us day by day,
The morning coolness till the afternoon;
And every bird that took his grateful share,
Sang with a heavenlier tongue than otherwhere.

And when from out the west the low sun shone,
It used to make our pulses leap and thrill
To see her lift her shadows from the stone,
And push it in among us o'er the sill --
O'erstrow with flowers, and then push softly in,
As if she were our very kith and kin.

So, seeing still at evening's golden close
This shadow with our childish shadows blend,
We came to love our simple four-leaved rose,
As if she were a sister or a friend.
And if my eyes all flowers but one must lose,
Our wild sweet-brier would be the one to choose.

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