Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A NATURALIST'S GRIEVANCE, by MARCUS S. C. RICKARDS

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

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First Line: Flames there are that sink and chill
Last Line: Charming every rapt spectator!
Subject(s): Beauty; Muses; Nature; Summer

FLAMES there are that sink and chill;
Some with years wax hotter still:
In my bosom blaze fierce hates,
That no lapse of time abates:
Foes I have, and would ye know them?
Sweep you landscape while I show them.

Once a breezy down was here;
Once green meadows smiled each year;
Sylvan solitudes once rang
With the music fairies sang;
Sun-gilt groves and lovely places
Wooed the Muses and the Graces.

Mark the change! the waste and wreck,
At some sordid builders' beck;
Who, I ask not, lest they win
Grace, if they bewail the sin;
Cursed ruin! frown, and harden
This soft heart that else might pardon.

Yester morn, a perfumed maze,
Beauty's arbour, chained my gaze,
Haunted by sweet wealth of Spring,
Golden plume and damask wing:
Hedgers came, and tangle cherished
Yielded to the hook and perished.

Bygone summers robed fair trees
Shimmering to sun and breeze:
Woodmen felled them, and few guests,
Once their glory, weave new nests
Nigh you fields, for ruthless farmers
Shoot and trap my airy charmers.

Perish all whose fell design
Offers Nature at Art's shrine;
Clips the brier, trains the rose;
Turns wild poetry to prose;
Robs sweet earth to swell the ledger:
Woe to builder, woodman, hedger!

Sevenfold woe to all that spoil
Fresh young hearts by graceless toil;
Stifle impulse, quench desire,
Till soft natural charms expire;
Bury 'neath hard piles of learning
Sparkling wit, and keen discerning!

Builders! mar no fertile brain,
Lest dark loss o'erbalance gain:
Mansions for new inmates cost
High, when native power is lost:
Like yon view with scarce a warning
Nature doffs her rich adorning.

Trainers! keep the loving glance
Born of heart luxuriance;
Cherish rapture, throb and thrill;
Crush not quite the wayward will:
Tendrils creeping, clinging, twining,
Claim free play, nor brook confining.

Guardians! foster all with wings,
Fancies, dreams, imaginings:
Nature oft to airy flights
Marries music that delights,
Steeping all in tuneful glory
Like yon scene's unruined story.

So may Zephyr, Storm, and Shine --
All that figures Grace Divine --
Play in ministry of Health,
O'er the virgin heart's fair wealth,
Fresh as from its pure Creator,
Charming every rapt spectator!

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