Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WILD FLOWERS, by CHARLOTTE SMITH

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WILD FLOWERS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Fair rising from her icy couch
Last Line: And speak in various ways the bounteous hand of heaven.
Alternate Author Name(s): Smith, Charlotte Turner
Subject(s): Flowers

Fair rising from her icy couch,
Wan herald of the floral year,
The Snow-drop marks the Spring's approach,
Ere yet the Primrose groups appear,
Or peers the Arum from its spotted veil,
Or odorous Violets scent the cold capricious gale.

Then thickly strewn in woodland bowers
Anemonies their stars unfold;
There spring the Sorrel's veined flowers,
And rich in vegetable gold
From calyx pale, the freckled Cowslip born,
Receives in amber cups the fragrant dews of morn.

Lo! the green Thorn her silver buds
Expands, to May's enlivening beam;
Hottonia blushes on the floods;
And where the slowly trickling stream
Mid grass and spiry rushes stealing glides,
Her lovely fringed flowers fair Menyanthes hides.

In the lone copse or shadowy dale,
Wild cluster'd knots of Harebells blow,
And droops the Lily of the vale
O'er Vinca's matted leaves below,
The Orchis race with varied beauty charm,
And mock the exploring bee, or fly's aerial form.

Wound in the hedgerow's oaken boughs,
The Woodbine's tassels float in air,
And blushing, the uncultured Rose
Hangs high her beauteous blossoms there;
Her fillers there the purple Nightshade weaves,
And the Brionia winds her pale and scolloped leaves.

To later Summer's fragrant breath
Clemati's feathery garlands dance;
The hollow Foxglove nods beneath,
While the tall Mullein's yellow lance,
Dear to the meally tribe of evening, towers,
And the weak Galium weaves its myriad fairy flowers.

Sheltering the coot's or wild duck's nest,
And where the timid halcyon hides,
The Willow-herb, in crimson drest,
Waves with Arundo o'er the tides;
And there the bright Nymphea loves to lave,
Or spreads her golden orbs upon the dimpling wave.

And thou! by pain and sorrow blest,
Papaver! that an opiate dew
Conceal'st beneath thy scarlet vest,
Contrasting with the Corn flower blue,
Autumnal months behold thy gauzy leaves
Bend in the rustling gale, amid the tawny sheaves.

From the first bud whose venturous head
The Winter's lingering tempest braves,
To those which mid the foliage dead
Sink latest to their annual grave,
All are for food, for health, or pleasure given,
And speak in various ways the bounteous hand of Heaven.

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