To Miss Cruickshank, a very young Lady
written in 1789
Beauteous rose-bud, young and gay, Blooming on thy early May, Never may'st thou, lovely Flower, Chilly shrink in sleety shower! Never Boreas' hoary path, Never Eurus' pois'nous breath, Never baleful stellar lights, Taint thee with untimely blights! Never, never reptile thief Riot on thy virgin leaf! Nor even Sol too fiercely view Thy bosom blushing still with dew! Mayst thou long, sweet crimson gem, Richly deck thy native stem; Till some evening, sober, calm, Dropping dews, and breathing balm, While all around the woodland rings, And ev'ry bird thy requiem sings; Thou, amid the dirgeful sound, Shed thy dying honours round, And resign to Parent Earth The loveliest form she e'er gave birth.