HENRY JAMES PYE
Hail earliest of the opening flowers!
Fair Harbinger of vernal hours!
Who dar’st unveil each silken fold
Ere SOL dispels the wintry cold,
And with thy silver leaves display’d 5
Spread lustre through the dreary glade.—-
What though no fragrance like the rose
Tincturing the ZEPHYR as it blows,
Thy humble flowers from earth exhale
To scent the pinions of the gale; 10
What though no hues of gaudy dye
Strike with their dazzling charms the eye,
Nor does thy sober foliage shew
Each blended tint of IRIS’ bow;
Yet in thy meek unsullied grace 15
Imagination’s eye shall trace
The glowing blossoms that appear
Proudly to paint the vernal year,
And smiling MAIA’s blushing dyes,
And jocund Summer’s cloudless skies, 20
And Autumn’s labors which succeed
To bid the purple vintage bleed,
Our hopes anticipating see
Led on in radiant train by thee.
3 dar’st Dares.
4 Ere Before; SOL Sun.
8 Tincturing “Tinge; imbue” (OED); ZEPHYR In Greek Mythology, “the god of the west wind” (OED).
10 pinions Wings (OED).
14 IRIS’ bow “In Greek mythology, the personification of the rainbow” (Britannica).
19 MAIA “In Roman Mythology, a goddess of fertility and of the Spring” (OED).
SOURCE: Poems on Various Subjects. Vol. I (London, 1787), pp. 39-40. [Google Books]
Edited by Jiyun An