1781
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Flower.

Edinburgh Magazine or Literary Amusement 51 (15 March 1781) 305.

B. Dodd


A pastoral lyric in five double-quatrain stanzas, signed "B— D—." This is an example of the "simile" genre developed in the mode of pastoral ballad; the poet presents the Flower to Phebe: "With her cheek tho' 'twould vie, and in vain, | With her bosom in softness compare, | One must own where a 'semblance could reign, | 'Twas the nearest to Phebe the Fair." In 1783 this poem was reprinted in The London Chronicle with the signature "B. Dodd, Moffat, April 9."



Not the dew-drop besprinkling the rose,
Nor the violet, the first of the vale,
More beauties, tho' blended, disclose,
Than the Flow'r I late found on the dale.
When I found it to pity was due,
A sigh for the soil so severe,
And hence favour'd it flourish'd anew,
On the bosom of Phebe the Fair.

The breeze that perchance us'd to stray,
Or the sun that so carelessly shone,
It mourn'd not, — her breath was the May,
And her eye a more nourishing sun.
With her cheek tho' 'twould vie, and in vain,
With her bosom in softness compare,
One must own where a 'semblance could reign,
'Twas the nearest to Phebe the Fair.

'Tis told, and the tale I believe,
That Chasteness of Heav'n is the child,
For the sky-woven vest of the eve,
And the tears of the sky are less mild.
To the fair Flow'r, the tears of the sky,
As the sun-beam at day-dawn were dear;
Ah! marvel we not it should die,
On the bosom of Phebe the Fair!

The cowslip that blooms unconfin'd,
Transplanted may pine in the bow'r,
For to very what soil is assign'd,
Not the oak not a shrub can endure.
On the Virtues so wont to rely,
Such a heart what deceit could ensnare!
Ah! marvel we now it should die
On the bosom of Phebe the Fair.

Its spice gave the breath of the west,
And the tulip its velvet in vain,
And the rainbow so lavishly drest,
Those tints that no art can retain.
Yet their flight, tho' no art could delay,
Will no reason their failings repair;
Ah! now, what a tear can convey,
That tear shall be Phebe's the Fair!

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