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Elegy XXV. To Delia, With Some Flowers

Whate'er could Sculpture's curious art employ,
Whate'er the lavish hand of Wealth can shower,
These would I give-and every gift enjoy,
That pleased my fair-but Fate denies the power.

Bless'd were my lot to feed the social fires!
To learn the latent wishes of a friend!
To give the boon his native taste admires,
And, for my transport, on his smile depend!

Bless'd, too, is he whose evening ramble strays
Where droop the sons of Indigence and Care!
His little gifts their gladden'd eyes amaze,
And win, at small expence, their fondest prayer!

And, oh! the joy, to shun the conscious light;
To spare the modest blush; to give unseen!
Like showers that fall behind the veil of night,
Yet deeply tinge the smiling vales with green.

But happiest they who drooping realms relieve!
Whose virtues in our cultured vales appear!
For whose sad fate a thousand shepherds grieve,
And fading fields allow the grief sincere.

To call lost Worth from its oppressive shade
To fix its equal sphere, and see it shine,
To hear it grateful own the generous aid:
This, this is transport-but must ne'er be mine.

Faint is my bounded bliss; nor I refuse
To range where daisies open, rivers roll,
While prose or song the languid hours amuse,
And sooth the fond impatience of my soul.

Awhile I'll weave the roofs of jasmine bowers,
And urge with trivial cares the loitering year;
Awhile I'll prune my grove, protect my flowers,
Then, unlamented, press an early bier!

Of those loved flowers the lifeless corse may share,
Some hireling hand a fading wreath bestow;
The rest will breathe as sweet, will glow as fair,
As when their master smiled to see them glow.

The sequent morn shall wake the sylvan quire;
The kid again shall wanton ere 'tis noon;
Nature will smile, will wear her best attire;
O let not gentle Delia smile so soon!

While the rude hearse conveys me slow away,
And careless eyes my vulgar fate proclaim,
Let thy kind tear my utmost worth o'erpay,
And, softly sighing, vindicate my fame.-

O Delia! cheer'd by thy superior praise,
I bless the silent path the Fates decree;
Pleased, from the list of my inglorious days,
To raise the moments crown'd with bliss and thee.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:58 min read
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William Shenstone

William Shenstone was an English poet and one of the earliest practitioners of landscape gardening through the development of his estate, The Leasowes. more…

All William Shenstone poems | William Shenstone Books

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