[To Miss Cruickshank, a very Young Lady]
[Written on the Blank Leaf of a Book, presented to her by the Author.]
Beauteous Rosebud, young and gay,
Blooming in 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!
May’st thou long, sweet crimson gem,
Richly deck thy native stem;
Till some ev’ning, 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.