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A sunbeam warm'd thee into bloom;
A zephyr's kiss thy blushes gave:
The tears of ev'ning shed perfume,
And morn will beam upon thy grave.
How like to thee, thou transient flower,
The doom of all we love on earth;
Beauty, like thee, but decks an hour,
Decay feeds on it from its birth.
He who knows himself best esteems himself least.
If on creation's morn the king of heaven
To shrubs and flowers a sovereign lord had given,
O beauteous rose, he had anointed thee
Of shrubs and flowers the sovereign lord to be;
The spotless emblem of unsullied truth,
The smile of beauty and the glow of youth,
The garden's pride, the grace of vernal bowers,
The blush of meadows, and the eye of flowers.
O Venus, hail! all hail, immortal Queen!
Thou reign'st unbounded o'er the human scene,
Where the bright Thames shines forth in azure pride,
To where the Ganges rolls its foamy tide,
Where the redundant Nile expands his course,
Or Niagara throws her headlong force;
Still from the east to west, from pole to pole,
Thou e'er shalt rule great Sovereign of the whole.
Oh, the music and beauty of life lose their worth,
When one heart only joys in their smile;
But the union of hearts gives that pleasure its birth,
Which beams on the darkest and coldest of earth
Like the sun on his own chosen isle;
It gives to the fireside of winter the light,
The glow and the glitter of spring--
O sweet are the hours, when two fond hearts unite,
As softly they glide, in their innocent flight
Away on a motionless wing.
The smile that illumines the features of beauty,
When kindled by virtue, alluring appears;
But smiles, tho' alluring, no magic can borrow,
To vie with the softness of beauty in tears.
The smiles that are sweetest are often deceiving;
Too often a mask which the cold-hearted wears;
But a tear is the holiest offspring of feeling,
And monarchs are weak before beauty in tears.
There is nothing can equal the tender hours
When life is first in bloom,
When the heart like a bee, in a wild of flowers,
Finds everywhere perfume;
When the present is all and it questions not
If those flowers shall pass away,
But pleased with its own delightful lot,
Dreams never of decay.
On paper curiously shaped
Scribblers to-day of every sort,
In verses Valentines ycled'd
To Venus chime their annual court.
I too will swell the motley throng,
And greet the all auspicious day,
Whose privilege permits my song
My love this secret to convey.
- Manuscript--From his Dictionary of Poetical Quotations--Valentines
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