Flower Gathering

Come rural muse thou idol joy
Of all my gambols when a boy
Come frolic as a summers day
& artless as a child at play
Come with thy loves & willing smiles
& let us seek the summer spoils
The blossoms of the fields that wear
Such witching liverys for thy hair
That have but few save thou & I
To praise their beautys passing bye
Thou sing the song my task shall be
To gather all I find for thee
Amuse my soul with themes & greet
My heart with joys I usd to meet
When thou & I first came akin
& hopes fears strove thy smiles to win
Lend thy white hand & lead me on
The wanderings we have often gone
& bring the thoughts of other years
But leave their parting & their tears
Come with thy childish loves & joys
& tastful warmth for little toys
While I beside thee glad remain
Striving to be a boy again
& we will join the minstrel bee
& find as many flowers as he
& we will natures haunts review
& spare her wreaths & garlands new
Aye that thou wilt I see thee start
With willing smiles & gladsome heart
Ere yet the suit is urgd tis won
Thy mantle is already on
Shading thy white neck veind wi blue
Thy hand is held & Ill pursue
The childern playing by the doors
& others hastning down the moors
Did they but know what we pursue
Woud laugh & shout & join us too
A down [a] shady lane well wind
The towns a stones throw left behind
& theres the daisey smiling lone
Mid dangers dust & many a stone
The morning teams have past to plough
To pastures wanderd many a cow
& carts have passd wi loaded hay
& crouded sheep have gone the way
To wash were willows shadow cool
The bosom of the pasture pool
& spite of all the dangers gone
& still uncrushd & trampld on
This daisey smiles wi summers pride
Were none dare come to bloom beside
As safe in its felicity
As nought had been or ere woud be
Well it shall have a safer rest
Ill stoop & crop it for thy breast
Were it may live for many days
If so it wins thy witching praise
& ere we leave this ashen grove
& cross the brook were daily rove
The school boys at their leisure hours
Wading for fish or water flowers.

& majoram midst the summer grasses
Which the milk maid never passes
Without a notice or a smile
Or gathering a sprig the while
To smell on as she hies along
With merry heart & cheering song
Or adding to some sweet nosegay
The gift of swains on sabbath day
Or pushing oft its fragrance down
The bosom of her sunday gown
To smell when shepherds stealeth kisses
Sweet as imaginary blisses
Can ere consieve which makes the swain
Amourous to kiss her oer again.

The ladies bedstraw here it springs
As fine as aught that summer brings
Its little yellow flowers intrude
In such a countless multitude
About the little bending stalk
One een might fancy as we walk
That flora in her merry glee
Had robd the loads from passing bee
Of gold dust clinging to their thighs
& sprinkld here the mealy prise
Which nature in her freakish powers
Approvd of & exchangd to flowers.

& dare we journey further still
Clouds multiply above the hill
& blackning in that shadowy mood
Keep thickning oer the distant wood
& heres the " John go bed at noon"
Closes its scarlet flowers too soon
Creeping among the wheat & grass
The knowing shepherds weather glass
Een weeders say it tokens rain
When cutting thistles from the grain
While maids that soft emotions move
Seek it as a charm for love
& hide it near that witching spot
Their hearts as herb " forgetmenot"
Its crimson star is shut from light
As other blossoms are from night
The may is out of bloom & now
The awe is swelling on its bough
Were br[y]ony weaves about the bowers
Her clumps of greenish-yellow flowers
& wild hops lift in rambling rout
Their clammy balls of fruit about
The wild rose too is blooming there
Ah weres a rosey half so fair
& half the joy to gazers yields
As that which grows about the fields.
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