Rural Illusions

Sylph was it? or a Bird more bright
 Than those of fabulous stock?
A second darted by;—and lo!
 Another of the flock,
Through sunshine flitting from the bough
 To nestle in the rock.
Transient deception! a gay freak
 Of April's mimicries!
Those brilliant strangers, hailed with joy
 Among the budding trees,
Proved last year's leaves, pushed from the spray
 To frolic on the breeze.

Maternal Flora! show thy face,
 And let thy hand be seen,
Thy hand here sprinkling tiny flowers,
 That, as they touch the green,
Take root (so seems it) and look up
 In honour of their Queen.
Yet, sooth, those little starry specks,
 That not in vain aspired
To be confounded with live growths,
 Most dainty, most admired,
Were only blossoms dropped from twigs
 Of their own offspring tired.

Not such the World's illusive shows;
  Her wingless flutterings,
Her blossoms which, though shed, out-brave
 The floweret as it springs,
For the undeceived, smile as they may,
 Are melancholy things:
But gentle Nature plays her part
 With ever-varying wiles,
And transient feignings with plain truth
 So well she reconciles,
That those fond Idlers most are pleased
 Whom oftenest she beguiles.
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