To * * * * * *.

A poem by John Clare

Thou lovely bud, with many weeds surrounded,
I once again address thee with a song;
To cheer thee up 'gainst Envy's adder-tongue
That deeply oft thy reputation wounded,
And did thy tender blossom mickle wrong.
But, look thou up!--'tis known in nature's law
That serpents seek the honey-hoarding bee,
Rosemary's sweets the loathsome toad will draw,
So beauty curdles envy's look on thee.
Fain would the peacock's tail the bow express
Which paints the clouds so sweet in April's rain,
And just the same, that imp of ugliness
Mimics thy lovely blossom,--but in vain;
And fain would poison what he can't possess.

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