Beautiful flowers! with your petals bright,
Ye float on the waves like spirits of light,
Wooing the zephyr that ruffles your leaves
With a gentle sigh, like a lover that grieves,
When his mistress, blushing, turns away
From his pleading voice and impassioned lay.
Beautiful flowers! the sun's westward beam,
Still lingering, plays on the crystal stream,
And ye look like some Naiad's golden shrine,
That is lighted up with a flame divine;
Or a bark in which love might safely glide,
Impelled by the breeze o'er the purple tide.
Beautiful flowers! how I love to gaze
On your glorious hues, in the noon-tide blaze,
And to see them reflected far below
In the azure waves, as they onward flow;
When the spirit who moves them sighing turns
Where his golden crown on the water burns.
Beautiful flowers! in the rosy west
The sun has sunk in his crimson vest,
And the pearly tears of the weeping night
Have spangled your petals with gems of light,
And turned to stars every wandering beam
Which the pale moon throws on the silver stream.
Beautiful flowers!--yet a little while,
And the sun on your faded buds shall smile;
And the balm-laden zephyr that o'er you sighed
Shall scatter your leaves o'er the glassy tide,
And the spirit that moved the stream shall spread
His lucid robe o'er your watery bed.
Beautiful flowers! our youth is as brief
As the short-lived date of your golden leaf.
The summer will come, and each amber urn,
Like a love-lighted torch, on the waves shall burn;
But when the first bloom of our life is o'er
No after spring can its freshness restore,
But faith can twine round the hoary head
A garland of beauty when youth is fled!