How is it in this chilling time,
When frost and snows the season claim,
This flow'ring plant is in its prime,
Which of July assumes the name?
But since we poets speech bestow,
And form what dialogues we please,
With animals or plants that grow,
And make them answer us with ease.
Tell me (said I) prolifick stock,
Which do'st these fragrant treasures bring,
What is it can such stores unlock,
At Christmas as outvie the spring?
Thus ask'd, the flower of tinctur'd bloome,
Soon blush't into a deeper dye,
Cast stronger odours round the room,
And sweetly breath'd out this reply.
Tis true, all plants of my nice sort
Have not such license to appear,
But wait till Phoebus keeps his court,
In the hot circle of the year.
Whilst I a brighter influence own,
Than is imparted from the skies;
Nor take my blossoms thus full blown,
From summer, but Selena's eyes.
Her cheering smile, her modest air,
Did me to this perfection charm;
For nothing droops when near the fair,
But all is lively, all is warm.
That beauteous maid wou'd often view
The green house where I liv'd retired,* *Wye
Who did such early graces shew,
That I to suit them was inspired.
Sometimes a sprig from me, I thought,
Might happily adorn her hair,
Or pardon me if 'twas a fault,
Might rest upon her bosom bare.
My soft perfumes for her design'd,
I ev'n from Zephyrus withdrew;
Unless when that obliging wind
Wou'd shed them round her as he flew.
Delighted when by me she stood,
I wish'd for some transforming art.
For had I then been flesh and blood,
I should have told her all my heart.
Yet I to Flora softly pray'd,
To hasten my disclosing day;
Who doating on the fairer maid,
For her does now my buds display.
But from a strange reverse of fate,
She to the countrey, I the town, *Anne in town
Have sadly been remov'd of late,
And neither to advantage shown.
Then let none blame you, if my flower
Beneath your roof is faded seen,
But know that such enlivening power
Is only granted to fifteen.
I for Selena shall repine,
And when some noble youths you see,
Bow their dejected heads like mine,
Think in our passions we agree.
What farther answer cou'd be made,
Or father question could I try?
Then let her come, and cheer our shade,
Or men and plants in town must die.