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Thornton, Robert John (1768?-1837) / Temple of Flora, or, Garden of the botanist, poet, painter, and philosopher.
(1812)

Verses in Praise of the Artists Engaged in the Temple of Flora, and of the Author of the Work.


Th' unfolding leaf, the soft bud newly burst,
A second FLORA vieing with the first;
"These!" she exclaim'd,- "these flowers should be mine,
"Taken, O NATURE, from thy holy shrine:
"I, only I, should such rich tints bestow,
"I, only I, should give that kindling glow."
Hold!" said the Sister-Goddess,-- "the desire
Thus to paint the charms which we inspire,
Demands our praise-'tis incense at our shrine,
"And Art but proves our Empire more divine.
"Art's noblest effort but makes known our Fame:
" Different our realms, our worship is the same,
" To both does heav'n-born Genius bend the knee
Then FLORA smil'd, and all was harmony.
  PRATT.
VERSES
IN PRAISE OF THE ARTISTS ENGAGED IN THE
TEMPLE OF FLORA,
AND OF
THE AUTHOR OF THE WORK.
OH! THOU, whose radiant tints with beauty glow,
Like those that charm us in th' ethereal bow;
Though bright with heavenly fire the picture shine,
Say, whose bold genius plann'd the vast design,
Bade the majestic plant its leaves unfold,
Its blossoms shoot in vegetable gold;
Bade gathering clouds the darken'd sky deform,
Where round 'the Cape loud howls th' eternal storm?
Or in more genial skies bade EDEN rise,
And wak'd the blooms of opening PARADISE?
Howe'er by THEE in matchless charms array'd,
'Twas THORNTON, first HIS daring powers display'd;
THINE those bright tints, but HIS th' inspiring soul,
That breathes, that burns, throughout the beauteous whole.
MAURICE


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