Thornton, Robert John (1768?-1837) / Temple of Flora, or, Garden of the botanist, poet, painter, and philosopher.
TULIP ROOT. As the juices of the Turnip are wholly exhausted in the formation of the leaves, stem, and flowers, of the plant, so annually does the tunicated bulb of the TULIP expend itself in the production of its flower, and the formation of other bulbs, which contain the Tulips for the succeeding years in Embryo. Only open one of these young bulbs in any month of Winter, and you will see in Miniature the perfect flower destined in future to charm the admiring eye. This curious fact has afforded scope to a great poet for one of the most brilliant compositions in the English language. When o'er the cultur'd lawns and dreary wastes Retiring Autumn flings her howling blasts, Bends in tumultuous waves the struggling woods, And show'rs their leafy honours on the floods, In with'ring heaps collects the flowery spoil, And each chill insect sinks beneath the soil; Quick hears fair TULIPA the loud alarms, And folds her infant closer in her arms; Soft plays affection round her bosom's throne, And guards its life, forgetful of her own.- So wings the wounded deer her headlong flight, Pierc'd by some ambush'd archer of the night, Shoots to the woodlands with her bounding fawn, And drops of blood bedew the conscious lawn; There, hid in shades, she shuns the cheerful day, Hangs o'er her young, and weeps her life away.- So stood Eliza on the wood-crown'd height, O'er Minden's plain, spectatress of the fight; Sought with bold eye, amid the bloody strife, Her dearer self, the partner of her life; From hill to hill the rushing host pursu'd, And view'd his banner, or believ'd she view'd. Pleas'd with the distant roar, with quicker tread, Fast by her hand one lisping boy she led; And one fair girl, amid the loud alarm, Slept on her kerchief, cradled by her arm; While round her brows bright beams of honour dart, And love's warm eddies circle round her heart. Near and more near th' intrepid beauty press'd, Saw through the driving smoke his dancing crest; Heard the exulting shout, " they run! they run "Great God !" she cried, "he's safe! The battle's won A ball now hisses through the airy tides, (Some fury wing'd it, and some daemon guides,) Parts the fine locks her graceful head that deck, Wounds her fair ear, and sinks into her neck:
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