Thornton, Robert John (1768?-1837) / Temple of Flora, or, Garden of the botanist, poet, painter, and philosopher.
The Snow Drop and the Crocus.
THE SNOW-DROP AND CROCUS. IN viewing with attention the works of Nature, we cannot fail to notice the highest degree of perfection, and harmony of parts. In the animal creation, when morning is but dawning, we have first the plaintive matin of the robin; as the sun becomes nearer the horizon, the wake- ful lark, on vibrating wing, gives his cheerful song; the sun once fully risen, and all the warbiers of the forest unite in the vocal concert; after a pause, the sun declining, the nightingale joins the robin, but with a song in a much more plaintive strain, and she finally ends in a solo ;a and when utter darkness closes the scene, the frog croaks, the owl screeches, and all partake of the solemnity of night. An African scene at this late hour is dreadful indeed! Besides the hissing of serpents, there are the continual barkings of the wolf and jackall, the yell of the tyger, hyaena, and panther, and the roaring of the lion, appalling every heart with fear. With the same judicious harmonizing of parts, the first flower that appears on the verge of winter is the Snow-Drop, of a pale white, with a little green in the three central petals, whose form the poetess thus elegantly depicts. Poets still in graceful numbers, May the glowing Roses choose: But the SNOW-DROP's simple beauty Better suits an humble muse. Earliest bud that decks the garden, Fairest of the fragrant race, First-born child of vernal Flora, Seeking mild thy lowly place. Though no warm, or murmuring zephyr, Fan thy leaves with balmy wing: Pleas'd, we hail thee, spotless blossom, Herald of the infant spring. Through the cold and cheerless season, Soft thy tender form expands, Safe in unaspiring graces, Foremost of the bloomy bands. The plaintive song of PHILOMELA is thus beautifully described by Virgil. ORPHEUS laments the loss of Eurydice for seven whole months. The rocks were mov'd with pity to his moans, Trees bent their heads to hear him sing his wrongs, Fierce tygers couch'd around, and loud their fawning tongues. So, close in poplar shades, her children gone, The mother NIGHTINGALE laments alone; Whose nest some prying boy had found, and thence By stealth convey'd th' unfeatherd innocence. Thus she supplies the night with mournful strains, And melancholy music fills the plains.
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