In an old world garden dreaming,
Where the flowers had human names,
Methought, in fantastic seeming,
They disported as squires and dames.
Of old in Rosamond’s Bower,
With it’s peacock hedges of yew,
One could never find the flower
Unless one was given the clue;
So take the key of the wicket,
Who would follow my fancy free,
By formal knot and clipt thicket,
And smooth greensward so fair to see
And while Time his scythe is whetting,
Ere the dew from the grass has gone,
The Four Seasons’ flight forgetting,
As they dance round the dial stone;
With a leaf from an old English book,
A Jonquil will serve for a pen.
Let us note from the green arbour’s nook,
Flowers masking like women and men.
FIRST in VENUS’S LOOKING GLASS,
You may see where LOVE LIES BLEEDING,
While PRETTY MAIDS all of them pass
With careless hearts quite unheeding.
Next, a knight with his flaming targe
See the DENT-DE-LION so bold
With his feathery crest at large,
On a field of the cloth of gold.
Simple honesty shows in vain
A fashion few seek to robe in,
While the poor SHEPHERD’S-PURSE is ta’en
By rascally RAGGED-ROBIN.
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