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William Shenstone (Уильям Шенстон)

Valentine's Day

'Tis said that under distant skies,
Nor you the fact deny,
What first attracts an Indian's eyes
Becomes his deity.

Perhaps a lily, or a rose,
That shares the morning's ray,
May to the waking swain disclose
The regent of the day.

Perhaps a plant in yonder grove,
Enrich'd with fragrant power,
May tempt his vagrant eyes to rove
Where blooms the sovereign flower.

Perch'd on the cedar's topmost bough,
And gay with gilded wings,
Perchance, the patron of his vow,
Some artless linnet sings.

The swain surveys her pleased, afraid,
Then low to earth he bends;
And owns, upon her friendly aid,
His health, his life depends.

Vain futile idols, bird or flower,
To tempt a votary's prayer!-
How would his humble homage tower
Should he behold my fair!

Yes-might the Pagan's waking eyes,
O'er Flavia's beauty range,
He there would fix his lasting choice,
Nor dare, nor wish, to change. 

William Shenstone's other poems:
  1. The Invidious
  2. Charms of Precedence
  3. An Irregular Ode, After Sickness
  4. Colemira: A Culinary Eclogue
  5. Song (I told my nymph, I told her true)

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