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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

The Life of Flowers

By Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864)

WHEN hath wind or rain

Borne hard upon weak plant that wanted me,

And I (however they might bluster round)

Walkt off? ’Twere most ungrateful; for sweet scents

Are the swift vehicles of still sweeter thoughts,

And nurse and pillow the dull memory

That would let drop without them her best stores.

They bring me tales of youth and tones of love,

And ’tis and ever was my wish and way

To let all flowers live freely, and all die

(Whene’er their Genius bids their souls depart)

Among their kindred in their native place.

I never pluck the rose; the violet’s head

Hath shaken with my breath upon its bank

And not reproacht me; the ever-sacred cup

Of the pure lily hath between my hands

Felt safe, unsoiled, nor lost one grain of gold.