Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Georgian Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Georgian Verse.  1909.
 
Upon a Sweet-Briar
By Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864)
 
        MY briar that smelledst sweet
        When gentle spring’s first heat
          Ran through thy quiet veins,—
        Thou that wouldst injure none,
        But wouldst be left alone,        5
Alone thou leavest me, and nought of thine remains.
 
        What! hath no poet’s lyre
        O’er thee, sweet-breathing briar,
          Hung fondly, ill or well?
        And yet methinks with thee        10
        A poet’s sympathy,
Whether in weal or woe, in life or death, might dwell.
 
        Hard usage both must bear,
        Few hands your youth will rear,
          Few bosoms cherish you;        15
        Your tender prime must bleed
        Ere you are sweet, but freed
From life, you then are prized; thus prized are poets too.
*        *        *        *        *
        And art thou yet alive?
        And shall the happy hive        20
          Send out her youth to cull
        Thy sweets of leaf and flower,
        And spend the sunny hour
With thee, and thy faint heart with murmuring music lull?
 
        Tell me what tender care,        25
        Tell me what pious prayer,
          Bade thee arise and live.
        The fondest-favoured bee
        Shall whisper nought to thee
More loving than the song my grateful muse shall give.        30
 
 
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