The Laurels with the Winter Strive

Now labour his reward receives,
For Adoration counts his sheaves,
To peace, her bounteous prince;
The nect’rine his strong tint imbibes,
And apples of ten thousand tribes,
And quick peculiar quince.

The wealthy crops of whitening rice
’Mongst thyine woods and groves of spice,
For Adoration grow;
And, marshalled in the fencèd land,
The peaches and pomegranates stand,
Where wild carnations blow.

The laurels with the winter strive;
The crocus burnishes alive
Upon the snow-clad earth;
For Adoration myrtles stay
To keep the garden from dismay,
And bless the sight from dearth.

The pheasant shows his pompous neck;
And ermine, jealous of a speck,
With fear eludes offence:
The sable, with his glossy pride,
For Adoration is described,
Where frosts the waves condense.

The cheerful holly, pensive yew,
And holy thorn, their trim renew;
The squirrel hoards his nuts;
All creatures batten o’er their stores,
And careful nature all her doors
For Adoration shuts.

(extract: A Song To David)

by Christopher Smart (c. 1760)


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