Cowley, Abraham . The Third Part of the Works of Mr. Abraham Cowley Being his Six Books of Plants
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THE Ram now ope the golden Portal throws, 127
Which holds the various seasons of the Year,
And on his shining Fleece the Spring does bear,
Ye Mortals, with a shout salute him as he goes.
(Io Triumph!) now now the Spring comes on
In solemn state and high Procession,       480
Whilst I; the beauteous Violet, still before him go
And usher in the gaudy show; [image]
As it becomes the Child of such a Sire,
I'm wrap'd in Purple, the first-born of Spring,
The marks of my Legitimation bring,
And all the tokens of his verdant Empire wear.
Clad like a Princely Babe, and born in State,
I all your Regal Titles hate,
Nor priding in my bloud and mighty birth
Unnatural Plant, despise the lap of mother Earth.
Loves Goddess smiles upon me just new-born,
Rejoycing at the Years return.
The Swallow is not a more certain sign
That Love and warm Embraces now begin.       [Latin: 500]
To the lov'd Babe a thousand kisses
The Goddess gives, a thousand balmy blisses.
Besides, my purple Lips
In sacred Nectar dips;
Hence 'tis, no sooner does the Violet burst,
By the warm Air to a just ripeness nurst,       500
But from my opening, blooming Head
A thousand fragrant Odours spread.
I do not only please the smell,
And the most critick tast beguile,
Not onely with my pretty die
Impose a Cheat upon the Eye;
But more for profit than for pleasure born
I furnish out a wholesom juice,
Which the fam'd Epicurus did not scorn
Upon a time, when sick to use.
O'er pressing and vexatious pain,
I such a silent Vict'ry gain,       [Latin: 520]
That though the Body be the Scene,
It scarcely knows whether a fight has been.
The Fevers well-known Valor I invade,
Which blushes with mere rage to yield
To one that ne'er knew how to tread a Field,
But onely was for sights and Nuptial Banquets made.
It yields, but in a grumbling way,
Just as the winds obedience pay,       520
When Neptune from the Floud does peep
And silences these troublers of the deep.
What though some Flowers a greater courage know,
Or a much finer face can show,
That does but still the fansie feed,
Whilst I for business fit, in real worth exceed.
Search over all the Globe, you'll find,
The Glory of a Princely Flower
Consists not in tyrannick Power,
But in a Majesty with mildness join'd.
She spoke; and from her balmy Lips did come
A sweet Perfume that scented all the Room.       [Latin: 540]
The smell so long continued, that you'd swear
The Violet, though you heard no sound, was there.
Quitting the Stage; the next that took her place,
Were Ox-lips, Pugles with their numerous Race;
A parti-colour'd Tribe, of various hue,
Red, yellow, purple, pale, white, dusky, blew.
The Primrose and the Cowslip too were there,
Both of 'em kin, but not so handsom far;       540
Bears-ear, so call'd, did the whole Party head,
And yellow, claiming merit, needs wou'd plead.
Tossing her hundred Heads in slanting rate,
Each had a Mouth, and cou'd at pleasure prate.


[127] The sign Aries.