Cowley, Abraham . The Third Part of the Works of Mr. Abraham Cowley
Being his Six Books of Plants
Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library
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Auricula Ursi. BEARS-EAR.
GReat Queen of Flow'rs, why is thy snowy Breast,
With such a sight of various Posies drest!
Whereas one stalk of mine
Alone a Nosegay is, alone can make thee fine;
A lovely, harmless Monster, I
Gorgon's many Heads outvie;
Others, as single Stars, may Glory beam; [Latin: 560]
Take me, for I a Constellation am;
Let those who Subjects want, pursue the flowry Crown,
A flowry Nation, I, alone;
Nor did kind Nature thus in vain,
So many Heads to me assign;
I for Mans Head, Lifes chiefest seat
Am set apart and wholly consecrate.
The minds Imperial Tow'r, the brain,
(A pooor Apartment for so great a Queen) 560
The Light-house where Mans Reason stands and shines,
Maugre the malice of contending winds,
I guard the sacred Place, repel the Rout,
And keep the everlasting Fire from going out.
Go now, and mock me with this monstrous Name
Which the late barbarous Age did coin and frame,
The true and proper names of things, of old,
Through a Religious silence ne'r were told.
Thus Guardian Gods true names were seldom known,
Lest some invading Foe might charm 'em from the Town.
Impudent Fool! that first stil'd beauteous Flowers [Latin: 580]
By a detested Name; the Ears of Bears.
Worthy himself of Asses Ears, a pair,
Fairer than Midas once was said to wear. [image]
At this rate singing (for your merry Flowers
Still sing their words, not bring 'em forth like ours)
The Daffadil succeeded, once a Youth,
(As any Poets tell, a sacred truth.)
And all his Clients and his kindred came,
A numerous train, to vote and poll for him; 580
All of 'em pale or yellow did appear,
The Livery which wounded Lovers wear.
Though Virgil purple Honours has assign'd
And blewish dy, too liberal and kind,
The Chalcedonick with white Flower thought best
To be the Mouth, and sing for all the rest.