Cowley, Abraham . The Third Part of the Works of Mr. Abraham Cowley Being his Six Books of Plants
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DAFFADIL. -- Narcissus.

[image] [image]
WHat once I was, a Boy, not ripen'd to a Man, [image]
My roots of one years growth explain,
A lovely Boy, of killing Eyes [image]       [Latin: 600]
Where ambuscading witchcraft lies,
Which did at last the Owners self surprize.
Of fatal Beauty, such as cou'd inspire
Love into coldest Breasts, in water kindle fire.
Me the hot beds of Sand in Libya burn,
Or Ister's frozen Banks to raine turn.
I, when a Boy, among the boys
Had still the noblest place,
The same my Plant among the Flow'rs enjoys,
And is the Gardens Ornament and grace.
Become a Flower, I cannot tell       600
Why my face shou'd not please me still;
Downwards I lean my bending Head
Longing my looks in the same Glass to read;
Shew me a stream, that liquid Glass
Will put me in the self same case;
In th'colour with the same Nymphs I am drest,       [Latin: 620]
Who wear me in their snowy Breast;
Who with my Flowers their pride maintain,
And wish I were a Boy again.
She spoke; Anemone her station took,
To whom the Goddess deign'd a smiling look;
For with the Tulip's leave, I needs must say
No Race more numerous, none more fine or gay;
The Purple with its large and spreading Leaf 128
Was chosen by consent to be their Chief.
Of fair Adonis bloud's undoubted strain,
And to this hour it shews the dying stain;
As soon as Zephyr had unloos'd its Tongue 129
The beauteous Plant after this manner sung.


[128] 'Tis fabled to have sprung, out of Adonis's bloud.


[129] Its Flower never opens but when the Wind blows, Plin. 21.23.