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In a Public Square

Dear wilding violets, of the self-same hue
As those I first in happy childhood knew,
How like those nestling beauties ye beseem
The vernal sunshine, and the vernal green;
Though far from all the brookside's pleasant sounds,
The cooling freshness of the meadow grounds,
The only breeze that sweeps your lowly bed
By all the city's dust and noises, sped.


And with what peaceful singleness of heart,
I stand and gaze, from all the crowd apart,
Upon your blue and meekly joyful eyes,
As undisturbed, as tranquil as the skies;
Retaining, still, kind nature's simple grace,
Unmindful of the joys or ills of place.


O sweet refreshment, which th' aspiring mind
Can in your humble bloom and beauty find;
O sweet refreshment, that with blandest touch
Soothes to repose the heart that asks too much;
The claiming wish subdued, its ache forgot,
While your mild presence charms this weary spot,
Life's tuneful harmony at once restored,
At nature's lowliest darling's gentle word.


So fair the life, so calm the heavenly sense
Of holy hearts, dear hearts of innocence,
Within whose artless thoughts, like odorous bells,
Such placid hopes, such mild contentment dwells;
Their joys, unsought, in steadfast peace abide,
The rarest blooms of love untouched by pride.