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A Contemplation Upon Flowers

by Henry King

A Contemplation Upon Flowers

Brave flowers, that I could gallant it like you
And be as little vain;
You come abroad, and make a harmless show,
And to your beds of earth again;
You are not proud, you know your birth
For your embroider'd garments are from earth:

You do obey your months and times, but I
Would have it ever spring,
My fate would know no winter, never die
Not think of such a thing;
Oh, that I could my bed of earth but view
And smile, and look as cheerfully as you:

Oh, teach me to see death, and not to fear
But rather to take truce;
How often have I seen you at a bier,
And there look fresh and spruce;
You fragrant flowers, then teach me that my breath
Like yours may sweeten and perfume my death.

Henry King (Bishop of Chichester)

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