The Myrtle And The Bramble

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  Luxuriant with perennial green
  A Myrtle young and lovely stood,
  Sole beauty of the wintry scene,
  The fairest daughter of the wood:
  Close by her side a Bramble grew,
  Like other Brambles rude with thorn,
  Who sicken'd at the pleasing view,
  Yet what she envied seem'd to scorn:
  Full oft to blast each hated charm
  She call'd the fiery bolts of Jove;
  But Jove was too polite to harm
  Aught sacred to the Queen of Love: 
  Yet was her rage not wholly cross'd,
  Boreas was to her wishes kind,
  And from his magazines of frost
  He summon'd forth the keenest wind.
  A thousand clouds surcharg'd with rain
  The ruffian god around him calls;
  Then blows intense, and o'er the plain
  A fleecy deluge instant falls:
  No more the Myrtle bears the belle,
  No more her leaves luxuriant shew,
  The thorny Bramble looks as well,
  Powder'd, and perriwig'd with snow.
  Sure some gray antiquated maid,
  The very Bramble of her sex,
  To each invidious power has pray'd,
  Our eyes and senses to perplex. 
  Fashion with more than Boreas' rage
  A universal snow has shed,
  And given the hoary tint of age
  To every lovely female's head.
  O break thy rival's hated spell,
  Kind Nature! that where'er we ramble,
  Thy work from Courtoi's we may tell,
  And know a Myrtle from a Bramble.

© Henry James Pye