To the Poppy

Anna Seward

Edited by Jack Lynch

The text comes from The Poetical Works (1810).
While Summer roses all their glory yield
   To crown the votary of love and joy,
   Misfortune's victim hails, with many a sigh,
   Thee, scarlet Poppy of the pathless field,
Gaudy, yet wild and lone; no leaf to shield
   Thy flaccid vest, that as the gale blows high,
   Flaps, and alternate folds around thy head.—
   So stands in the long grass a love-craz'd maid,
Smiling aghast; while stream to every wind
   Her garish ribbons, smear'd with dust and rain;
   But brain-sick visions cheat her tortured mind,
And bring false peace. Thus, lulling grief and pain,
   Kind dreams oblivious from thy juice proceed,
   Thou flimsy, shewy, melancholy Weed.