Gather the flowers, but spare the buds.
What wondrous life is this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on melons, as I pass,
Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.
Had it lived long, is would have been
Lilies without, roses within.
How could such sweet and wholesome hours be reckoned, but in herbs and flowers?
And now, when I have summed up all my store, Thinking (so I myself deceive) So rich a chaplet thence to weave As never yet the King of Glory wore, Alas! I find the serpent old, That, twining in his speckled breast, About the flowers disguised does fold With wreaths of fame and interest.
I have a garden of my own, But so with roses overgrown, And lilies, that you would it guess To be a little wilderness.
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