Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
  
Henry King, Bishop of Chichester. 1592–1669
  
278. 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:         5
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, 
      Nor think of such a thing.  10
O that I could my bed of earth but view 
And smile, and look as cheerfully as you! 
 
O teach me to see Death and not to fear, 
      But rather to take truce! 
How often have I seen you at a bier,  15
      And there look fresh and spruce! 
You fragrant flowers! then teach me, that my breath 
Like yours may sweeten and perfume my death. 
 
 
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