The Prostrate Pink
By Hannah Flagg Gould
Alas! alas! a silly Pink,
To climb so fast, and never think
How feeble was my trust!
I sought a high and airy throne;
Aspired too far to stand alone;
And now, in lowliness, must own
My kindred with the dust!
O, would my stem had snapped in twain,
And saved me from the lingering pain
Of being thus abased!
‘T is worse than death to lie so low,
While all the laughing flowers must know,
Ambition caused my overthrow,
And brought me here disgraced!
My native spot is far behind!
Nor can I turn and hope to find
Again my parent root,
Where, fain my blushing head I’d screen
Among the leaves so thick and green,
Whence I, a timid bud, was seen
In infancy to shoot.
My beauteous form and hue, so bright,
I thought could tempest, hail and blight
And insect’s touch defy.
I grew in boldness—meekness fled;
I burst my cup, my odors shed
With lavish haste; my petals spread,
And courted every eye.
I little knew how great the fault
Myself to flatter and exalt,
Until I found, too late,
My head grew giddy with the height;
The sun-beam seemed a whirling light;
I lost my balance—lost my sight;
And here I met my fate.
My sister Flowers, take heed! take heed!
Your loveliness will ever need
Protection from the blast.
Be cautious what your beauties court,
Whereon you venture, how you sport;
And if a straw is your support,
See where you may be cast.
Your charms are highest half-concealed;
Your sweets are dearest, when revealed
With modesty and fear;
And she, who quits the leafy shade
That nature for her shelter made,
May pine and languish, moan and fade,
Like her who sorrows here.