Sonnet XCI [I can in groups these mimic flowers compose]
Reflections on Some Drawings of Plants
I can in groups these mimic flowers compose,
These bells and golden eyes, embathed in dew;
Catch the soft blush that warms the early Rose,
Or the pale Iris cloud with veins of blue;
Copy the scallop’d leaves, and downy stems,
And bid the pencil’s varied shades arrest
Spring’s humid buds, and Summer’s musky gems:
But, save the portrait on my bleeding breast,
I have no semblance of that form adored,
That form, expressive of a soul divine,
So early blighted, and while life is mine,
With fond regret, and ceaseless grief deplored—
That grief, my angel! with too faithful art
Enshrines thy image in thy Mother’s heart.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on October 6, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.
“Sonnet XCI” was published in Elegiac Sonnets: And Other Poems (T. Cadell, Junior, and W. Davies, 1800).