Selections from the American poets
William Cullen Bryant


BELINDA! the young blossom that doth lie
So lightly on thy bosom, clasp it there:
For on her brow an empress doth not wear,
Nor in her jewell'd zone, a gem more fair,
Or that doth deck her more becomingly.
Forget not, then, that deep within thy flower
The germes lie hid of lovelier, holier things:
Filial affection, that spontaneous springs;
High truth and maiden purity; the power
That comes of gentleness; ay, and more,
Piety, nourish'd in the bosom's core:
These, if so cherish'd, shall thy blossom bear,
And with the dews of heavenly love impearl'd,
It shall adorn thee in another world.