Why loves my flower, so high reclined
Upon these walls of barren gloom,

Why loves my flower, so high reclined
Upon these walls of barren gloom,
To wast her sweetness on the wind,
And far from every eye to bloom?
Why joy to twine with golden braid
This ruined rampart's aged head,
Proud to expose her gentle form
And swing her bright locks in the storm?

That lonely spot is bleack and hoar,
Where prints my flower her fragrant kiss;
Yet sorrow hangs not fonder o'er
The ruins of her faded bliss.
And wherefore will she thus inweave
The owl's lone couch, and feel at eve
The wild bat o'er her blossoms fling
And strike them down with heedless wing?

Thus, gazing on the loftiest tower
Of ruined Fore at eventide,
The Muse addressed a lonely flower
That bloomed above in summer pride.
The Muse's eye, the Muse's ear,
Can more than others see and hear:
The breeze of evening murmured by,
And gave, she deemed, this faint reply:

"On this lone tower, so wild and drear,
" 'Mid storms and clouds I love to lie.
"Because I find a freedom here
"Which prouder haunts could ne'er supply.
"Safe on these walls I sit, and stem
"The elements that conquered them;
"And high o'er reach of plundering foe
"Smile on an anxious world below.

"Though envied place I may not claim
"On warrior's crest, or lady's hair;
"Though tongue may never speak my name,
"Nor eye behold and own me fair;
"To Him, who tends me from the sky,
"I spread my beauties here on high,
"And bid the winds to waft above
"My incense to His throne of love.

"And though in hermit solitude,
"Aloft and wild, my home I choose,
"On the rock's bosom pillowed rude,
"And nurtured by the falling dews;
"Yet duly with the opening year
"I hang my golden mantle here.
"A child of God's I am, and He
"Sustains, and clothes, and shelters me.

"Nor deem my state without its bliss:
"Mine is the first young smile of day;
"Mine is the light zephyr's earliest kiss;
"And mine the skylark's marin lay.
"These are my joys: with these on high
"In peace I hope to live and die,
"And drink the dew, and scent the breeze,
"As blithe a flower as Flora sees."

Bloom on, sweet moralist!  Be thine
The softest shower, the brightest sun!
Long o'er a world of error shine,
And teach them what to seek and shun!
Bloom on, and show the simple glee
That dwells with those who dwell like thee;
From noise, and glare, and folly driven,
To thought, retirement, peace, and heaven.

Shew them, in thine, the Christian's lot,
So dark and drear in worldly eyes;
And yet he would exchange it not
For all they most pursue and prize.
From meaner cares and trammels free,
he soars above the world, like thee;
And, fed and nurtured from above,
Returns the debt in grateful love.

Frail, like thyself, fair flower, is he,
And beat by every storm and shower;
Yet on a Rock he stands, like thee,
And braves the tempest's wildest power.
And there he blooms, and gathers still
A good from every seeming ill;
And, pleased with what his lot has given.
He lives to God, and looks to heaven.

~ Henry Francis Lyte

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