Friday 1 December 2023

A Winter Garden

George Granville, Lord Lansdowne (1666-1735)
‘Written in a Garden in the North’

What Charm is this, that in the midst of Snow,
Of Storms, and Blasts, the choicest fruits do grow?
Melons on Beds of Ice are taught to bear,
And Strangers to the Sun, yet ripen here:
On frozen Ground the sweetest Flowers arise,
Unseen by any Light, but Flavia’s eyes:
Where-e’er she treads, beneath the Charmer’s Feet
The Rose, the Jas’min, and the Lilies meet:
Where-e’er she looks, behold some sudden Birth
Adorns the Trees, and fructifies the Earth:
In midst of Mountains, and unfruitful Ground,
As rich an Eden as the first is found,  
In this new Paradise she reigns in State
With Sov’reign Pride, disdainful of a Mate,  
Like the first Charmer fair, but not so frail,
Against whose Virtue all Temptations fail:
Beneath those Beams that scorch us from her Eyes,
Her snowy Bosom still unmelted lyes;
Love from her Lips spreads all his Odours round,
But bears on Ice, and springs from frozen Ground.  
   So cold the Clime that can such wonders bear,
   The Garden seems an emblem of the Fair.
George Granville, Lord Lansdowne, Poems Upon Several Occassions, 3rd ed. (London: Printed for J. Tonson, 1721), p. 37.