The Daisy's Mistake
by Frances Sargent Locke Osgood
A sunbeam and zephyr were playing about,
One spring, ere a blossom had peep'd from the stem,
When they heard, underground, a faint, fairy-like shout;
'Twas the voice of a field-daisy calling to them.
Oh! tell me, my friend, has the winter gone by?
Is it time to come up? Is the Crocus there yet?
I know you are sporting above, and I sigh
To be with you and kiss you; -- 'tis long since we met!
I've been ready this great while, -- all dress'd for the show;
I've a gem on my bosom that's pure as a star;
And the frill of my robe is as white as the snow;
And I mean to be brighter than Crocuses are.
Now the zephyr and sunbeam were wild with delight!
It seem'd a whole age since they'd play'd with a flower;
So they told a great fib to the poor little sprite,
That was languishing down in her underground bower.
Come out! little darling! as quick as you can!
The Crocus, the Cowslip, and Buttercup too,
Have been up here this fortnight, we're having grand times,
And all of them hourly asking for you!
The Cowslip is crown'd with a topaz tiara;
The Crocus is flaunting in golden attire;
But you, little pet! are a thousand times fairer;
To see you but once, is to love and admire!
The skies smile benignantly all the day long;
The bee drinks your health in the purest of dew;
The lark has been waiting to sing you a song,
Which he practised in Cloudland on purpose for you!
Come, come! you are either too bashful or lazy!
Lady Spring made this season an early entrée;
And she wonder'd what could have become of her Daisy;
We'll call you coquettish, if still you delay!
Then a still, small voice, in the heart of the flower,
It was Instinct, whisper'd her,
Do not go!
You had better be quiet, and wait your hour;
It isn't too late even yet for snow!
But the little field-blossom was foolish and vain,
And she said to herself,
What a belle I shall be!
So she sprang to the light, as she broke from her chain,
And gayly she cried,
I am free! I am free!
A shy little thing is the Daisy, you know;
And she was half frighten'd to death, when she found
Not a blossom had even begun to blow!
How she wish'd herself back again under the ground!
The tear in her timid and sorrowful eye
Might well put the zephyr and beam to the blush;
But the saucy light laugh'd, and said,
Pray don't cry!
And the gay zephyr sang to her,
Hush, sweet, hush!
They kiss'd her and petted her fondly at first;
But a storm arose, and the false light fled;
And the zephyr changed into angry breeze,
That scolded her till she was almost dead!
The gem on her bosom was stain'd and dark,
The snow of her robe had lost its light,
And tears of sorrow had dimm'd the spark
Of beauty and youth, that made her bright!
And so she lay with her fair head low,
And mournfully sigh'd in her dying hour,
Ah! had I courageously answer'd 'no!'
I had now been safe in my native bower!