Sonnet: To the Poppy
By Anna Seward 1742–1809
While summer roses all their glory yield
To crown the votary of love and joy,
Misfortune’s victim hails, with many a sigh,
Thee, scarlet Poppy of the pathless field,
Gaudy, yet wild and lone; no leaf to shield
Thy flaccid vest that, as the gale blows high,
Flaps, and alternate folds around thy head.
So stands in the long grass a love-crazed maid,
Smiling aghast; while stream to every wind
Her garish ribbons, smeared with dust and rain;
But brain-sick visions cheat her totured mind,
And bring false peace. Thus, lulling grief and pain,
Kind dreams oblivious from thy juice proceed,
Thou flimsy, showy, melancholy weed.