by RICHARD BRINSLEY SHERIDAN
Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751 - 1815) was a writer, actor and politician. He is most famous for his play “The School for Scandal.” ‘The Geranium’ was written in the 1770s and about half is reproduced here.
In the close covert of a grove
By nature formed for scenes of love,
Said Susan in a lucky hour:
How straight upon its stalk it stands,
And tempts our violating hands,
Whilst the soft bud, as yet outspread,
Yet soon as it is ripe to blow,
the stems shall rise, the head shall glow.’
‘Nature,’ said I, ‘my lovely Sue,
To all her followers lends a clue.
Her simple laws themselves explain
As links of one continued chain;
For her the mysteries of creation
Yon blushing, strong, triumphant flower
Is in the crisis of its power:
But short, alas, its vigorous reign;
The bud that hangs in pale decay
Feels not, as yet, the plastic ray.
Tomorrow’s sun shall bid him rise,
Then, too, he sheds his seed, and dies.
But words, my love, are vain and weak;
For proof, let bright example speak.’ …