O Sweeter than the Flagrant Flower

William Drennan
The Cabinet of Irish Literature (edited by Charles A. Read)
Volume 2

O sweeter than the fragrant flower,

At evening's dewy close,

The will, united with the power,

To succour human woes!

And softer than the softest strain

Of music to the ear,

The placid joy we give and gain,

By gratitude sincere.

The husbandman goes forth a-field;

What hopes his heart expand!

What calm delight his labours yield!

A harvest—from his hand!

A hand that providently throws,

Not dissipates in vain;

How neat his field! how clean it grows!

What produce from each grain!

The nobler husbandry of mind,

And culture of the heart,—

Shall this with men less favour find,

Less genuine joy impart?

O! no—your goodness strikes a root

That dies not, nor decays—

And future life shall yield the fruit,

Which blossoms now in praise.

The youthful hopes, that now expand

Their green and tender leaves,

Shall spread a plenty o'er the land,

In rich and yellow sheaves.

Thus, a small bounty well bestowed

May perfect Heaven's high plan;

First daughter to the love of God,

Is Charity to Man.

'Tis he who scatters blessings round

Adores his Maker best;

His walk through life is mercy-crowned,

His bed of death is blest.