The Bijou

The Bijou;

or Annual of Literature and the Arts

compiled by William Fraser

London: William Pickering,


[Page 181] page image and link
A Simile, on a Lady's Portrait
By James Montgomery, Esq.
A FOUNTAIN issuing into light, 1
Before a marble palace, threw 2
To heaven its column, pure and bright, 3
Returning thence in showers of dew;— 4
But soon a humbler course it took, 5
And glid away—a nameless brook. 6

Flowers on its grassy margin sprang, 7
Flies o'er its eddying surface play'd, 8
Birds 'midst the waving branches sang, 9
Flocks through the verdant meadows stray'd; 10
The weary there lay down to rest, 11
And there the halcyon built her nest. 12

'Twas beautiful—to stand and watch 13
The fountain's crystal turn to gems, 14
And such resplendent colours catch, 15
As though 'twere raining diadems; 16
Yet all was cold and curious art, 17
That charm'd the eye, but miss'd the heart!— 18

[Page 182] page image and link
Dearer to me the little stream, 19
Whose unimprison'd waters run, 20
Wild as the changes of a dream, 21
By rock and glen, through shade and sun; 22
Its lovely links have power to bind, 23
And whirl away my willing mind. 24

So thought I, when I saw the face, 25
By happy portraiture reveal'd, 26
Of one, adorn'd with every grace; 27
Her name and date from me conceal'd, 28
But not her story;—she had been 29
The pride of many a splendid scene. 30

She cast her glory round a court, 31
And frolick'd in the gayest ring, 32
Where Fashion's high‐born minions sport, 33
Like gilded insects on the wing; 34
But thence, when love had touch'd her soul, 35
To nature and to truth she stole. 36

From din, and pageantry, and strife, 37
'Midst woods and mountains, vales and plains, 38
She treads the paths of lowly life, 39
Yet in affection's bosom reigns; 40
No fountain scattering diamond‐showers, 41
But the sweet streamlet, edged with flowers! 42
from The Bijou, 1828, pp. 181-182
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