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A wreath of dewy roses, fresh and sweet, just brought from out the garden's cool retreat.
Grass rows at last above all graves.
Like saintly vestals, pale in prayer, their pure breath sanctifies the air.
No mother who stands upon low ground herself can hope to place her children upon a loftier plane. They may reach it, but it will not be through her.
O, fair To-morrow, what our souls have missed
Art thou not keeping for us, somewhere, still?
The buds of promise that have never blown--
The tender lips that we have never kissed--
The song whose high, sweet strain eludes our skill,
The one white pearl that life hath never known.
Pluck the acacia's golden balls,
And mark where the red pomegranate falls.
Thou art no dreamer, O thou stern To-day!
The dead past had its dreams; the real is thine.
To-morrow; never yet was born
In earth's dull atmosphere a thing so fair
Never tripped, with footsteps light as air,
So glad a vision o'er the hills of morn.
What shall I bring to lay upon thy bier,
O Yesterday! thou day forever dead!
With what strange garlands shall I crown thy head,
Thou silent One?
With fragrant breath the lilies woo me now, and softly speaks the sweet-voiced mignonette.
Yet there upon that upland height
The darlings of the early spring
Blue violets--were blossoming.
And the stately lilies stand
Fair in the silvery light,
Like saintly vestals, pale in prayer;
Their pure breath sanctifies the air,
As its fragrance fills the night.
- A Red Rose [Lilies]
Around in silent grandeur stood
The stately children of the wood;
Maple and elm and towering pine
Mantled in folds of dark woodbine.
- At the Gate [Honeysuckles]
The buttercups, bright-eyed and bold,
Held up their chalices of gold
To catch the sunshine and the dew.
- Centennial Poem (l. 165) [Buttercups]
Stars will blossom in the darkness,
Violets bloom beneath the snow.
- For a Silver Wedding [Violets]
Grass grows at last above all graves.
- Grass-Grown [Grass]
Fie upon thee, November! thou dost ape
The airs of thy young sisters, . . . thou hast stolen
The witching smile of May to grace thy lip,
And April's rare capricious loveliness
Thou'rt trying to put on!
- November [November]
The harebells nod as she passes by,
The violet lifts its tender eye,
The ferns bend her steps to greet,
And the mosses creep to her dancing feet.
- Over the Wall [Flowers]
O beautiful, royal Rose,
O Rose, so fair and sweet!
Queen of the garden art thou,
And I--the Clay at thy feet!
. . . .
Yet, O thou beautiful Rose!
Queen rose, so fair and sweet,
What were lover or crown to thee
Without the Clay at thy feet?
- The Clay to the Rose [Roses]
Who soweth good seed shall surely reap;
The year grows rich as it groweth old,
And life's latest sands are its sands of gold!
- To the "Bouquet Club" [Goodness]
What dost thou bring to me, O fair To-day,
That comest o'er the mountains with swift feet?
- To-Day [Today]
And all the meadows, wide unrolled,
Were green and silver, green and gold,
Where buttercups and daisies spun
Their shining tissues in the sun.
- Unanswered [Flowers]
Up from the gardens floated the perfume
Of roses and myrtle, in their perfect bloom.
- Vashti's Scroll (l. 91) [Flowers]
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