Flowers ! that a poet’s hand hath cull’d,1
Ye lull, as oft his strains have lull’d2
Thoughts that my heart consume :3
In harmony your tints oppose,4
Carnation, jessamine, and rose5
A melody of bloom.6
And yet ere night, your leaves, forlorn,7
Will ask— “ Where are the dews of morn ? ”8
To-morrow— “ Where the sun ? ”9
And, missing these, the gracious powers,10
That are divinities to flowers,11
Soon will your lives be done.12
But now how beautiful ye are !13
Each gleameth on me like a star,14
Only with milder hue ;15
And many a thought and fancy fleet,16
And some, by sadness made more sweet,17
Bright flowers I give to you.18
Sadness ! I dare not look on thee,19
Thou richly red anemone !20
And let the word remain.21
I dare not think of him who wrought ye,22
Nor even of the hand that brought ye,23
With thoughts akin to pain.24
So, vanish sadness from my rhyme !25
Killing all beauty ere its time :26
I will not muse on death ;27
But only wish that I could be28
Innocent, lovely flowers, as ye,29
Living a life of tranquil glee,30
Undimm’d by Passion’s breath.31