University of Virginia Library


O Queen, we are loyal: shall sad ones forget?
We are natives of Eden—
Sharing its memory with you, and your handmaidens yet.
You bravely dissemble with looks that beguile
Musing mortals to murmur
Reproachful “So festal, O Flower, we but weary the while?
What nothing has happened? no event to make wan,
Begetting things hateful—
Old age, decay, and the sorrows, devourers of man?”
They marvel and marvel how came you so bright,
Whence the splendor, the joyance—
Florid revel of joyance, the Cypress in sight!
Scarce you would poor Adam upbraid that his fall
Like a land-slide by waters
Rolled an out-spreading impulse disordering all;


That the Angel indignant, with eyes that foreran
The betrayed generations,
Cast out the flowers wherewith Eve decked her nuptials with man.
Ah, exile is exile, tho' spiced be the sod,
In Shushan we languish—
Languish with the secret desire for the garden of God.
But all of us yet—
We the Lilies whose palor is passion,
We the Pansies that muse nor forget—
In harbinger airs how we freshen,
When, clad in the amice of gray silver-hemmed,
Meek coming in twilight and dew,
The Day-Spring, with pale priestly hand and begemmed,
Touches, and coronates you:—
Breathing, O daughter of far descent,
Banished, yet blessed in banishment,
Whereto is appointed a term;
Flower, voucher of Paradise, visible pledge,
Rose, attesting it spite of the Worm.