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EAUTIFUL lily, dwelling by still rivers,
Or solitary mere, Or where the sluggish meadow-brook delivers
Its waters to the weir !
Thou laughest at the mill, the whirr and worry
Of spindle and of loom, And the great wheel that toils amid the hurry
And ushing of the flume.
Born to the purple, born to joy and pleasance,
Thou dost not toil nor spin, But makest glad and radiant with thy presence
The meadow and the lin.
The wind blows, and uplifts thy drooping banner,
And round thee throng and run The rushes, the green yeomen of thy manor,
The outlaws of the sun.
The burnished dragon-fly is thine attendant,
And tilts against the field, And down the listed sunbeam rides resplendent
With steel-blue mail and shield.
Thou art the Iris, fair among the fairest,
Who, armed with golden rod
of some God.
Thou art the Muse, who far from crowded cities
Hauntest the sylvan streams, Playing on pipes of reed the artless ditties
That come to us as dreams.