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Flower-de-Luce.

9

O'flower-de-luce, bloom on, and let the river

Linger to kiss thy feet ! O flower of

song,
bloom

on,

and make for ever The world more fair and sweet,

PALINGENESIS.

IMA

LAY upon the headland-height, and listened
To the incessant sobbing of the sea

In caverns under me,
An watched the waves, that tossed and fled

and glistened, Until the rolling meadows of amethyst

Melted away in mist.

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Then suddenly, as one from sleep, I started;
For round about me all the sunny capes

Seemed peopled with the shapes
Of those whom I had known in days departed,
Apparelled in the loveliness which gleams

On faces seen in dreams.

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A moment only, and the light and glory
Faded away, and the disconsolate sho

Stood lonely as before;
And the wild roses of the promontory
Around me shuddered in the wind, and shed

Their petals of pale red.

There was an old belief that in the embers Of all things t eir primordial form exists,

And cunning alchemists Could re-create the rose with all its members From its own ashes, but without the bloom,

Without the lost perfume.

Ah me! what wonder-working, occult science
Can from the ashes in our hearts once more

The rose of youth restore ?
What craft of alchemy can bid defiance
To time and change, and for a single hour

Renew this phantom-flower ?

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“O, give me back!” I cried, “the vanished

splendours, The breath of morn, and the exultant strife,

When the swift stream of life Bounds o'er its rocky channel, and surrenders The pond, with all its lilies, for the leap

Into the unknown deep!”

And the sea answered, with a lamentation,
Like some old prophet wailing, and it said,

Alas! thy youth is dead ! It breathes no more, its heart has no pulsa

tion;

In the dark places with the dead of old

It lies for ever cold !”

Then said I, “From its consecrated cerements I will not drag this sacred dust again,

Only to give me pain;

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But, still remembering all the lost endearments, Go on my way, like one who looks before,

And turns to weep no more.”

Into what land of harvests, what plantations
Bright with autumnal foliage and the glow

Of sunsets burning low
Beneath what midnight skies, whose constel-

lations Light up the spacious avenues between

This world and the unseen!

Amid what friendly greetings and caresses, What households, though not alien, yet not mine,

What bowers of rest divine;
To what temptations in lone wildernesses,
What famine of the heart, what pain and

loss,
The bearing of what cross !

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