Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
Il Fior Degli Eroici Furori
 
John Addington Symonds (1840–93)
 
 
Saxifraga Pyramidalis
 
 
I BLOOM but once, and then I perish;
  This plume of snow
No sun or soft south wind will cherish—
  ’T is drooping now.
 
Black streams beneath me foam and thunder;        5
  Their icy breath,
There where the rocks are rent asuuder,
  Wooes me with death.
 
Still like a fair imperial streamer
  I float and flaunt;        10
I am no light luxurious dreamer,
  Whom dangers daunt.
 
For me no delicate life-lover
  Will dare to bow;
My pyramid of bloom shall cover        15
  No craven’s brow.
 
But should some youth on whom the splendor
  Of hope is high,
Who loves with love superb and tender
  What cannot die,        20
 
Pass by this dark and awful dwelling,
  He shall not shrink
From slippery rock or sick waves swelling
  To the black brink;
 
But stoop and pluck the song I utter        25
  Of death and joy:
Yea, my free plume of snow shall flutter
  To great the boy.
 

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