Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
1735. Gold-of-Ophir Roses
By Grace Atherton Dennen

O FLOWER of passion, rocked by balmy gales,
    Flushed with life’s ecstasy,
Before whose golden glow the poppy pales
    And yields her sovereignty!
Child of the ardent south, thy burning heart        5
    Has felt the sun’s hot kiss.
Thy creamy petals falling half apart
    Quiver with recent bliss.
For joy at thy unequalled loveliness,
    He woos with fierce delight;        10
And thy glad soul, half faint with his caress,
    Yet glories in his might.
Thy sighs go out in perfume on the air,
    Rich incense of thy love,
And mystic lights, an opalescence rare,        15
    Play round thee from above

SO thou dost riot through the glad spring days,
    Sun-wooed and revelling in eager life,
Till all the shadowed fragrance of the ways
    With thy rich bloom and glowing tints is rife.        20
A joyous smile that hides a secret tear,
    A note of music with a minor strain,
A heart of gold where crimson wounds appear,
    Thou breathest all love’s sweetness and its pain.
Yet suddenly, even at thy loveliest,        25
    Thou palest with thine own intensity.
Ah, Passion’s child, thou art most truly blest,
    To bloom one perfect day, and then to die.


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