Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
The Seringa
By John Alford
THE SERINGA casts its petals across the slanting rays of the sun.
There are shadows in the grass where they lie;
I gather them up in my hand,
And their perfume distends my nostrils and closes my eyes.
I crush their sweetness in my palm        5
And scatter them back to the grass.
But in the night a wind will come,
And the petals whirl hither and thither,
And the perfume be no more.
Oh, I will fashion your beauty into a measure,        10
To fling it over the housetops
And cast it into the meadows.
Lo, in my heart
The song of a bird that liveth not in memory,
And in the shell of a rose        15
A hundred years of Athens or of Rome.
Though my song die with my breath,
(Yes, though I am dust,
Though Rome become as Babylon),
It shall vibrate on a harp that ceaseth not,        20
That gathereth all music into itself
As the seas all streams.
Yet, for my joy, and for thy beauty’s sake,
Linger, sweet perfume, till the sun be set!

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