Verse > Anthologies > George Willis Cooke, ed. > The Poets of Transcendentalism: An Anthology
George Willis Cooke, comp.  The Poets of Transcendentalism: An Anthology.  1903.
Four White Lilies
By Anna Callender Brackett (1836–1911)
’T WAS a vision, a dream of the night,
  When deep sleep falleth on man;
Out of the shadowless darkness it glided
  Into shadowless darkness again.
Afloat upon silentest waters        5
  On the smooth, slow waves I lay,
And through them I saw, but dimly,
  The round white lilies sway.
Then I reached down my careful fingers,
  And drew them, one by one,        10
Out of the smoky water
  Up into the shine of the sun.
White-bosomed and golden-hearted,
  And sweet—for I tried, to see,—
I drew them by slippery stemlets,        15
  One by one, up to me.
Then I turned on my side, and broke them,
  Stem by stem, with my teeth,
But the broad green leaves I left floating
  In the water underneath.        20
I blew open the pink-white petals
  To the yellow-dusted core,
And I counted them as I held them,
  One, and two, and three, and four.
Then they drooped their heads as weary        25
  Till the cool petals touched my hand—
Did I drop them into the water?
  Did I ever float to land?—
Who knows? Out of shadowless darkness
  To shadowless darkness they grew,        30
But they haunt me, my four white lilies
  Till I gather them anew.

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