Verse > Anthologies > Higginson and Bigelow, eds. > American Sonnets
Higginson and Bigelow, comps.  American Sonnets.  1891.
To the Night Blooming Cereus
By Henry Pickering (1781–1838)
BRIGHT, transient flower, that studious shunn’st the eye
  Of Phœbus, waiting only to display
  Thy glories to the moon’s cold, watery ray,
  And yield thy fragrance to the desert sky—
Mysterious Flower! alas! shall we descry        5
  No trace of what thou wast, the coming day—
  Odorous no more, and fallen to decay!
  Ah! who has not seen, and heaved a rending sigh—
Who has not seen, nurtur’d like thee in shade,
  Fragrant as morn, and bursting on the sight,        10
  With radiant beauty crown’d, the blushing maid;
  Then, withering in the blast, quick sink in night?
Both bloom’d and perish’d: while to that ’t is given
Ne’er to revive—lo! this ascends to Heaven.

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