Lyrics of Life (1909)/Child-Fancies

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Lyrics of Life by Florence Earle Coates
Child-Fancies
This poem was not included in Mrs. Coates' collected Poems (1916, in 2 vols.).


CHILD-FANCIES


ASPHODEL

The children played at naming, every one
 Her favorite blossom, in the mild June even;
When, at the last, the others having done,
 A little maid—her years but numbered seven—


Stood shyly forth and answered in her turn:
 "Pale violets I love,—and love full well
Red poppies, which the elves for torches burn,—
 But for my own I choose—the asphodel."


Indignant stared the children; then they cried—
 Amid their pastime ready still for strife—
"The asphodel! You only choose through pride
 A flower you never saw in all your life!"


Abashed, the culprit hung her pretty head,
 As she accusèd of a crime had been;
Then, bravely, with conviction sweet she said:—
 "But I love best the flower I have not seen!"


Ah, wistful child! Such lonely dreams as thine
 Others have cherished in their hearts, I ween,—
And, grateful for all good, with thee incline
 To love the best the flower they have not seen!

II

GATHERED WILD-FLOWERS

I've brought you some flowers, mother!
 Please look at them, mother, look!
See this one!—and here's another
 I found beside the brook!


They're very warm, for I held them tight;
 You'll want them, I know, to keep,
When they wake again and you see them right,—
 But now they're all asleep.