Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/168
1 62 THE WAXEN LILY.
" Plummet and measure and crystal square,
Measure and plummet and spider-line, For ever a cell built like the last, To treasure the store of amber wine.
" There are better things beneath the sky.
I saw a maiden with simple skill From wax carve deftly the petals out And the rounded cup of a daffodil !"
Then, by and by, out of heat and pain, It found the bliss of a granted prayer,
And awoke one day in the likeness made Of a waxen lily gleaming fair
So fair, that all who above it bent
Stoopejd lower to catch its rare perfume,
Then turned away from the smooth deceit Of a scentless lily s soulless bloom.
Ah ! then it longed for the days of yore, Beneath the monarchy s light control,
Shaping honest angles day by day,
Where none came asking the absent soul.
Weary at last of a life so false,
It looked for help to the fervid sun,
Who kissed it down into nothingness, Glad that the work of its life was done.