Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/168

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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.

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