Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/261

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THE TUBEROSE. 2$$

But they have no word for me,

No speech in their scented sprays, Save only a dimming dream

Of the sun-lighted summer days. But thou in my braided hair

Out-shimmered one pale moonlight, And so the sweet tale of love

Seems linked with thy beauty white. O glorious, gladsome life

That over and round me glows ! This pleasure I have to keep,

The breath of the tuberose.

  • # * *

Have you ever known what it was to droop

At the breath of the tuberose To shrink from the gusts of its warm perfume,

As you would from unfriendly blows To turn aside from its waxen stars,

And shudder your wet lids down, With an aching heart for the part it bore

In a funereal cross and crown To trace with its petals so fair and white

The unanswered name you call, And circle the beautiful still white stars

On the midnight gloomy pall ? Oh give me, to gather, the bright red rose,

The laburnum and clover bloom, Great golden lilies and asters gay !

They tell no tale of a tomb.

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