Oriental Stories/Volume 1/Issue 1/Flower Profiles

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Flower Profiles

By Hung Long Tom

How many times through countless hours
Have I heard Li Kan describing wondrous profiles
Of the girls he paints on vases and fans
And white bits of old ivory.

The profile of a golden girl
Against a soft blue screen is finer far
Than any cameo yet carved,
Loveliest of pictures lying 'neath the sun.

Now through my garden
I walk and dream and smile.
Has one not noticed the profile of a flower,
The lovely clear Line of a tea-rose
Laughing in the sun,
Or of a pale pink peony
Lush with morning dew?

Is there a music more exquisite
Than the perfume of a rose?
Or a sweeter profile
Than a simple garden flower?