Necklaces

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  That was a fair one which a Queen
  Pulled the great pearl from, in her spleen,
  And drank its rich corroded sheen;

  And dazzling bright was that which met,
  And clasped its fatal diamond net
  About Maria Antoinette;

  And cool and fresh the dripping band
  Which poor Undine, with trembling hand,
  Snatched from the wave for Hildebrand;

  But better mine, a little thread
  Of jasmine blossoms, tipped with red,
  As if in breaking they had bled.

  It was all sweetness, and to one
  Whose life on shore had just begun,
  The very best beneath the sun!

                         Malta, August 23, 1851.

[Note. The boys in the streets of Malta string the jasmine blossoms and give or sell them to the passers-by.]

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.