Poems (1898)/Water Lilies

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For works with similar titles, see Water Lilies.
For other versions of this work, see Water Lilies (Coates).

WATER LILIES

I gathered them—the lilies pure and pale,
The golden-hearted lilies, virgin fair,
And in a vase of crystal, placed them where
Their perfumes might unceasingly exhale.
High in my lonely tent above the swale,
Above the shimmering mere and blossoms there,
I solaced with their sweetness my despair,
And fed with dews their beauteous petals frail.
But when the aspens felt the evening breeze,
And shadows 'gan across the lake to creep,
When hermit-thrushes to the Oreades
Sang vesper orisons, from cloisters deep,—
My lilies, lulled by native sympathies,
Upfolded their white leaves and fell asleep.