Normale Version: THE HUMAN FLOWER. (2)
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IN the old void of unrecorded time,
In long, slow æons of the voiceless past,
A seed from out the weltering fire-mist cast
Took root — a struggling plant that from its prime
Through rudiments uncouth, through rock and slime,
Grew, changing form and issue — and clinging fast,
Stretched its aspiring tendrils — till at last
Shaped like a spirit it began to climb
Beyond its rugged stem with leaf and bud
Still burgeoning to greet the sunlit air
That clothed its regal top with love and power,
And compassed it as with a heavenly flood —
Until it burst in bloom beyond compare,
The world's consummate, peerless human flower.


SHALL that bright flower the countless ages toiled
And travailed to bring forth — shall that rare rose,
Whose bloom and fragrance earth and heaven unclose
Their treasuries to enrich, by death be foiled?
Its matchless splendor trampled down and spoiled?
Shall that Celestial Love — who watched its throes
Through centuries of long struggles and of woes,
And freed it from the old Serpent round it coiled;
Who tended it, and reared its glorious head
Above the brambles and the poisonous marsh,
And shielded it when zones were cased in ice —
Leave it to perish when the summons harsh
Of death is rung, — or, ere its leaves are shed,
Transplant it to his realm of Paradise?