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The Flower (3)
Robert Crawford

The Flower


The flower in its own scent breathes till it dies
As if the scent its very birth-breath were
(As love is life's) which, while it occupies

Like a mesmeric light the living air,
Feeds every portion of the tender hue
In which it manifests so subtly fair

The faery form, which as in a dream grew
Out of the dark earth with ethereal power
Quickening its limbs, as those of a babe who

Draws from its mother's life a vital dower
Of warmth and beauty, thrilling breast and brain
Till it too comes to birth'a perfect flower

With its own aura, like a subtle strain
Which must vibrate to every joy and pain


The seeing eye and hearing ear are fed
With nature's nurture, and the mind imbues
Earth and all things within it, even the dead,

With its own sap that with thought's mystic hues
Bourgeons in every waking hour, and e'en
When sleep does all the inner life transfuse

With its own radiance, and the unseen
Becomes a part of us too, as we were
Back in some other sphere where we had been

Before the new thought breathed in the old air,
And the new body budded into birth,
Making us all that we are now who bear

The signs in us of all the woe and mirth
That came and has gone on with man on earth.


Far back in the unstoried past, whose rune
No sage has ciphered and no bard has sung,
In the beginning of the sun and moon

When e'en the oldest hill was very young -
Ah! then perchance the seed that was us first
Took root in th' mystic soil whence we have

Under the very hand of God, and burst
Into the secret being it has had,
All through the enchanted aeons strangely nursed

From death to life between the good and bad;
E'en as it were a spirit-germ that grew
By some mysterious process, and was clad

E'en like the flowers with varying form and hue,
Till it ends in what all may end in too!

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