Louise Imogen Guiney

The Japanese Anemone

ALL summer the breath of the roses around
Exhales with a delicate, passionate sound;
And when from a trellis, in holiday places,
They croon and cajole, with their slumberous faces,
A lad in the lane must slacken his paces.

Fragrance of these is a voice in a bower:
But low by the wall is my odorless flower,
So pure, so controlled, not a fume is above her,
That poet or bee should delay there and hover;
For she is a silence, and therefore I love her.

And never a mortal by morn or midnight
Is called to her hid little house of delight;
And she keeps from the wind, on his pillages olden,
Upon a true stalk in rough weather upholden,
Her winter-white gourd with the hollow moon-golden.

While ardors of roses contend and increase,
Methinks she has found how noble is peace,
Like a spirit besought from the world to dissever,
Not absent to men, tho’ resumed by the Giver,
And dead long ago, being lovely for ever.

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