Robert Laurence Binyon

A Daffodil

Pure--throated Flower,
Smelling of Spring,
Shaped beyond art's

Fathomless colour,
Breathed as an ether
Of flame and of stillness
Melted together;

Soul of the sun's beam
Changed to fairy
Flesh, so delicate,
Poised and airy!

I think of my own kind,
Hardly winning
A thousand battles
For joy's beginning;

Victory bloody
And with evil shared,
Splendour soiled
And greatness snared;

Truth conceded
Or won by halves,
Pitiful sores
And sorrier salves;

Blind authority
Treading like oxen's heels
All that sees clearest,
All that most feels.

But you are absolute
(Follow who can!)
As a commandment
Of God to man.

Straight you spring
And whole you spend,
And fall upon fruitful earth,
Clean to the end.

O to be pure
As a single sense,
Keen as scorn,
As love intense,

To live in the light,
And to die in a deed
That is faith's Amen
And has sown its seed! 

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