To A Day Lily

Category: Poetry
What! only to stay
For a single day?
Thou beautiful, bright hued on
Just to open thine eyes
To the blue of the skies
And the light of the glorious sun,
Then, to fade away
In the same rich ray,
And die ere the day is done?

Bright thing of a day
Thou hast caught a ray
From Morn's jewelled curtain fold
On thy burning cheek,
And the ruby streak
His dyed it with charms untold -
And the gorgeous vest
On thy queenly breast,
Is dashed with her choicest gold.

A statelier queen
Has never been seen,
A lovelier never will be! -
Nay, Solomon, dressed
In his kingliest best,
Was never a match for thee,
O beautiful flower,
O joy of an hour -
And only an hour - for me!

An hour, did I say?
Nay, loveliest, nay,
Not thus shall I part with thee,
But with subtle skill
I shall keep thee still,
Fadeless and fresh with me: -
Through toil and duty,
"A thing of beauty
Forever" my own to be'

As with drooping head
Amid thorns I tread,
I shall see thee unfold anew,
In the desert's dust,
Where journey I must,
Why beautiful form shall view,
And visions of Home
O'er my spirit will come,
As thro' tear-drops I gaze on you'

Available translations:

English (Original)