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Lily Poems

Table of Contents

  1. Oh Lovely Lily by Amy Carmichael
  2. The Lily by William Blake
  3. Faith is like a lily lifted high and white by Christina Georgina Rossetti
  4. Lilies by Ellen M. Carroll
  5. Little White Lily by George Macdonald
  6. The Lily by Hannah Flagg Gould
  7. "Consider the Lilies" by John B. Tabb
  8. Consider the Lilies by Peter Burn
  9. A Snow-White Lily by Alfred Austin
  10. The Lily and the Rose by William Cowper
  11. Water Lillies by Sara Teasdale
  12. The Star and the Water Lily by Oliver Wendell Holmes
  13. The Lily of the Valley by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
  14. The Lily of the Valley by Paul Laurence Dunbar
  15. A Lily of the Valley by Kate Slaughter McKinney
  16. Lily-Bell by Louisa May Alcott


Poems About Lilies

  1. Oh Lovely Lily

    by Amy Carmichael

    Oh, lovely lily,
    Growing in our garden,
    Who made a dress so fair
    For you to wear?
    Who made you straight and tall
    To give pleasure to us all?
    Oh, lovely lily,
    Who did it all?

    Oh, little children,
    Playing in our garden,
    God made this dress so fair
    For us to wear.
    God made us straight and tall
    To give pleasure to you all.
    Oh, little children,
    God did it all.

  2. The Lily

    by William Blake

    The modest Rose puts forth a thorn,
    The humble sheep a threat'ning horn:
    While the Lily white shall in love delight,
    Nor a thorn nor a threat stain her beauty bright.

  3. Faith is like a lily lifted high and white

    by Christina Georgina Rossetti

    Hope is like a harebell trembling from its birth,
    Love is like a rose the joy of all the earth;
    Faith is like a lily lifted high and white,
    Love is like a lovely rose the world’s delight;
    Harebells and sweet lilies show a thornless growth,
    But the rose with all its thorns excels them both.


    So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

    – 1 Corinthians 13:13
    ESV
  4. Lilies

    by Ellen M. Carroll

    Snowy, stately lilies in a jade-green bowl—
    Feast for my earth-dust wearied eyes,
    Refreshment for my soul!

    Let me sit here in this dim room,
    Quiet, in a willow chair—
    Drifting, your faint, intriguing breath makes perfume.
    The still air seems a magician's passageway
    For holy-heart-deep dreams.

    Snowy, fragrant lilies in a jade-green bowl—
    Peace, born of your exquisiteness,
    Sanctifies my soul!

  5. Little White Lily

    by George Macdonald

    Little White Lily sat by a stone,
    Drooping and waiting till the sun shone.
    Little White Lily sunshine has fed;
    Little White Lily is lifting her head.

    Little White Lily said: "It is good,
    Little White Lily's clothing and food."
    Little White Lily dressed like a bride!
    Shining with whiteness, and crowned beside!

    Little White Lily drooping with pain,
    Waiting and waiting for the wet rain,
    Little White Lily holdeth her cup;
    Rain is fast falling and filling it up.

    Little White Lily said: "Good again,
    When I am thirsty to have the nice rain.
    Now I am stronger, now I am cool;
    Heat cannot burn me, my veins are so full."

    Little White Lily smells very sweet;
    On her head sunshine, rain at her feet.
    Thanks to the sunshine, thanks to the rain,
    Little White Lily is happy again.

  6. The Lily

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    Imperial beauty! fair, unrivalled one!
    What flower of earth has honor high as thine,—
    To find its name on His unsullied lips,
    Whose eye was light from heaven?
    In vain the power
    Of human voice to swell the strain of praise
    Thou hast received; and which will ever sound
    Long as the page of inspiration shines—
    While mortal songs shall die as summer winds
    That, wafting off thine odors, sink to sleep!

    I will not praise thee, then; but thou shalt be
    My hallowed flower! The sweetest, purest thoughts
    Shall cluster round thee, as thy snowy bells
    On the green, polished stalk, that puts them forth!
    I will consider thee, and melt my cares
    In the bland accents of His soothing voice,
    Who, from the hill of Palestine, looked round
    For a fair specimen of skill divine;
    And, pointing out the Lily of the field,
    Declared, the wisest of all Israel's kings,
    In his full glory, not arrayed like thee!

  7. "Consider the Lilies"

    by John B. Tabb

    'Tis not the radiant star above
    That breathes for me the lore of love
    As doth the dewy censer sweet
    That Heaven enkindles at my feet.

    Yea, more for me of tenderness
    Is uttered in the mute caress
    Upon these moistened petals found,
    Than e'er was wedded unto sound.

  8. Consider the Lilies

    by Peter Burn

    Consider the lilies,
    Ye sons of despair;
    Consider the lilies,
    Ye daughters of care,
    And from them instruction receive:
    Though fragile and feeble,
    Yet, see how they grow,
    "They toil not, they spin not,"
    Nor care do they know,
    But, kept by their Maker, they live.

    Consider the lilies!
    To them ever give
    Attention and study—
    They'll teach you to live,
    The secret of peace they will show;
    Then, ye from distresses
    And cares shall be free,
    Like them ye shall flourish,
    Though lowly ye be,
    Like them, ye in vigour shall grow.

  9. A Snow-White Lily

    by Alfred Austin

    There was a snow-white lily
    Grew by a cottage door:
    Such a white and wonderful lily
    Never was seen before.

    The earth and the ether brought it
    Sustenance, raiment, grace,
    And the feet of the west wind sought it,
    And smiled in its smiling face.

    Tall were its leaves and slender,
    Slender and tall its stem;
    Purity, all its splendour,
    Beauty, its diadem.

    Still from the ground it sprouted,
    Statelier year by year,
    Till loveliness clung about it,
    And was its atmosphere.

    And the fame of this lily was bruited
    'Mong men ever more and more;
    They came, and they saw, and uprooted
    Its life from the cottage door.

    For they said, "'Twere shame, 'twere pity,
    It here should dwell half despised.
    We must carry it off to the city,
    Where lilies are loved and prized."

    The city was moved to wonder,
    And burst into praise and song,
    And the multitude parted asunder
    To gaze on it borne along.

    Along and aloft 'twas uplifted,
    From palace to palace led;
    Men vowed 'twas the lily most gifted
    Of lilies living or dead.

    And wisdom, and wealth, and power,
    Bowed down to it more and more:—
    Yet it never was quite the same flower
    That bloomed by the cottage door.

    For no longer the night-dews wrought it
    Raiment, and food, and grace;
    Nor the feet of the west wind sought it,
    To dance in its dimpling face.

    'Twas pursued by the frivolous rabble,
    With poisonous lips and eyes;
    They drenched it with prurient babble,
    And fed it with fulsome lies.

    Thus into the lily there entered
    The taint of the tainted crew,
    Till itself in itself grew centred,
    And it flattery drank like dew.

    Then tongues began words to bandy
    As to whose might the lily be.
    "'Tis mine," said the titled dandy;
    Said the plutocrat, "'tis for me."

    Thus over the lily they wrangled,
    Making the beautiful base,
    Till its purity seemed all mangled,
    And its gracefulness half disgrace.

    Next they who had first enthroned it,
    And blatantly hymned its fame,
    Now, curdling their smiles, disowned it,
    And secretly schemed its shame.

    The lily began to wither,
    Since the world was no longer sweet;
    And hands that had brought it thither,
    Flung it into the street.

    A sensitive soul and tender
    The flung-away lily found:
    He had seen it in hours of splendour,
    So he lifted it from the ground.

    He carried it back to the garden
    Where in olden days it grew,
    And he knelt, and prayed for it pardon
    From the sun, and the breeze, and the dew.

    Then the breeze, since it knows no malice,
    And the sun that detesteth strife,
    And the dew whose abode is the chalice,
    Would have coaxed back the lily to life.

    But the lily would not waken,
    Nor ever will waken more;
    And feet and fame have forsaken
    Its place by the cottage door.

  10. The Lily and the Rose

    by William Cowper

    The nymph must lose her female friend
    If more admired than she—
    But where will fierce contention end
    If flowers can disagree?

    Within the garden's peaceful scene
    Appeared two lovely foes,
    Aspiring to the rank of queen,
    The Lily and the Rose.

    The Rose soon reddened into rage
    And, swelling with disdain,
    Appealed to many a poet's page
    To prove her right to reign.

    The Lily's height bespoke command,
    A fair imperial flower;
    She seemed designed for Flora's hand,
    The sceptre of her power.

    This civil bickering and debate
    The goddess chanced to hear,
    And flew to save, ere yet too late,
    The pride of the parterre.

    Yours is, she said, the nobler hue,
    And yours the statelier mien,
    And, till a third surpasses you,
    Let each be deemed a queen.

    Thus soothed and reconciled, each seeks
    The fairest British fair;
    The seat of empire is her cheeks,
    Thy reign united there.

  11. Water Lily Poems

  12. Water Lillies

    by Sara Teasdale

    If you have forgotten water lilies floating
    On a dark lake among mountains in the afternoon shade,
    If you have forgotten their wet, sleepy fragrance,
    Then you can return and not be afraid.

    But if you remember, then turn away forever
    To the plains and the prairies where pools are far apart,
    There you will not come at dusk on closing water lilies,
    And the shadow of mountains will not fall on your heart.

  13. The Star and the Water Lily

    by Oliver Wendell Holmes

    The sun stepped down from his golden throne.
    And lay in the silent sea,
    And the lily had folded her satin leaves,
    For a sleepy thing was she;
    What is the Lily dreaming of?
    Why crisp the waters blue?
    See, see, she is lifting her varnished lid!
    Her white leaves are glistening through!

    The Rose is cooling his burning cheek
    In the lap of the breathless tide;—
    The Lily hath sisters fresh and fair,
    That would lie by the Rose's side;
    He would love her better than all the rest,
    And he would be fond and true;—
    But the Lily unfolded her weary lids,
    And looked at the sky so blue.

    Remember, remember, thou silly one,
    How fast will thy summer glide,
    And wilt thou wither a virgin pale,
    Or flourish a blooming bride?
    "O the Rose is old, and thorny, and cold,
    And he lives on earth," said she;
    "But the Star is fair and he lives in the air,
    And he shall my bridegroom be."

    But what if the stormy cloud should come,
    And ruffle the silver sea?
    Would he turn his eye from the distant sky,
    To smile on a thing like thee?
    O no, fair Lily, he will not send
    One ray from his far-off throne;
    The winds shall blow and the waves shall flow,
    And thou will be left alone.

    There is not a leaf on the mountain top,
    Nor a drop of evening dew,
    Nor a golden sand on the sparkling shore,
    Nor a pearl in the waters blue,
    That he has not cheered with his fickle smile,
    And warmed with his faithless beam,—
    And will he be true to a pallid flower,
    That floats on the quiet stream?

    Alas for the Lily! she would not heed,
    But turned to the skies afar,
    And bared her breast to the trembling ray
    That shot from the rising star;
    The cloud came over the darkened sky,
    And over the waters wide:
    She looked in vain through the beating rain,
    And sank in the stormy tide.

  14. Lily of the Valley Poems

  15. The Lily of the Valley

    by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

    Did Winter, letting fall in vain regret
    A tear among the tender leaves of May,
    Embalm the tribute, lest she might forget,
    In this elect, imperishable way?

    Or did the virgin Spring sweet vigil keep
    In the white radiance of the midnight hour,
    And whisper to the unwondering ear of Sleep
    Some shy desire that turned into a flower?

  16. The Lily of the Valley

    by Paul Laurence Dunbar

    Sweetest of the flowers a-blooming
    In the fragrant vernal days
    Is the Lily of the Valley
    With its soft, retiring ways.

    Well, you chose this humble blossom
    As the nurse's emblem flower,
    Who grows more like her ideal
    Every day and every hour.

    Like the Lily of the Valley
    In her honesty and worth,
    Ah, she blooms in truth and virtue
    In the quiet nooks of earth.

    Tho' she stands erect in honor
    When the heart of mankind bleeds,
    Still she hides her own deserving
    In the beauty of her deeds.

    In the silence of the darkness
    Where no eye may see and know,
    There her footsteps shod with mercy,
    And fleet kindness come and go.

    Not amid the sounds of plaudits,
    Nor before the garish day,
    Does she shed her soul s sweet perfume,
    Does she take her gentle way.

    But alike her ideal flower,
    With its honey-laden breath,
    Still her heart blooms forth its beauty
    In the valley shades of death.

  17. A Lily of the Valley

    by Kate Slaughter McKinney

    Just a breath of fragrance
    On the breeze—alas!
    A lily of the valley
    Dying in the grass.

    Just a recollection
    Followed with a sigh;
    Just a teardrop dripping
    Down the cheek, and why?

  18. Lily-Bell

    by Louisa May Alcott

    Bright shines the summer sun,
    Soft is the summer air,
    Gayly the wood-birds sing,
    Flowers are blooming fair.
    But deep in the dark, cold rock
    All alone must I dwell,
    Longing for you, dear friend,
    Lilybell, Lilybell!

    Through sunshine and shower
    I have looked for you long,
    Guided by bird and flower,
    And now by your song,
    Thistledown! Thistledown!
    O'er wood, hill, and dell
    Hither to comfort you
    Comes Lilybell.