So faintly flushing, freshly fair—
Born of the dawn and dew,
They seem but blossoms of the air—
Of sky-ethereal hue.
The pink and while of sunset cloud,
The blue of firmament;
They toll their sweetness slowly, low,
As some rare instrument.
Didst hear these elfln bugles blow
The music of the spheres,
Didst hear these wind-stirred bells a-chime
In morn of summer years?
The poor man's roses. Thus they bloom
In lone and lowly places,
And peep behind the lattice bars
Like wistful baby faces.
La France may boast her fleur-de-lis,
And Erin isle, the clover;
Or England cherish "eyes-of-day,"
And Egypt lotus lover.
But edelweiss, or thistle-bloom,
Though known to song and story,
Hath ne'er the grace, nor winsome face,
Of New World morning glory.
Ephemeral—yet each new day
Hath gift as fair in waiting,
No loss of vital chemic force
If death be new creating.
Red, white and blue, thy colors true
In flag or blossom tender,
In glow of star, or crimson bar,
In art or nature's splendor.
O poet, sing this flower of song,
As Cambridge bard of fleur-de-lis,
The iris by the river marge,
Or golden lily of the lea.
Bloom on! O glory of the morn,
Guest of the passing hour,
Thou art to kindred beauty born,
Though but a summer flower.