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Loitering, midst the tropic glory of a large conservatory
Where the warm moist air was heavy with a cloud of rich perfume,
I beheld a strange plant flowering, where the stately palms were towering,
With a quaint, peculiar odor and an oddly fashioned bloom.


Not the beauty of its color, nor the sweetness of its odor,
Lured me to the unknown stranger, as above its bloom I bent,
But a tiny dove perched quaintly, with an air serene and saintly
In the heart of each odd blossom, nestling there in sweet content.


O'er each opening bud I pondered, and in after moments wondered
If each passer-by who saw it, learned its voiceless ministry;
In each flower a revelation, a symbolic-like creation
Of a heart where sweetly dwelleth the white dove of purity.


From its native land they brought it, but a higher wisdom wrought it.
For a high and nobler calling, rocks may preach and ripples sing;
But who from its sanctum turning, no grand lesson from it learning,
Hears not eloquence in Nature, gains not good from everything.


Odd dove orchid, silent preacher, thou hast come a living teacher
Of the rarest human virtue, of the noblest excellence
How these thronging thousands need you, but alas! how few will heed you
And their hearts' dark raven banish for the doves of innocence!