No art can rival thee, beautiful flower!
Sweet mother of fragrance! fair child of the hour!
Like morning thou wearest a garment of light
Resplendent with jewels all flashing and bright!
Thy banners of purple float out on the gale,
Proclaiming thy presence as queen of the vale.
How royal, and elegant, dost thou appear!
King Solomon's glory had nothing so fair,
Nor could his great wealth with thy riches compare!
Pure relic of Paradise! emblem of peace!
Best type of mortality, beauty and grace!
It was earth gave thee life, and earth shall again
Receive back thy being unfretted by pain.
Then let thy swift race be a lesson to me,
Since my body like thine, a shadow must flee;
Like thine for a season be smiling, and gay;
Like thine meet the storm, and like thine soon decay;
But vitality lingers in my torpid earth,
'Twill die, lovely flower! but again come to birth;
Again will inhabit this bright world of green,
Then haste to a world where _thou_ can'st not be seen;
Where spirits, of essence more pure than thine own,
Through heavenly mansions enamel a throne!
Where fragrance is only the incense of praise;
Where change is unknown; neither beauty decays;
Where sunshine, and day, everlasting are known;
Where death is destroyed, and perfection is won.
Thou'st a sinless career; but I would not have thine,
To escape e'en the peril that compasses mine;
If I sin, I have hope, if I wither, a sun,
Shall give me new life when my short race is run;
And such splendour, and glory, my garment shall be,
As ear hath not heard, nor can mortal eye see!
Farewell, then, sweet flower! when thou diest at even, Look up! for my garden's the blue fields of heaven!