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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

George Darley 1795–1846

The Flower of Beauty


SWEET in her green dell the flower of beauty slumbers,

Lull’d by the faint breezes sighing through her hair;

Sleeps she, and hears not the melancholy numbers

Breath’d to my sad lute amid the lonely air.

Down from the high cliffs the rivulet is teeming,

To wind round the willow-banks that lure him from above;

O that, in tears from my rocky prison streaming,

I, too, could glide to the bower of my love!

Ah, where the woodbines with sleepy arms have wound her,

Opes she her eyelids at the dream of my lay,

Listening, like the dove, while the fountains echo round her,

To her lost mate’s call in the forests far away.

Come, then, my bird! for the peace thou ever bearest,

Still Heaven’s messenger of comfort to me;

Come! this fond bosom, my faithfullest, my fairest,

Bleeds with its death-wound—but deeper yet for thee.