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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

The Pot of Flowers

By Théophile Gautier (1811–1872)

SOMETIMES a child finds a small seed,

And at once, delighted with its bright colors,

To plant it he takes a porcelain jar

Adorned with blue dragons and strange flowers.

He goes away. The root, snake-like, stretches,

Breaks through the earth, blooms, becomes a shrub;

Each day, farther down, it sinks its fibrous foot,

Until it bursts the sides of the vessel.

The child returns: surprised, he sees the rich plant

Over the vase’s débris brandishing its green spikes;

He wants to pull it out, but the stem is stubborn.

The child persists, and tears his fingers with the pointed arrows.

Thus grew love in my simple heart;

I believed I sowed but a spring flower;

’Tis a large aloe, whose root breaks

The porcelain vase with the brilliant figures.