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

John Fraser (1750–1811)

The Maiden and the Lily

A LILY in my garden grew,

Amid the thyme and clover;

No fairer lily ever blew,

Search all the wide world over.

Its beauty passed into my heart:

I knew ’twas very silly,

But I was then a foolish maid,

And it—a perfect lily.

One day a learnèd man came by,

With years of knowledge laden,

And him I questioned with a sigh,

Like any foolish maiden:—

“Wise sir, please tell me wherein lies—

I know the question’s silly—

The something that my art defies,

And makes a perfect lily.”

He smiled, then bending plucked the flower,

Then tore it, leaf and petal,

And talked to me for full an hour,

And thought the point to settle:—

“Therein it lies,” at length he cries;

And I—I know ’twas silly—

Could only weep and say, “But where—

O doctor, where’s my lily?”