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

Robert Buchanan (1841–1901)

Flower of the World

WHEREVER men sinned and wept,

I wandered in my quest;

At last in a Garden of God

I saw the Flower of the World.

This flower had human eyes;

Its breath was the breath of the mouth:

Sunlight and starlight came,

And the flower drank bliss from both.

Whatever was base and unclean,

Whatever was sad and strange,

Was piled around its roots:

It drew its strength from the same.

Whatever was formless and base

Passed into fineness and form;

Whatever was lifeless and mean

Grew into beautiful bloom.

Then I thought, “O Flower of the World,

Miraculous blossom of things,

Light as a faint wreath of snow

Thou tremblest to fall in the wind;

“O beautiful Flower of the World,

Fall not nor wither away:

He is coming—he cannot be far—

The Lord of the flowers and the stars.”

And I cried, “O Spirit divine

That walkest the garden unseen!

Come hither, and bless, ere it dies,

The beautiful Flower of the World.”