John Boyle O'Reilly

(28 June 1844 - 10 August 1890 / Dowth Castle, County Meath)

The Poison-Flower


IIN the evergreen shade of an Austral wood,
Where the long branches laced above,
Through which all day it seemed
The sweet sunbeams down-gleamed
Like the rays of a young mother's love,
When she hides her glad face with her hands and peeps
At the youngling that crows on her knee:
'Neath such ray-shivered shade,
In a banksia glade,
Was this flower first shown to me.

A rich pansy it was, with a small white lip
And a wonderful purple hood;
And your eye caught the sheen
Of its leaves, parrot-green,
Down the dim gothic aisles of the wood.
And its foliage rich on the moistureless sand
Made you long for its odorous breath;
But ah! 'twas to take
To your bosom a snake,
For its pestilent fragrance was death.

And I saw it again, in a far northern land,—
Not a pansy, not purple and white;
Yet in beauteous guise
Did this poison-plant rise,
Fair and fatal again to my sight.
And men longed for her kiss and her odorous breath
When no friend was beside them to tell
That to kiss was to die,
That her truth was a lie,
And her beauty a soul-killing spell.

Submitted: Monday, May 21, 2012

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Form:


Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Poison-Flower by John Boyle O'Reilly )

There is no comment submitted by members..

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  5. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  6. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  8. If, Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
[Hata Bildir]