To A Night-Blooming Cereus. - Poem by Kate Harrington
Beautiful flower, with petals white,
That only blooms in the hush of night,
That never reveals to the sunlight bold
The inner beauty thy petals hold,
As I sit to night, keeeping watch o'er thee,
Thou seem'st to blossom alone for me.
I have known some hearts like thine own, fair one,
That never would ope to the glaring sun ;
Whose wealth of sweetness was treasured up
Like the golden threads in thy opening cup ;
Who had never a throb nor a glow at all,
Except for the heart that received them all.
And some hearts I have known that the gathering gloom
Has seemed to call into perfect bloom ;
Whose garnered brightness with magic power
Came blossoming out in life's darkest hour;
Who waited, like thee and the stars on high,
Ere they gave their splendor to earth and sky.
Beautiful flower, in thy robe of white,
Thou seem' st like an angel of peace to-night ;
But, like joys that have vanished, or fond hopes dead,
Thy wondrous beauty will all have fled
When I wake at morn, and I'll only see
The corpse of the flower that bloomed for me.
But, like other memories I treasure there,
And hide in my heart with a miser's care,
In that inner temple, that none may see
Except when I lift the veil for thee,
I will hold the thought of our converse sweet,
With hope and rapturous joy replete.
For we've talked together, thou and I,
When none but God and ourselves was nigh ;
I have touched my cheek to thy snowy tips,
And breathed a prayer on thy opening lips ;
And thou, in turn, to my weary heart
Didst strength and comfort and faith impart.
And now I will bid thee a fond 'good-night,'
With thy petals spread t as for upward flight ;
And my thoughts shall be of an angel flower
That blooms above in a fairer bower,
Where the dear ones, waiting, may turn to see
The beautiful bud that unclosed for me.
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