Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1099. The Lily of Yorrow
 
By Henry Van Dyke
 
 
DEEP in the heart of the forest the lily of Yorrow is growing;
Blue is its cup as the sky, and with mystical odor o’erflowing;
Faintly it falls through the shadowy glades when the south wind is blowing;
 
Sweet are the primroses pale, and the violets after a shower;
Sweet are the borders of pinks, and the blossoming grapes on the bower:        5
Sweeter by far is the breath of that far-away woodland flower.
 
Searching and strange in its sweetness, it steals like a perfume enchanted
Under the arch of the forest, and all who perceive it are haunted,
Seeking and seeking forever, till sight of the lily is granted.
 
Who can describe how it grows, with its chalice of lazuli leaning        10
Over a crystalline spring, where the ferns and the mosses are greening?
Who can imagine its beauty, or utter the depth of its meaning?
 
Calm of the journeying stars, and repose of the mountains olden,
Joy of the swift-running rivers, and glory of sunsets golden,
Secrets that cannot be told in the heart of the flower are holden.        15
 
Surely to see it is peace and the crown of a life-long endeavor;
Surely to pluck it is gladness,—but they who have found it can never
Tell of the gladness and peace: they are hid from our vision forever.
 
’T was but a moment ago that a comrade was wandering near me:
Turning aside from the pathway, he murmured a greeting to cheer me,—        20
Then he was lost in the shade, and I called, but he did not hear me.
 
Why should I dream he is dead, and bewail him with passionate sorrow?
Surely I know there is gladness in finding the lily of Yorrow:
He has discovered it first, and perhaps I shall find it to-morrow.
 

CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors