Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
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Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
 
A Handful of Honeysuckle (1878)
III. Paradise Fancies, I–IV
By A. Mary F. Robinson-Darmesteter (1857–1944)
 
I.
LAST night I met mine own true love
  Waking in Paradise,
A halo shone above his hair,
  A glory in his eyes.
 
We sat and sang in alleys green        5
  And heard the angels play,
Believe me, this was true last night
  Though it is false to-day.
 
II.
      Through Paradise garden
        A minstrel strays,        10
      An old golden viol
        For ever he plays.
 
      Birds fly to his head,
        Beasts lie at his feet,
      For none of God’s angels        15
        Make music so sweet.
 
      And here, far from Zion
        And lonely and mute,
      I listen and long
        For my heart is the lute.        20
 
III.
Sing, oh the flowers of Paradise
  Rose, lily and girasole!
In all the fields of Paradise
  Every flower is a soul.
 
A climbing bindweed you are there        25
  With petals lily fine,
Around my rose-bush fragrant-fair
  Your tendrils twist and twine.
 
Too close those slender tendrils cling,
  Their sweet embrace is Death.        30
But o’er my dead red roses swing,
  Your lilies wreath on wreath.
 
IV.
On the topmost branch of the Tree of Life
  There hung a ripe red apple,
The angels singing underneath        35
  All praised its crimson dapple.
 
They plucked it once to play at ball,
  But ’mid the shouts and laughter
The apple fell o’er Heaven’s edge,
  Sad angels looking after.        40
 
E’en while at ease to see it rest
  Beside a peaceful chapel,
An old priest flung it farther still,
  “Bah, what a battered apple!”
 
 
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