Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
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James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
 
August 3
Nilsson
By Sidney Lanier (1842–1881)
 
Christine Nilsson, born August 3, 1843

A ROSE of perfect red, embossed
With silver sheens of crystal frost,
Yet warm, nor life nor fragrance lost.
 
High passion throbbing in a sphere
That Art hath wrought of diamond clear,        5
—A great heart beating in a tear.
 
The listening soul is full of dreams
That shape the wondrous-varying themes
As cries of men or plash of streams.
 
Or noise of summer rain-drops round        10
That patter daintily a-ground
With hints of heaven in the sound.
 
Or noble wind-tones chanting free
Through morning-skies across the sea
Wild hymns to some strange majesty.        15
 
O, if one trope, clear-cut and keen,
May type the art of Song’s best queen,
White-hot of soul, white-chaste of mien,
 
On Music’s heart doth Nilsson dwell
As if a Swedish snowflake fell        20
Into a glowing flower-bell.
 
 
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