Verse > Anthologies > Higginson and Bigelow, eds. > American Sonnets
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Higginson and Bigelow, comps.  American Sonnets.  1891.
 
A Tiger-Lily
By Edgar Fawcett (1847–1904)
 
STRANGE that in your dark-dappled sanguine flower
  The sculpturesque repose can still endure
  Of that celestial lily, wrought so pure
It lives as chastity’s white type this hour!
By what mysterious art, what baleful power,        5
  Did you, Diana of all blooms, allure
  From Nature’s mood this Mænad vestiture,
And mock with gaudy tints your taintless dower?
 
Nay, long ago, I dream, through some warm dell
  Of Asian lands a wearied tiger stole        10
    Where you, in pale bud, felt your first dews cling;
And while he slept beneath you, it befell
  That all his deadly beauty pierced your soul
    And made you this fantastic sultry thing!
 
 
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