Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HYMN TO THE FLOWERS, by HORACE SMITH

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

HYMN TO THE FLOWERS, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: Day-stars! That ope your frownless eyes to twinkle
Last Line: Priests, sermons, shrines!
Alternate Author Name(s): Smith, Horatio
Subject(s): Beauty; Flowers; God; Soul

DAY-STARS! that ope your frownless eyes to twinkle
From rainbow galaxies of earth's creation,
And dew-drops on her lonely altars sprinkle
As a libation.
Ye matin worshippers! who bending lowly
Before the uprisen sun, God's lidless eye,
Throw from your chalices a sweet and holy
Incense on high.
Ye bright mosaics! that with storied beauty
The floor of Nature's temple tessellate,
What numerous emblems of instructive duty
Your forms create!
'Neath cloistered boughs, each floral bell that swingeth
And toils its perfume on the passing air,
Makes Sabbath in the fields, and ever ringeth
A call to prayer.
Not to the domes where crumbling arch and column
Attest the feebleness of mortal hand,
But to that fane, most catholic and solemn,
Which God hath planned;
To that cathedral, boundless as our wonder,
Whose quenchless lamps the sun and moon supply;
Its choir the wings and waves, its organ thunder,
Its dome the sky.
There, as in solitude and shade I wander
Through the green aisles, or stretched upon the sod,
Awed by the silence, reverently ponder
The ways of God,
Your voiceless lips, O flowers! are living preachers,
Each cup a pulpit, every leaf a book,
Supplying to my fancy numerous teachers
From loneliest nook.
Floral apostles! that in dewy splendor
"Weep without woe, and blush without a crime,"
O, may I deeply learn, and ne'er surrender
Your lore sublime!
"Thou wert not, Solomon, in all thy glory,
Arrayed," the lilies cry, "in robes like ours!
How vain your grandeur! ah, how transitory
Are human flowers!"
In the sweet-scented pictures, heavenly artist,
With which thou paintest Nature's wide-spread hall,
What a delightful lesson thou impartest
Of love to all!
Not useless are ye, flowers! though made for pleasure;
Blooming o'er field and wave, by day and night,
From every source your sanction bids me treasure
Harmless delight.
Ephemeral sages! what instructors hoary
For such a world of thought could furnish scope?
Each fading calyx a memento mori,
Yet fount of hope.
Posthumous glories! angel-like collection!
Upraised from seed or bulb interred in earth,
Ye are to me a type of resurrection
And second birth.
Were I in churchless solitudes remaining,
Far from all voice of teachers and divines,
My soul would find, in flowers of God's ordaining,
Priests, sermons, shrines!

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