Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CHRYSANTHEMUMS, by AUGUSTE ANGELLIER



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THE CHRYSANTHEMUMS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Chrysanthemums alone the garden wears
Last Line: -- as also our sad hearts!
Subject(s): Chrysanthemums; Flowers


CHRYSANTHEMUMS alone the garden wears.
Dead are the roses; dim the aureate flares
Upon the sunflower's head,
Which bends to earth its golden diadem,
Inclining o'er the grass its withered stem,
Where other flowers lie dead.

There lie geraniums, languid dahlias,
Pale meadow-saffron and veronicas,
Phlox, sceptred golden rods,
Their summer pomp strewn 'neath the rout of leaves,
A prey to wood-lice and the ghoulish thieves
Whose teeth despoil the gods.

Chrysanthemums alone the garden wears;
But in these pallid flowers the autumn bares
Her most alluring graces.
The twilight's dankness is their only dew
And e'en a lukewarm ray that winnows through
Will dry their tearful faces.

Their waxen pallor melts from watered mauves
Into carnation such as old alcoves
With faded curtains give.
Their subtlest hues are tinct with amethyst
And o'er their aureate crystal is the mist
Of glory fugitive.

Chrysanthemums alone the garden wears.
Ah, what exquisite sorrows, what despairs
Their wilting petals fold!
What tender charm their virgin white reveals!
What noble pride of weariness appeals
In their extinguished gold!

They take their leave, yet they have never known
Love's frenzy nor the deep-sighed undertone
Of summer's minions, where
A host of sails vibrated on June's tide --
These stricken flowers, so calm and dignified,
Lone, in the wingless air.

Chrysanthemums alone the garden wears.
Come, gather them, since each thy love ensnares
With lily's loveliness
And pangs lorn amaryllis oft accords
Or the sombre hearts engirdled round with swords
Of thy loved irises.

Yea, let us gently bind in trembling sheaves
Their ruffled blooms, their ecstasies and griefs,
And place, in their despite,
These brave survivors in this vase of green,
Whereon rich China's art has made careen
These herons, e'er in flight!

Chrysanthemums alone the garden wears!
Poems we shall become of subtle cares
And delicate remorse,
Abiding in these flowers our love reclaims,
Whose deep affection looses them in flames
To which no heat gives source.

When twilight falls and permeates this room
We shall behold their beauty through the gloom
And, ere the day departs,
These dying flowers shall token our despairs.
Chrysanthemums alone the garden wears
-- As also our sad hearts!





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