Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE PRIZE, by PHOEBE CARY

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THE PRIZE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Hope wafts my bark, and round my way
Last Line: In the waves of my dark despair!
Subject(s): Beauty; Desire

HOPE wafts my bark, and round my way
Her pleasant sunshine lies;
For I sail with a royal argosy
To win a royal prize.

A maiden sits in her loveliness
On the shore of a distant stream,
And over the waters at her feet
The lilies float, and dream.

She reaches down, and draws them in,
With a hand that hath no stain;
And that lily of all the lilies, her hand,
Is the prize I go to gain.

Her hair in a yellow flood falls down
From her forehead low and white;
I would bathe in its billowy gold, and dream,
In its sea of soft delight.

Her cheek is as fair as a tender flower,
When its blushing leaves dispart;
Oh, my rose of the world, my regal rose,
I must wear you on my heart!

I must kiss your lips, so sweetly closed
O'er their pearly treasures fair;
Or strike on their coral reef, and sink
In the waves of my dark despair!

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