Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PARASOLS, FIFTY-NINE CENTS, by MARY BRENNAN CLAPP

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First Line: By rows of tight-sheathed chinese parasols
Last Line: And purpled blues, what dream could help but sink!
Subject(s): China; Umbrellas

By rows of tight-sheathed Chinese parasols,
Glossy, slender, shining richly dark,
To dream of opening one I was intrigued,
And visioned green, dull coraline, and gold,
Pale backgrounds with faint traceries to mark
Free outlines not defined, sweet fol-de-rols
In tints to rest eyes vividly fatigued.

I held my breath, in slow delight to unfold
Such hidden splendor -- for so small a price!
Wistaria bloom and lantern glow, I dreamed,
And tall, fair, tasseled plumes of blossoming rice.

The thought came to me then, -- it somehow seemed
Like this when I was introduced to you . . .
Your glance, your smile, your calculated grace,
Perhaps were but the sheath that might encase
A folded flame, a spirit rare and true
That being set free, for me could spread such glow
On life again as happy children know.

Forget the memory! Speed the unwelcome thought!
More luck this time! The parasol was bought.
But, Oh! before such flood of melon pink
And purpled blues, what dream could help but sink!

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