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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE VIOLET, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: O faint, delicious, spring-time violet
Last Line: Thy velvet leaf.
Subject(s): Flowers; Violets

O FAINT, delicious, springtime violet!
Thine odor, like a key,
Turns noiselessly in memory's wards to let
A thought of sorrow free.

The breath of distant fields upon my brow
Blows through that open door
The sound of wind-borne bells, more sweet and low,
And sadder than of yore.

It comes afar, from that beloved place,
And that beloved hour,
When life hung ripening in love's golden grace,
Like grapes above a bower.

A spring goes singing through its reedy grass;
The lark sings o'er my head,
Drowned in the sky — O, pass, ye visions, pass!
I would that I were dead! —

Why hast thou opened that forbidden door,
From which I ever flee?
O vanished joy! O love, that art no more,
Let my vexed spirit be!

O violet! thy odor through my brain
Hath searched, and stung to grief
This sunny day, as if a curse did stain
Thy velvet leaf.

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