Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CYPRUS VASE, by ROSALIND TRAVERS

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THE CYPRUS VASE, by            
First Line: A twilight breeze, of honied scent impassioned
Last Line: Three thousand years ago?
Subject(s): Antiquities; Cyprus; Vases

A TWILIGHT breeze, of honied scent impassioned,
Shakes gently to and fro
Red roses, in a jar of Cyprus fashioned
Three thousand years ago.

So long earth hid secure in her dark bosom
The fragile, moulded clay;
Unburied now, it holds the fleeting blossom
Of a brief summer's day.

And breathes out visions to the dusk, that hover
Flame-like, upon the wall;
Beauty and old-time gladness, passing over
While the red roses fall.

Rose-leaves which patter like the rhythmic feet
Of dancing. girls, who glide
Through sunlit halls, where kings and chieftains meet
When spears are laid aside.

Peace crowned the girls with roses, brimmed with wine
The lovely curves of you,
Fair ancient vase! and raised, with touch divine,
Dead brotherhood anew.

Forgotten peace! and long forgotten war!
People and Kings are gone;
Dust from the wheel of Time's unresting car;
Only the vase lives on.

Perfect as when, within the shady portal,
It cooled from summer's glow;
Who would have deemed the frail thing half immortal,
Three thousand years ago?

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