THE MOON FLOWER
I know a valley-- through its solitude
A brown road winds towards a mountain crest;
There gnarly ti-trees dripping sweetness rest,
And grasses bend, too heavily bedowed.
In that still valley by the still lagoon,
A ruined homestead for her secret shrine,
Dwells Beauty's self, half-earthly, half-devine--
Thrilling, I saw her waken to the moon.
In peaks of emerald the cactus crept,
And there o'er rafters falling to decay,
A miracle of flowers, spray on spray,
Burst into perfect life while nature slept.
First a slim silver riband from the sky
Uncurled green fronds from each imprisoned bud,
Then, one by one, bathed in the beaming flood,
Like ghost-notes in a spirit litany.
They blossomed out before my eyes,
Great chalices of snow filled up with light;
Set in the mystic radiance of night
They seemed a vision from immortal skies.
Hidden in shadow near the still lagoon
Nightly I worship at a secret shrine,
There on a ruin-- lily-white, devine,
Is beauty lying naked to the moon!
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