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A FANTASTIC BALLAD

 

now away from wealth's gleam,
graceful form of that proud belle,
Cold, 'neath its flowery mound, in deep dream,
Within its casket there did dwell.

And weird the moon from heights above viewed
The night, by breath of fragrant bowers
Made tremulous; the light, livid-hued,
Slept soft on grave and cross and flowers.

When suddenly upon that mound—lo!
The buds upon each twig and shoot
Began to burst, and each flower tapped slow
Upon the casket with its root.

"Admit me now to that fair cheek," spake
The rose, "to drink a bit of blood,
My bud begins to ope; for its sake
I seek to have her color's flood."

The violet whisp'rs low in the gloom:
"My root shall pierce her eyes of blue,
There shall the hue be drawn for their bloom,
Since bursts my throng of buds now too!"

"And I," the tender lily speaks, "want
My flowers that precious gloss to own
That 'dorns her breast of snow. Pray, recant,
O Casket! Hear the plaint I moan l"

"The lips purple!" the peony cries;
The rosemary, "The hair's sweet scent."
"O casket, grant our prayers. Sudden rise
Our throngs of flowers in bloom. Relentl

"To let this belle thus fade in her tomb,
In blinding night—a sin at best.
We'll lift her to the sun, and she'll loom
Aloft upon each gayest crest!"

And with a sinister chuckle, slow
The hemlock rose—before all hid:
"I seek the heart. Didst ye forget? Ho!
The poison for my flowers I bid."