Sonnet — The Lotus

Love came to Flora asking for a flower
That would of flowers be undisputed queen,
The lily and the rose, long, long had been
Rivals for that high honour. Bards of power
Had sung their claims. " The rose can never tower
Like the pale lily with her Juno mien " —
" But is the lily lovelier? " Thus between
Flower-factions rang the strife in Psyche's bower.

" Give me a flower delicious as the rose
And stately as the lily in her pride " —
" But of what colour? " — " Rose-red, " Love first chose,
Then prayed, — " No, lily-white, — or, both provide; "
And Flora gave the lotus, " rose-red " dyed,
And " lily-white, " — the queenliest flower that blows.
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