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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