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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

A Painted Fan

By Louise Chandler Moulton (1835–1908)

[Born in Pomfret, Conn., 1835. Died in Boston, Mass., 1908. From Poems. 1878.]

ROSES and butterflies snared on a fan,

All that is left of a summer gone by;

Of swift, bright wings that flashed in the sun,

And loveliest blossoms that bloomed to die!

By what subtle spell did you lure them here,

Fixing a beauty that will not change;

Roses whose petals never will fall,

Bright, swift wings that never will range?

Had you owned but the skill to snare as well

The swift-winged hours that came and went,

To prison the words that in music died,

And fix with a spell the heart’s content,

Then had you been of magicians the chief;

And loved and lovers should bless your art,

If you could but have painted the soul of the thing,—

Not the rose alone, but the rose’s heart!

Flown are those days with their winged delights,

As the odor is gone from the summer rose;

Yet still, whenever I wave my fan,

The soft, south wind of memory blows.