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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

The Bergamot

By William Wallace Harney (1831–1912)

WE had no other gift to give

But just one withering flower;

We had no other lives to live,

But just that sweet half-hour,—

So small, so sweet, its freight of musk

Made fragrant all life’s after-dusk.

For this the summers toiled and spun,

With fairy fingers silken shot,

Till moonlight’s milky thread were run,

In the scented, creamy bergamot,

That gave one dear, remembered hour,

The fragrance of the orange-flower.

Through love and parting, this remains,

A memory, like its faint perfume,

More dear than all life’s loss and gains

About a withering orange-bloom,

Whose fading leaves of dusky green

Do show how sweet life might have been.