Home  »  A Library of American Literature  »  The Morning-Glory

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 Morning-Glory

By Maria (White) Lowell (1821–1853)

[Born in Watertown, Mass., 1821. Died at Cambridge, Mass., 1853.]

WE wreathed about our darling’s head

The morning-glory bright;

Her little face looked out beneath,

So full of life and light,

So lit as with a sunrise,

That we could only say,

“She is the morning-glory true,

And her poor types are they.”

So always from that happy time

We called her by their name,

And very fitting did it seem—

For, sure as morning came,

Behind her cradle bars she smiled

To catch the first faint ray,

As from the trellis smiles the flower

And opens to the day.

But not so beautiful they rear

Their airy cups of blue,

As turned her sweet eyes to the light,

Brimmed with sleep’s tender dew;

And not so close their tendrils fine

Round their supports are thrown,

As those dear arms whose outstretched plea

Clasped all hearts to her own.

We used to think how she had come,

Even as comes the flower,

The last and perfect added gift

To crown Love’s morning hour;

And how in her was imaged forth

The love we could not say,

As on the little dewdrops round

Shines back the heart of day.

We never could have thought, O God,

That she must wither up.

Almost before a day was flown,

Like the morning-glory’s cup;

We never thought to see her droop

Her fair and noble head,

Till she lay stretched before our eyes,

Wilted, and cold, and dead!

The morning-glory’s blossoming

Will soon be coming round—

We see the rows of heart-shaped leaves

Upspringing from the ground;

The tender things the winter killed

Renew again their birth,

But the glory of our morning

Has passed away from earth.

O Earth! in vain our aching eyes

Stretch over thy green plain!

Too harsh thy dews, too gross thine air

Her spirit to sustain;

But up in groves of Paradise

Full surely we shall see

Our morning-glory beautiful

Twine round our dear Lord’s knee.