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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

To a Lily

By James Matthews Legaré (1823–1859)

[Born in Charleston, S. C., 1823. Died at Aiken, S. C., 1859. Orta-Undis, and Other Poems. 1847.]

GO bow thy head in gentle spite,

Thou lily white.

For she, who spies thee waving here,

With thee in beauty can compare

As day with night.

Soft are thy leaves and white: Her arms

Boast whiter charms.

Thy stem prone bent with loveliness

Of maiden grace possesseth less;

Therein she charms.

Thou in thy lake dost see

Thyself:—So she

Beholds her image in her eyes

Reflected. Thus did Venus rise

From out the sea.

Inconsolate, bloom not again,

Thou rival vain

Of her whose charms have thine outdone:

Whose purity might spot the sun,

And make thy leaf a stain.