Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.



  • The poems in this division were published under the title Flower-de-Luce in 1867. The title poem was written March 20, 1866.

  • BEAUTIFUL lily, dwelling by still rivers,

    Or solitary mere,

    Or where the sluggish meadow-brook delivers

    Its waters to the weir!

    Thou laughest at the mill, the whir and worry

    Of spindle and of loom,

    And the great wheel that toils amid the hurry

    And rushing of the flume.

    Born in the purple, born to joy and pleasance,

    Thou dost not toil nor spin,

    But makest glad and radiant with thy presence

    The meadow and the lin.

    The wind blows, and uplifts thy drooping banner,

    And round thee throng and run

    The rushes, the green yeomen of thy manor,

    The outlaws of the sun.

    The burnished dragon-fly is thy attendant,

    And tilts against the field,

    And down the listed sunbeam rides resplendent

    With steel-blue mail and shield.

    Thou art the Iris, fair among the fairest,

    Who, armed with golden rod

    And winged with the celestial azure, bearest

    The message of some God.

    Thou art the Muse, who far from crowded cities

    Hauntest the sylvan streams,

    Playing on pipes of reed the artless ditties

    That come to us as dreams.

    O flower-de-luce, bloom on, and let the river

    Linger to kiss thy feet!

    O flower of song, bloom on, and make forever

    The world more fair and sweet.