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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Selected Sonnets. III. Sonnet to the Gentian

Henry Ellison (1811–1880)

(From “Mad Moments”)

SWEET flower of holiest blue! why bloom’st thou so

In solitary loveliness, more fair

In this thy artless beauty, than the rare

And costliest garden-plant? why dost thou grow

On the unthankful ice-cliff’s printless brow,

Like the fond offerings, which true hearts bear

To the cold inmate of the grave? The air

Is redolent of Heaven, and thy glow

Of azure blue is caught from thence; but why

Hid’st thou thy beauties from the sight of man?

There is a moral in thy privacy!

Truth will not grow where vulgar eyes may scan,

Or hands unholy pluck—’tis for the sky

She blooms, and those who seek, must climb, nor fear to die.