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Flower Queens of Night by Margaret Eytinge

 

"Pretty, fragrant four-o'clocks,"
Said the rose one day,
"Pity 'tis your buds unfold
Into blossoms gay
When the west begins to burn
With the sunset light—
Sweetness wondrous rare to waste
On the drowsy night.

"Other blooms have birds to sing,
Bees to hum, their praise,
Butterflies to visit them
Through the summer days.
Bee but seldom hums for you,
Bird but seldom sings,
Butterfly is ne'er your guest,
Pretty, fragrant things."

"Lovely, graceful, crimson rose,"
Said the modest flowers,
"Though the sun we scarcely know,
Happiness is ours.
Moon we have, and sparkling stars
(Each a heavenly gem),
And their light so gentle is,
We can look at them.

"And the flashing fire-flies
Round us gleam and glance,
Like a countless host of fays
In an airy dance.
And the moth king, velvet-winged,
Dainty kiss bestows,
As he whispers, 'You are sweet,
Sweet as any rose.'

"Grieve no more for us, dear friend;
Thrice content we are,
Loved by moth and fire-fly,
Dew-drop, moon, and star.
And while you o'er garden reign
In the bright daylight,
We are hailed by wand'ring winds,
Flower queens of night."