Meadow Lilies

by Dora Read Goodale (1866 - 1915)

from All Round the Year, Verses from Sky Farm


To the meadow, where the swallows
Dip and soar the long day through,
And among the hills and hollows
Harebells hang their cups of blue,
Comes a flower of dusky splendor,
With a rare and queenly grace,
And a stately beauty, lent her
By the golden August days.

Round about her birds are singing,
Grasses nodding, with the bloom
Of the passing Summer clinging
To each tall and slender plume;
Proud she stands, yet all unconscious
(As a princess, strong to win),
Of the deepening shadows round her,
And the mellow light within.

Winds across the upland flying,
Sink in whispers at her feet,
Murmuring in the grass, and dying
Where her beauthy stands complete;
Not to heaven her head she raises,-
Fairest flower along the dell,-
But to meet the upturned daisies
Low she droops her dusky bell!

Young with morning’s first awaking,
Languid thro’ the burning noon,
With a warmth and fullness breaking
Thro’ the round of life and tune;
Half concealed her sumptuous beauty,
Grave yet gracious is her mien,
In the close, oppressive stillness
Folding all the meadow’s green.

Clustered lilies in the shadows,
Lapt in golden ease they stand,
Rarest flower in all the meadows,
Richest flower in all the land;
Royal lilies in the sunlight,
Brave with Summer’s fair array,
Drowsy thro’ the evening silence,
Crown of all the August day!