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Poem by Henry Timrod


The Lily Confidante


Lily! lady of the garden!
 Let me press my lip to thine!
Love must tell its story, Lily!
 Listen thou to mine.

Two I choose to know the secret
 Thee, and yonder wordless flute;
Dragons watch me, tender Lily,
 And thou must be mute.

There's a maiden, and her name is...
 Hist! was that a rose-leaf fell?
See, the rose is listening, Lily,
 And the rose may tell.

Lily-browed and lily-hearted,
 She is very dear to me;
Lovely? yes, if being lovely
 Isresembling thee.

Six to half a score of summers
 Make the sweetest of the "teens"
Not too young to guess, dear Lily,
 What a lover means.

Laughing girl, and thoughtful woman,
 I am puzzled how to woo
Shall I praise, or pique her, Lily?
 Tell me what to do.

"Silly lover, if thy Lily
 Like her sister lilies be,
Thou must woo, if thou wouldst wear her,
 With a simple plea.

"Love's the lover's only magic,
 Truth the very subtlest art;
Love that feigns, and lips that flatter,
 Win no modest heart.

"Like the dewdrop in my bosom,
 Be thy guileless language, youth;
Falsehood buyeth falsehood only,
 Truth must purchase truth.

"As thou talkest at the fireside,
 With the little children by
As thou prayest in the darkness,
 When thy God is nigh

"With a speech as chaste and gentle,
 And such meanings as become
Ear of child, or ear of angel,
 Speak, or be thou dumb.

"Woo her thus, and she shall give thee
 Of her heart the sinless whole,
All the girl within her bosom,
 And her woman's soul."



Henry Timrod


Henry Timrod's other poems:
  1. Madeline
  2. To a Captive Owl
  3. Lines to R. L.
  4. Sonnets. 10. Were I the Poet-Laureate of the Fairies
  5. To Rosa


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