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Poem by Louise Chandler Moulton

A Painted Fan

ROSES and butterflies snared on a fan,
  All that is left of a summer gone by;
Of swift, bright wings that flashed in the sun,
  And loveliest blossoms that bloomed to die!

By what subtle spell did you lure them here,
  Fixing a beauty that will not change,--
Roses whose petals never will fall,
  Bright, swift wings that never will range?

Had you owned but the skill to snare as well
  The swift-winged hours that came and went,
To prison the words that in music died,
  And fix with a spell the heart's content,

Then had you been of magicians the chief;
  And loved and lovers should bless your art,
If you could but have painted the soul of the thing,--
  Not the rose alone, but the rose's heart!

Flown are those days with their winged delights,
  As the odor is gone from the summer rose;
Yet still, whenever I wave my fan,
  The soft, south wind of memory blows.

Louise Chandler Moulton

Louise Chandler Moulton's other poems:
  1. Love's Empty House
  2. Left Behind
  3. Future Forgiveness
  4. The Last Good-by
  5. Hic Jacet

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