Magnolia Blossoms (Poem by Edwin John Dove Pratt)

Beautiful Poem


Magnolia Blossoms (1)
By Edwin John Dove Pratt


The year's processionals mocked her as they streamed
    Across the earth with proud, unsullied grace;
    Each flower in its appointed time and place,
And the unfolding of each leaf had seemed
To brand the hope on which her heart had dreamed — 
    That spring should drive the winter from her face,
    And summer with a broken covenant trace
How spring's indentured pledges were redeemed.

Slowly they came, those blown maturities,
    In chaste, irenic order, leaf and bud
And blossom, and red fruit upon the trees,
    Pale blue and yellow in spring flowers, blood
Of peony and rose — she knew them all — 
From the crocus to the aster in the fall.


Magnolia Blossoms (2)


But when the autumn frost had stripped each tree,
    And every garden of the earth lay bare
    Of leaf and flower and fruit, she turned to where
The sun's immaculate hand was on the sea.
He touched the waves and from them magically
    Lilies and violets grew, and jonquils fair
    As those of spring — all in November air,
In fine reversal of earth's irony.


Magnolia Blossoms (3)


Then a wind from the land sprang up and whipped
    The waters till the flowers grew acid-etched
Upon her heart; but other blooms, rose-lipped,
    Out of the fresh autumnal foam were fetched
By the sun's hand — strange harvest that achieves
Its seasonal fruit before the time of leaves.

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