Flos Aevorum

A poem by Richard Le Gallienne

You must mean more than just this hour,
You perfect thing so subtly fair,
Simple and complex as a flower,
Wrought with such planetary care;
How patient the eternal power
That wove the marvel of your hair.

How long the sunlight and the sea
Wove and re-wove this rippling gold
To rhythms of eternity;
And many a flashing thing grew old,
Waiting this miracle to be;
And painted marvels manifold,

Still with his work unsatisfied,
Eager each new effect to try,
The solemn artist cast aside,
Rainbow and shell and butterfly,
As some stern blacksmith scatters wide
The sparks that from his anvil fly.

How many shells, whorl within whorl,
Litter the marges of the sphere
With wrack of unregarded pearl,
To shape that little thing your ear:
Creation, just to make one girl,
Hath travailed with exceeding fear.

The moonlight of forgotten seas
Dwells in your eyes, and on your tongue
The honey of a million bees,
And all the sorrows of all song:
You are the ending of all these,
The world grew old to make you young.

All time hath traveled to this rose;
To the strange making of this face
Came agonies of fires and snows;
And Death and April, nights and days
Unnumbered, unimagined throes,
Find in this flower their meeting place.

Strange artist, to my aching thought
Give answer: all the patient power
That to this perfect ending wrought,
Shall it mean nothing but an hour?
Say not that it is all for nought
Time brings Eternity a flower.

All the words in all the world
Cannot tell you how I love you,
All the little stars that shine
To make a silver crown above you;

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