While I within her secret garden walked,
The flowers, that in her presence must be dumb,
With me, their fellow-servant, softly talked,
Attending till the Flower of flowers should come.
Then, since at Court I had arrived but late,
I was by love made bold
To ask that of my lady's high estate
I might be told,
And glories of her blood, perpetuate
In histories old.
Then they, who know the chronicle of Earth,
Spoke of her loveliness, that like a flame
Far-handed down from noble birth to birth,
Gladdened the world for ages ere she came.
"Yea, yea," they said, "from Summer's royal sun
Comes that immortal line,
And was create not for this age alone
Nor wholly thine,
Being indeed a flower whose root is one
With Life Divine.
"To the sweet buds that of herself are part
Already she this portion hath bequeathed,
As, not less surely, into thy proud heart
Her nobleness, O poet, she hath breathed,
That her inheritance by them and thee
The world may keep alway,
When the still sunlight of her eyes shall be
Lost to the day,
And even the fragrance of her memory