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 A rose of perfect red, embossed
With silver sheens of crystal frost,
Yet warm, nor life nor fragrance lost.
High passion throbbing in a sphere That Art hath wrought of diamond clear, -- A great heart beating in a tear.
The listening soul is full of dreams That shape the wondrous-varying themes As cries of men or plash of streams.
Or noise of summer rain-drops round That patter daintily a-ground With hints of heaven in the sound.
Or noble wind-tones chanting free Through morning-skies across the sea Wild hymns to some strange majesty.
O, if one trope, clear-cut and keen, May type the art of Song's best queen, White-hot of soul, white-chaste of mien, On Music's heart doth Nilsson dwell As if a Swedish snow-flake fell Into a glowing flower-bell.

by Sidney Lanier
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