by Edith Matilda Thomas (1854-1925)
Apple-green west and an orange bar,
And the crystal eye of a lone, one star ...
And, "Child, take the shears and cut what you will.
Frost to-night--so close and dead-still."
Then I sally forth, half sad, half proud,
And I come to the velvet, imperial crowd,
The wine-red, the gold, the crimson, the pied--
The dahlias that reign by the garden-side.
The dahlias I might not touch till to-night!
A gleam of the shears in the fading light,
And I gathered them all,--the splendid throng,
And in one great sheaf I bore them along.
In my garden of Life with its all-late flowers
I heed a Voice in the shrinking hours:
"Frost to-night--so clear and dead-still ..."
Half sad, half proud, my arms I fill.
From Ward, Bobby J., A Contemplation Upon Flowers: Garden Plants in Myth and Literature. Timber Press, 1999. As found at www.schooloftheseasons.com/flowers/dahlia.html .