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Up to date as of January 22, 2010

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The Flower
by John Cowper Powys
Published in Mandragora (1917)
[ 13 ]

I COULD not see at that hour,
 I tell you, I could not see!
The Face of the night was wet
   And there was rain on the wind.
   Oh, misery—oh, regret!
Blind! Blind! Blind! Blind!
   I tell you , I could not see.
There was too much rain on the wind
   When I stooped and picked that flower.

I hold it now in my hand,
   As the moon thro' the branches peers,
   Wickedly, wantonly peers.
But now it is too late,
And its petals desolate
   Droop and lose their power.
   And I see that this murdered flower
Would have changed the course of my fate.

And now, oh wanton moon,
   As you flicker thro' boughs where the rains
Drip to a fitful tune,
   I see on that flower the veins
Of a delicate-pencilled rune,
   A hope that no longer remains.

[ 14 ]

Oh moon! if only it grew
   Still living, still tender and free,
Oh wanton moon, I would laugh at you;
   Nor bitterly wander the forest thro',
While the rain drips sadly from tree to tree.
   Cursing the cause of my misery,
   The blindness—the blindness—that ruined me!

PD-icon.svg This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1963, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 30 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.


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