I have a magic flower that knoweth not to fade,
Rosily it blossoms through the winter undismayed,
Each fairy petal keeps its satin sheen,
And garners sunshine where no sun has been.
The glory of uncounted summer days
Lies at its core, and all the silver rays
That moons have lavished on uncharted seas
Fill it with glimmering mysteries.
My magic flower, unfed by air or rain,
Hath in it glamours from a purple plain
Drenched in still twilight and the velvet deeps
Of rich sky spaces ere the first star peeps.
Green of dim forests, and dew-nurtured glades,
Stabbed by the noonday sun’s imperial blades,
And steel-blue gleams from bergs that silent ride
In white enchantment the Antarctic tide.
A crystal chalice, filled with tinted wine,
Whose every bubble sparkles with a new design,
A dream of colour in a stone arrested
And with a lovely permanence invested.
A wondrous thought, that in primeval gloom
Burst, like a blossom, into sudden bloom,
A prophet’s instinct, that ’mid chaos knew
How suns would kiss a future drop of dew.
A need of light, which, focussed in the dark,
Lit by suggestion this miraculous spark,
Within whose matrix of strange fibres spun
Is stored the secret essence of the sun.
Was it some tincture ignorantly spilled
Into earth’s crucible? or did a skilled
Alchemist pity on the fused mass take
And, smiling, add it for its beauty’s sake?
Mysterious as the spiritual flowers that flame
Through human souls and passionately claim
Kinship with beauty, incoherent as the gleams
Of intuition in a poet’s dreams,
Yet eloquent of an unfailing source.
And could we trace the deeply hidden course
Of the beautiful to beauty, we might find
The meaning of an opal and a human mind.
Agnes L. Storrie. Poems, J. W. Kettlewell, Sydney, 1909, pages 67-68
tincture = a medicine made by dissolving a drug in a solution of alcohol (may also refer to a substance that colors, dyes, pervades or stains)