[Editor: This poem by Philip Durham Lorimer was published in Songs and Verses by Philip Durham Lorimer: An Australian Bush Poet, 1901.]
I Knew a Flow’ret Once
I knew a flow’ret once, with slender stem,
That waved and tossed its tiny head
Before each summer’s breeze with tender smiles,
And with each smile a fragrance shed.
And in a meadow by a stream it grew,
And joy — the birth of beauty — there
Had crown’d, and in this fond retreat the hand
Of Nature seemed to guard the fair.
Close to the rill the sound of waters fell,
Like music on the summer evening air.
And on the stream of time the flow’ret breathed
Its sweetest notes to mingle there.
But soon some ruthless hand had plucked the flower,
And in a ruby glass how bright
Its colours seem’d, ’midst sparkling gems, to shine
In halls of revelry at night !
But oh ! how soon the shade of death came o’er,
And rested on the flow’ret’s bloom !
All leafless then it fell upon the ground,
Disrobed of beauty in its doom.
A still, soft voice in silence then I heard,
From quiv’ring lips the accents fell.
Low, sorrowing grief and plaintive sobs with tears.
Stole o’er my heart from fancy’s cell.
And beauty then, on glittering wings, had left
The flow’ret’s withering leaves to mourn,
And trodden underfoot, there scentless lay,
The meadow’s brightest hope forlorn.
Sydney, July 7, 1871.
E. A. Petherick (editor). Songs and Verses by Philip Durham Lorimer: An Australian Bush Poet, William Clowes and Sons, London, 1901, pages 87-88