THE LILY CONFIDANTE
by: Henry Timrod (1829-1867)
- ILY! lady of the garden!
- Let me press my lip to thine!
- Love must tell its story, Lily!
- Listen thou to mine.
- Two I choose to know the secret --
- Thee, and yonder wordless flute;
- Dragons watch me, tender Lily,
- And thou must be mute.
- There's a maiden, and her name is ...
- Hist! was that a rose-leaf fell?
- See, the rose is listening, Lily,
- And the rose may tell.
- Lily-browed and lily-hearted,
- She is very dear to me;
- Lovely? yes, if being lovely
- Is resembling thee.
- Six to half a score of summers
- Make the sweetest of the "teens" --
- Not too young to guess, dear Lily,
- What a lover means.
- Laughing girl, and thoughtful woman,
- I am puzzled how to woo --
- Shall I praise, or pique her, Lily?
- Tell me what to do.
- "Silly lover, if thy Lily
- Like her sister lilies be,
- Thou must woo, if thou wouldst wear her
- With a simple plea.
- "Love's the lover's only magic,
- Truth the very subtlest art;
- Love that feigns, and lips that flatter,
- Win no modest heart.
- "Like the dewdrop in my bosom,
- Be thy guileless language, youth;
- Falsehood buyeth falsehood only,
- Truth must purchase truth.
- "As thou talkest at the fireside,
- With the little children by --
- As thou prayest in the darkness,
- When thy God is nigh --
- "With a speech as chaste and gentle,
- And such meanings as become
- Ear of child, or ear of angel,
- Speak, or be thou dumb.
- "Woo her thus, and she shall give thee
- Of her heart the sinless whole,
- All the girl within her bosom,
- And her woman's soul."
POEMS BY HENRY TIMROD
"The Lily Confidante"
is reprinted from The Poems of Henry Timrod. Ed. Paul
H. Hayne. New York: E. J. Hale & Son, 1873.