by Arlo Bates (1850 - 1918)

The cardinal flower
Language: English 
When days are long and steeped in sun 
The brown brooks loiter as they run, 
And lingering eddy as they flow 
Full loth to leave the meadows low ; 
For then the cardinal, ablaze 
With splendid fires, their fancy stays. 

Like a tall Indian maiden, dressed 
In scarlet robes, with tranquil breast 
That ne'er has known love's humbling thrall 
But haughty queens it over all, 
The flower her image mirrored throws, 
While proud as beautiful she glows. 

She sees the speckled trout dart by, 
And swift- winged flit the dragon-fly 
Over the brook's smooth waters dun ; 
Naught doth she heed them, all or one ; 
Even the sun-god when he woos 
With proud indifference she views. 

The saucy swallow darts athwart 
The topaz brook, but wins him naught 
Of notice from the haughty queen. 
Wrapped in her beauteous self, serene 
She dwells alone, untouched by praise, 
Through the brief splendor of her days. 


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2009-06-17 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:15
Line count: 24
Word count: 154