Transcription of the Poem
Day stars that ope your eyes with man’s to twinkle
From rainbow galaxies of earth’s creation
And dew drops on her lowly altars sprinkle
As a libation.
Ye matin worshippers who bending lowly
Before the uprisen sun, God’s lidless eye
Throw from your chalices a pure and holy
Incense on high
Ye bright mosaics that with storied beauty
The floor of nature’s temple tessellate,
What numerous emblems of instructive duty
Your forms create
Neath cloistered boughs each floral bell that swingeth
Tolls perfume on the passing air
Makes sabbath in the fields, and ever ringeth
A call to prayer.
Not to the domes where crumbling arch and column
Attest the feebleness of mortal hand
But to that fane most catholic and solemn
Which God hath plann'd.
To that cathedral boundless as our wonder
Whose quenchless lamps the sun and moon supply
Whose choir the winds and waves, whole organ thunder
Whose dome the sky
There as in solitude and shade, I wander
Thro the green aisles or stretched upon the sod
Awed by the silence reverently ponder
The ways of God.
Floral apostles that in dewy splendor
Weep without woe and blush without a crime
Oh may I deeply learn and ne’er surrender
Your lore sublime.
Your voiceless lips O flowers are living preachers
Each cup a pulpit ev’ry leaf a book
Supplying to my fancy numerous teachers
From lowliest nook.
“Thou wert not Solomon” the lilies cry in all thy glory
“Array’d in robes like ours
How vain your grandeur, Ah how transitory
Are human flowers
In the sweet pictures Heavenly artist
With which thou paintest nature’s wide spread hall.
What a delightful lesson thou impartest
Of love to all
Nor useless are ye flowers tho’ made for pleasure
Blooming o’er field and wave, by day and night
From every source your sanction bids me treasure
Ephemeral sages! what instructors hoary
For such a world of thought could furnish scope
Each fading calyx a “memento mori”
Yet fount of hope
Posthumous glories, angel like collection
Upraised from seed or bulb interred in earth
Ye are to me a type of resurrection
And of second birth.
Were I Oh God in churchless lands remaining
Far from all voice of teachers or divines
My soul should find in flowers of thy ordaining
Priests, sermons, shrines.”
Horace Smith. Born in London 1779.
Biography of Horace Smith
Description of the Poem's Formal Elements
Explication/Analysis of the Poem