Oh, dainty daughters of the dawn, most delicate of flowers,
How fitly do ye come to deck day's most delicious hours!
Evoked by morning's earliest breath, your fragile cups unfold
Before the light has cleft the sky, or edged the world with gold.
Before luxurious butterflies and moths are yet astir,
Before the careless has snapped the leaf-hung gossamer,
While spearèd dewdrops, yet unquaffed by thirsty insect-thieves,
Broider with rows of diamonds the edges of the leaves.
Ye drink from day's o'erflowing brim, nor ever dream of noon,
With bashful nod ye greet the sun, whose flattery scorches soon,
Your trumpets trembling to the touch of humming-bird and bee,
In tender trepidation sweet, and fair timidity.
No flower in all the garden hath so wide a choice of hue, -
The deepest purple dies are yours, the tenderest tints of blue;
While some are colourless as light, some flushed incarnadine,
And some are clouded crimson, like a goblet stained with wine.
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